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Crohn's Disease and Diet

Why is nutrition such a challenge for people with Crohn's disease?

Patient Comments

Most of us know that good nutrition is essential to good health. Healthy eating is even more important to people whose health is compromised by a chronic disease. When you have Crohn's disease, maintaining good nutrition can be a real challenge.

Several factors contribute to nutritional problems in people with Crohn's disease. When the small intestine is inflamed, it is not able to perform its main function, which is absorbing nutrients from food. The degree of this impairment, called malabsorption, depends on the extent of inflammation and damage in the intestine.

To make matters worse, the intestinal inflammation and pain of the disease reduces a person's appetite, so they probably do not eat enough to supply nutritional needs. Diarrhea further depletes important nutrients. Compounding the problem is the fact that people with a chronic illness such as Crohn's disease require more calories and certain other nutrients than healthy people. The most common nutritional problem in people with Crohn's disease is insufficient calorie intake.

Picture of Crohn's Disease
Picture of Crohn's Disease
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/2/2016
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Crohn's Disease and Diet:

Crohn's Disease and Diet - Medications

Have you have problems with your medications and your diet?

Crohn's Disease and Diet - Trigger Foods

What foods trigger Crohn's disease flares for you?

Crohn's Disease and Diet - The Elemental Diet

Please describe your experience with an elemental diet and Crohn's disease.

Crohn's Disease and Diet - Alcohol and Other Drinks

What drinks have you found nutritious and helpful with Crohn's disease?

Crohn's Disease and Diet - Experience

Please describe what foods you have been able to tolerate, and what foods aggravate Crohn's disease.

Crohn's Disease and Diet - Diet and Symptoms

What changes have you made to your diet that have helped in managing your Crohn's diseases symptoms?

Crohn's Disease Symptoms and Signs

The most common symptoms in Crohn's disease include:

  • Diarrhea that waxes and wanes
  • Blood or mucus in the stool
  • Crampy or steady abdominal pain
  • Bloating after eating
  • Vaginal infections
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Crohn Disease »

Crohn disease is an idiopathic, chronic, transmural inflammatory process of the bowel that often leads to fibrosis and obstructive symptoms, which can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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