Symptoms and Signs of Crohn's Disease Diet

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 11/8/2021

Doctor's Notes on Crohn's Disease Diet

A Crohn's disease diet (trigger foods) is a method of continually 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.

What Are the Treatments in a Crohn's Diet?

Although you can find many types of Crohn's diets, there is no proven diet for the disease. However, most experts suggest two major principles to follow when designing a diet for each different Crohn's disease patient:

  • Avoid any foods that trigger GI symptoms.
  • Emphasize eating regular meals with two to three snacks per day plus possible needed supplements like vitamins and minerals.

Such a general diet may ensure you are exposed to enough needed foods even if part of your GI tract is not able to adequately absorb nutrients. A key component of any diet is to keep a list of foods that trigger symptoms so you learn what foods or components may cause problems. Conversely, learn what foods don't cause you to have symptoms. The first treatment step is to meet with a dietician who can help design an initial diet for you to try.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.