There is no particular scientifically proven diet for a Crones patient. There are many patients who do not require any Crone’s diet restrictions because they seem to tolerate all types of foods. However in many patients it is also observed that during a flare-up of Crohn’s disease or when the disease is active, certain food items trigger the Crones symptoms, such as abdominal cramps and inflammation of the intestine. Moreover it can initiate other symptoms like abdominal swelling, gas and even diarrhea.
Food that may trigger or even aggravate Crohn’s disease symptoms vary from person to person. So in order to keep the symptoms under control, it is essential to figure out which particular foods are harmful for an individual Crohn’s patient and then to construct a diet plan accordingly.
Possible foods that may trigger Crohn’s disease symptoms or flare-ups are as follows:
- Alcohol (such as beer, wine and whiskey): Alcohol can increase inflammation of the bowel.
- Oils, butter, mayonnaise, margarine
- Beverages (coffee and tea): Intake of beverages can cause increased inflammation and to some extent gas and can even make diarrhea worse.
- Carbonated drinks: These drinks can cause gas production in the stomach.
- Corn husks, whole grains and bran
- Dairy products (if lactose intolerant) like milk, cake, pudding: Lactose intolerance is common in Crohn’s patients and intake of lactose can result in distressing Crohn’s disease symptoms like bowel pain, gas, cramps and diarrhea.
- Fatty foods (fried foods or fast foods): Crohn’s patients are often unable to absorb fat through their intestine and this increases fat content in the stool which worsens diarrhea.
- High fiber containing foods: During a flare up or when Crohn’s disease symptoms are active high fiber food should be avoided as much as possible. Fibrous diet increases the secretion and contraction of intestine (both small and large) and thus painful abdominal spasms (contractions) can occur in Crohn’s patients.
- Gas-producing foods: cabbage-family vegetables (like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels), dried peas, beans and lentils, onions and chives should be avoided as these cause gas in the stomach and intestines.
- Nuts and seeds (peanut butter, other nut butters)
- Raw fruits and vegetables: Not all vegetables and fruits should be avoided rather only those that aggravate or initiate Crohn’s disease symptoms should be restricted. For Crohn’s patients, whose bowel have become very narrow due to inflammation, fruits and vegetables should be absolutely avoided.
- Red meat and pork
- Spicy foods: Spicy foods tend to aggravate inflammation and can even cause heartburn.
Crohn’s diet during a flare-up and activated stage of Crohn’s disease in quite different that when the patient is going through remission (cure) or an inactive stage of Crohns.