People with Crohn's disease often experience a decrease in appetite, which can affect their ability to receive the daily nutrition needed for good health and healing. In addition, Crohn's disease is associated with diarrhea and poor absorption of necessary nutrients. No special diet has proved effective for preventing or treating Crohn's disease, but people with Crohn's disease should follow a nutritious diet and avoid any foods that seem to worsen symptoms.
To help control Crohn's disease:
- Eat small meals or snacks every 3 or 4 hours.
- Choose foods low in fiber (less than 2 grams) when experiencing symptoms.
- Drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration. Aim for at least 8 cups of fluid each day.
- Include whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables in your eating plan during periods when you don't have symptoms.
- Start new foods one at a time, in small amounts.
- Choose lactose-free products if you have lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance causes symptoms after drinking regular milk or eating foods made from milk. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, and bloating.
- Choose yogurt with live active cultures.
- Choose grain foods with less than 2 grams of fiber per serving.
- Choose canned fruit in juice or light syrup. Heavy syrup has lots of sugar, which may make diarrhea worse.
- Limit fats and oils to less than 8 teaspoons per day.
- Avoid drinking beverages with sugar or corn syrup that may make diarrhea worse for some people.
- Avoid sweet juices that may also make diarrhea worse.
Learn how the right nutrition can help you control your health condition. Ask your primary care physician to refer you to Goshen Hospital Nutrition Therapy.
For more information about nutrition therapy services offered at Goshen Hospital, call (574) 364-2679.