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Diet and Nutrition in Crohn's Disease

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

Patient Comments

Most of us know that good nutrition is essential to good health. Good nutrition 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 inflammed, it is not able to perform it's 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.

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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/9/2013
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Patient Comments & Reviews

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

Diet and Nutrition in Crohn's Disease - Food Allergies

Please describe your experience with food allergies and Crohn's disease.

Diet and Nutrition in Crohn's Disease - Changes

Please describe your experience with dietary changes you have made due to Crohn's disease.

Diet and Nutrition in Crohn's Disease - Elemental Diet

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

Diet and Nutrition in Crohn's Disease - Drinks

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

Diet and Nutrition in Crohn's Disease - Experience

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



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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.

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