Crohn’s disease – 5 foods to avoid

Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. It can lead to swelling and inflammation of the tissue in the digestive tract. It also causes symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea, exhaustion, and weakness. Although Crohn’s disease commonly affects the small intestine, it can affect different areas of the tract in many individuals. One of the ways to manage this bowel disease is by avoiding certain foods.

Whole grains
If you have conditions such as Crohn’s that can inflame your digestive tract, avoiding foods rich in fiber is best. That is because high levels of fiber can lead to accumulation in the digestive tract and cause diarrhea or even abdominal pain. This irritation of the digestive tract can also cause a flare-up and other symptoms related to Crohn’s disease. Foods that contain whole grains and should be avoided include whole wheat bread, pasta, popcorn, bran, rye and rye products, and even barley.

Beans
Beans are nutritionally dense foods. They have high protein content and contain other essential nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. But, beans also tend to cause gas which can lead to discomfort during a Crohn’s flare-up. Beans are also high in fiber content, which, as we have discussed, can affect the functions of the digestive tract. Individuals with Crohn’s disease can manage their consumption of beans when they are feeling alright and healthy. But, if they are experiencing a flare-up, they should avoid this particular legume.

Certain fruits and vegetables
Much like beans, fruits and vegetables are also rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and more. But, individuals with Crohn’s need to manage their intake of these vital foods. This is because most fruits and vegetables have a lot of insoluble fibers. They can cause stomach pain and even lead to issues with the digestive tract. Note that you do not have to avoid fruits and vegetables completely. Certain fruits and veggies can do more harm than good and are especially troublesome for those with Crohn’s disease. These include apples, cherries, peaches, plums, cauliflowers, and broccoli. Instead, you can opt for foods such as spinach and carrots.

Meat
Meat is a very healthy choice for those with Crohn’s as they are a rich source of protein. But, some meats can also have high-fat content and preservatives. Beef or lamb, sausages, and even dark meat poultry products should be avoided as they can lead to flare-ups and worsen the symptoms of Crohn’s.

Dairy
Another food that should not be included in your meals is dairy and dairy products. This is because individuals who usually suffer from digestive diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome/disease or Crohn’s also tend to have digestive sensitivities such as lactose intolerance. Lactose is a type of sugar that is found in milk and other dairy products. For people who are lactose intolerant, it can lead to the development of gas, diarrhea, and even abdominal pain and discomfort—not forgetting that dairy and dairy products such as butter and cheese can be high in fats which can also lead to flare-ups. This is why avoiding milk, butter, cream, margarine, and full-fat dairy products is best. If you want to include dairy as part of your meals, you can instead opt for low-fat dairy and manage your intake appropriately.

Managing Crohn’s disease
Note that Crohn’s disease does not have a definitive cure and cannot be managed simply by avoiding certain foods. However, some treatments can help manage the symptoms and keep the condition at bay. The goal of treatment with Crohn’s is to reduce the inflammation in the digestive tract, which helps reduce the signs and symptoms of this condition. One common treatment option for Crohn’s is an oral treatment. This includes corticosteroids and oral 5-aminosalicylates. You can also opt for immune system suppressing treatment that prevents the immune system from causing inflammation. Individuals may also be prescribed pain relief and anti-diarrheal treatments to manage the symptoms.

Studies have found that irritable bowel diseases like Crohn’s can increase the risk of certain cancers. Therefore, patients must get regular screenings to diagnose complications early. If someone with Crohn’s disease develops prostate cancer, doctors may recommend treatments like XTANDI to manage the symptoms. Its side effects include headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, and joint pain. The recommended dosing of XTANDI is 160 mg, administered once daily.