Information about Crohn's Disease
What is Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two types of inflammatory bowel disease. Both involve an immune reaction against the intestinal tract. And even though they are different diseases, they act very similarly and a similar nutritional guidelines can help in managing and even alleviating signs and symptoms of the diseases.
In ulcerative colitis, the colon is usually inflamed and affected while the small intestine works normally. With Crohn’s disease, the small intestine can be inflamed, making it hard to digest and absorb key nutrients from food. The lack of sufficient nutrients, along with a poor appetite, can lead to malnutrition for people with Crohn’s disease. This malnutrition may result from alterations in taste, reduced food or nutrient intake, lack of sufficient nutrients, or the inflammatory bowel disease process itself.
Crohne’s disease can result in undernourishment and vitamin deficiencies. A person may be anemic, have low levels of folic acid or vitamin B-12, as well as having low levels of iron. This could make it difficult for people with Crone’s to maintain a healthy weight and get the required amounts of vitamins and minerals in their daily diet.
What might your diet plan with Crohn’s look like?
Crone’s and colitis are inflammatory diseases. There are certain foods that are anti-inflammatory or inflammatory. One of the best websites I've found for this type of nutrition information is www.nutritiondata.com. On this site you can find foods that are highly inflammatory that you would never guess would be harmful to your system. For example, if you choose to eat salmon with your dinner, and you buy a farm raised salmon, it is one of the most inflammatory foods on the list! BUT, if you decide to buy a wild caught salmon, it is one of the most anti-inflammatory foods you can find. It is information like this that will help guide you through your list of foods that may benefit or harm your GI. To make it easy, here are some foods to cross off of your daily list.
• Carbonated beverages
• dairy products
• Fatty, fried foods
• nuts and seeds
• red meat and pork
• whole grains and bread
• butter, mayo, margarine
Keeping a daily food log can help you identify certain foods that may affect you adversely. It is very important you keep track of everything including days and times. Even the serving sizes will affect how your body reacts to certain foods. You could have a small amount of sour cream on your potato and be fine, but put a few tablespoons on that potato, and all of a sudden you experience symptoms. So be diligent!
There is also some positive research that Vitamin D could be beneficial to sufferers of Crone’s disease. Supplementing with fish oil is one of the best ways to get your Vitamin D. Try adding it to your daily routine and see if symptoms don’t lessen or resolve themselves altogether. Omega-3′s have been in this same research which is why fish oil is a great natural supplement. Flaxseed oil is another great source of Omega-3′s. In addition to this, probiotics help keep a healthy array of beneficial bacteria in your GI, especially through times of a flare up or increased symptoms. As always, please consult your medical partitioner before beginning any supplementation program for your condition.