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Crohn’s Disease Print E-mail



Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract. Symptoms include abdominal pain and diarrhoea, sometimes bloody, and weight loss. Patients tend to suffer from malnourishment from the inflammation in the intestine or from dietary changes. It is important for them to adjust their diets accordingly.


The inflammation can scar and thicken the intestine’s wall. This obstructs the passage of food and causes poor nutrition. Patients may also experience appetite loss.

If the small intestine is inflamed or there a narrowing of the bowel, eating may cause painful cramps. To alleviate this, avoid high fibre foods. Compensate for difficulties in absorbing nutrients from food through vitamin and mineral supplements.

Many patients report that certain foods worsen their condition. These most often include grains (wheat, oats, barley, rye and maize), yeast, dairy, nuts, raw fruit, shellfish and pickles.

It is recommended that patients eliminate particular foods, one at a time, for a few weeks, and assess if there is any improvement. They should avoid eliminating too many essential foods.

Crohn’s disease can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which can be alleviated by the matching foods listed hereunder:

  • Folate found in liver, leafy green vegetables and pulses.
  • Thiamine (B1) found in potatoes, offal, seeds and cereals.
  • Riboflavin (B2) found in eggs, meat, poultry, fish, dairy, yeast extract and fortified breakfast cereals.
  • Vitamin B6 found in whole wheat bread, nuts and soya beans.
  • Vitamin B12 found in lean meat, fish, milk and fortified breakfast cereals.
  • Vitamin C found in fresh fruit and vegetables, especially blackcurrants and citrus.
  • Vitamin D found in fish such as herring, salmon and sardines.
  • Vitamin K found in green vegetables, liver and tomatoes.
  • Calcium found in dairy, sardines and green leafy vegetables.
  • Iron found in offal, oily fish and dark green vegetables.
  • Magnesium found in wholegrain cereals, seeds and nuts.
  • Selenium found in wholegrain cereals, liver and fish.
  • Zinc found in seafood, beef, dairy and chicken.
There are no definite known causes or cures for Crohn’s Disease. However, a balanced nutritious diet and avoiding foods that aggravate the condition can lessen the negative effects. It should be regularly monitored for it can develop into cancer.


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