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What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD is a term used to cover a number of inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract. The major types of IBD are Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract and can cause inflammation, ulceration and stricturing (narrowing) within the digestive tract. This can cause a number of symptoms such as diarrhoea, abdominal pain and nausea.
Following a healthy balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight is important. Diet can also play an important role during a flare-up of Crohn’s disease, helping to alleviate symptoms, helping to maintain a healthy weight, and helping to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
Here are the top 5 dietary tips for Crohn’s disease:
1) During a flare-up, foods that may make your symptoms worse:
2) If you are losing weight:
3) If you have diarrhoea:
During a flare-up, or if you have ongoing symptoms of diarrhoea it is recommended to follow a low-fibre diet, and to drink plenty of water to prevent becoming dehydrated. Once your symptoms have improved, you can start to reintroduce fibre back into your diet again. Ways of lowering the fibre in your diet:
Soluble fibre may be better tolerated during a flare-up or if you become constipated. Soluble fibre is found in:
If you have any ‘inflammation’ or ‘stricturing’ that is causing a ‘narrowing’ in the digestive tract your doctor may advise you to follow a low fibre diet, which is sometimes called a ‘low residue’ diet.
4) Calcium and Bone Health:
It is important to maintain a good calcium intake to maintain optimum bone health and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. This is particularly important if you have Crohn’s disease and are on steroid medication. The main sources of calcium in our diets are:
Your dietitian can advise you further on an adequate calcium intake, and your IBD team will advise you if you need calcium supplements.
5) Lactose Intolerance:
Lactose intolerance can occur if you are not digesting the ‘lactose’ found in dairy products effectively. This can cause symptoms such as diarrhoea, wind and bloating. This maybe more likely to occur if your Crohn’s disease affects your small bowel. Sometimes the lactose intolerance is temporary, and you can re-introduce lactose into your diet once you are in remission from your Crohn’s disease.
Useful Contacts: Your Dietitian is: —————————Contact Number: ————————-
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Nursing Team: 01908 996955.
Crohn’s and Colitis UK: Information Line: 0845 130 2233 www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk