Dietary Recommendations for Crohn’s Disease
What is Crohn’s disease (CD)?
It is one of 2 inflammatory bowel diseases.
The other 1 is known as chronic ulcerative colitis (CUC).
The tissues involved:
Crohn’s Disease can occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus but occurs mainly in the terminal ileum & ascending colon.
However, it can only involve the following areas:
- stomach & duodenum – gastroduodenal CD
- Jejenum & ileum – jejunoileitis
- Colon only – Crohns colitis
- Ileum only – ileitis
Symptoms of CD:
The most common symptoms are:
- acute abdominal pain
Diet to be used when there is no inflammation:
A high soluble fibre diet is recommended.
Foods high in soluble fibre are:
- Oats & oat bran
- Foods containing bran such as:
- brown bread, all bran flakes & whole wheat flours.
- Eat legumes without skins & pips such as:
- split peas, split lentils & soya.
- Eat fruit without skins, pips & seeds.
Diet to be used during inflammation:
Avoid the following foods:
- Peas, brinjals, berries or figs as the skins are very difficult to remove.
- Raw dried fruit.
- All seeds including sunflower and sesame seeds.
- Nuts & crunchy peanut butter or any food with nuts in it.
- Legumes with husks such as baked beans, dried beans, dried peas & lentils.
- Green mealies, samp, sweetcorn & bean sprouts.
- Coconut (especially in cakes & biscuits).
- Crushed wheat & whole wheat kernels.
- Highly spiced foods & food with pepper.
- Limit caffeine, alcohol & sorbitol (a type of sweetener).
- Limit gas-producing foods such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts,
- onions & chives, peppers & carbonated drinks (coke, sprite).
Other general guidelines include:
By Melissa Pyle, BSc. in Dietetics, Registered Dietician (SA)
- Drink lots of fluid (8 glasses / 2 litres per day) to keep body hydrated & prevent constipation.
- Avoid lactose-containing foods such as dairy if you have lactose intolerance.
- Follow a low fat diet as meals high in fat may cause discomfort.
- Avoid smoked foods as they may irritate the stomach (the intestines).
- Eat small frequent meals during the day i.e 3 small meals plus 3 small snacks.
- Avoid very hot or very cold foods.
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