Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition that affects the digestive system causing symptoms like abdominal pain, change in bowel pattern, lethargy and weight loss. If you live with Crohn’s, paying special attention to what you eat can help you to understand which foods might help your symptoms and the ones that may aggravate the condition.
One of our top gastroenterologists Dr Ganesh Sivaji is an expert in treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and here he explains how to figure out which certain foods may affect your gut and his top tips on managing Crohn’s disease.
Is there a specific diet plan for people with Crohn's disease?
When the disease is under control, it is important to maintain a well balanced and healthy diet. When the disease is flaring up, it is important to give the digestive system some rest. It is vital that the diet is altered during these episodes.
Which foods should be avoided?
When the disease is under control, you can enjoy a normal diet although there is some evidence that processed foods and salt-rich foods may have a role in triggering a flare-up. It is important to listen to your gut and keep a record of trigger foods and avoid them.
When your disease is flaring up, you can provide some rest by following a low fibre diet, namely white bread, white pasta, avoiding nuts and seeds and peeling the skin off fruits and vegetables etc.
Why is keeping a daily food diary important?
A food diary will help you identify trigger foods and reduce the risk of flare-ups.
Are liquid diets good for people with Crohn's disease?
Liquids are good to maintain regular bowel habits. A liquid only diet (an Elemental diet with a mixture of carbohydrates, protein and fat) is used in acute Crohn’s disease occurring in children, with good benefit. As always, a balanced diet is the best when your Crohn’s is under control.
What tips can you recommend?
I recommend the following four points:
- Maintain a healthy balanced diet at all times.
- Maintain a food diary and avoid trigger foods.
- When unwell, give your gut a rest by having a low fibre diet.
- Be aware and stay healthy.
Book an appointment with Dr Sivaji now via his Top Doctor’s profile here for his expert medical opinion in your case.