Doctor's Notes on Crohn's Disease Diet and Nutrition - Foods, Triggers, and Flare Ups
A Crohn’s disease diet (trigger foods) is a method of continual choosing dietary items that do not trigger Crohn’s disease symptoms but allow the person to have a healthy diet. Currently, there is no evidence that any diet causes Crohn’s disease nor is there evidence for food allergies, either. Unfortunately, however, some dietary components can trigger Crohn’s disease symptoms (like chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, blood and/or mucus in the stool)) and individuals can have different triggers. These triggers, if not stopped, can lead the person to weight loss, dehydration and vitamin deficiencies.
Identifying the triggers or causes of Crohn’s disease symptoms is up to the individual, with the help of a dietitian and gastroenterologist. Keeping a diary of what you eat and if it causes any problems is a good way to identify foods that are triggers for you. A dietitian can help you to choose the right foods that you tolerate well to produce a well-balanced diet.
Crohn's Disease Diet and Nutrition - Foods, Triggers, and Flare Ups Symptoms
These tips may help you feel better during and after eating:
- Keep a food diary. Record everything you eat and whether it causes you any problems. Design your own diet around what works for you.
- Stock your home with foods that you enjoy and do not cause you problems.
- Eat several small meals a day rather than a few large meals. This helps many people reduce or avoid symptoms.
- Eat when you are hungry.
- Take small bites of food and chew each bite completely.
Crohn's Disease Diet and Nutrition - Foods, Triggers, and Flare Ups Causes
There is no evidence that diet has anything to do with causing inflammation or Crohn's disease. No matter what you ate in the past, it probably played no part in your having Crohn's disease today. Unfortunately, though, now that you have Crohn's disease, you may find that you can no longer comfortably eat certain foods you once enjoyed.
There is no evidence linking food allergies with Crohn's disease. Experts now believe that many people thought to have food allergies may actually be experiencing early symptoms of Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or similar digestive diseases.
Crohn's (or Crohn) disease is a disease that usually affects the small intestine and less commonly the colon, but it is capable of involving the remainder of the gastrointestinal tract - the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. The chronic inflammation that is the basis of Crohn's disease causes ulceration, swelling, and scarring of the parts of the intestine that it involves. Other names for Crohn's disease include granulomatous enteritis, regional enteritis, ileitis, and granulomatous colitis when it involves the colon.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.