Foods that may help ease Crohn’s symptoms
The foods that you put into your body can have an impact on the severity of your Crohns symptoms. People with Crohn’s identify various foods as triggers and some foods that help ease symptoms.
However, both triggers and “power foods” are highly variable. What works for one person might not work for someone else, or might even make symptoms worse.
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease often develop gradually. Certain symptoms may also become worse over time. Although it’s possible, it’s rare for symptoms to develop suddenly and dramatically. The earliest symptoms of Crohn’s disease can include:
- abdominal cramps
- blood in your stool
- a fever
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- feeling as if your bowels aren’t empty after a bowel movement
- feeling a frequent need for bowel movements
It’s sometimes possible to mistake these symptoms for the symptoms of another condition, such as food poisoning, an upset stomach, or an allergy. You should see your doctor if any of these symptoms persist.
The symptoms may become more severe as the disease progresses. More troublesome symptoms may include:
- a perianal fistula, which causes pain and drainage near your anus
- ulcers that may occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus
- inflammation of the joints and skin
- shortness of breath or decreased ability to exercise due to anemia
Below are some foods that people with Crohn’s have reported benefits from. By eating one or more of these foods during a flare-up, you may be able to reduce symptoms and lead a more pain-free life.
You may want to skip the high-fiber potato skins, as they’re likely to increase inflammation, but the insides of potatoes can be great to eat during a Crohn’s flare-up.
Like bananas, potatoes provide a great source of potassium and can help your body maintain its balance of fluids while you’re battling a flare-up.
High-calorie liquid nutritional formulas, such as those produced by Ensure, can be great for use during a Crohn’s flare-up.
These shakes, which come in a variety of tasty flavors, are packed with the nutrients you may be missing by having to avoid certain foods that aggravate symptoms.
Liquid nutritional formulas can help boost your energy level and strengthen your immune system, which will help restore your body’s natural balance. If you’re trying to gain weight, these drinks can also help you regain any weight you may have lost.
It should be noted that Ensure contains dairy, which may not agree with some people living with Crohn’s disease.
If you have Crohn’s, you may find it helpful to avoid cereals that are high in fiber, especially whole wheat or whole grain cereals.
However, there are certain cereals with low amounts of fiber that will help you get your nutritional requirements. These include refined cereals, such as Cream of Wheat, and dry cereals such as Special K, Corn Flakes, and Rice Krispies.
Cheese can be a great way to put calcium back into your diet without drinking milk. However, it’s important to know that for some people with Crohn’s, dairy products can be hard to digest.
Certain cheeses have reduced amounts of lactose, including Swiss and cheddar. Greasy foods containing cheese, however, are best avoided in order to reduce the likelihood of diarrhea and gas symptoms.
For many people with Crohn’s, carrots can be a great vegetable for getting your fill of nutrients without aggravating symptoms.
During a Crohn’s flare-up, be sure to cook the carrots until they’re soft and tender, as cooked carrots aren’t only easy to digest, but they also contain antioxidants that may help with Crohn’s symptoms.
Fruits and vegetables
A diet containing plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you have fewer symptoms. If you find that raw fruits make your flare-ups worse, give applesauce and bananas a try. Both are good for you and can fulfill a craving for sweets.
Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, and herring may help with some of your Crohn’s symptoms. Certain types of oily fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the aggravation that causes the worst of your symptoms.
Live-culture yogurt can be a great food to eat if you have Crohn’s disease. The probiotics in this form of yogurt can help in aiding with the recovery of the intestine.
You may want to avoid yogurt if you find you have trouble digesting dairy proteins, as this can make Crohn’s-associated diarrhea and gas symptoms worse.
Low-fiber foods and more
If you’re looking for a way to decrease your Crohn’s symptoms through diet, look for low-fiber and soluble-fiber foods, which tend to be easier on the digestive system.
You may also want to take vitamin supplements during this time in order to ensure that you’re getting the nutrition you need to fight inflammation.
Consult with your healthcare provider about decisions regarding your diet or taking vitamins and supplements. You may be referred to a dietitian to help with planning out your meals.
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