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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How might my diet affect Crohn’s disease?

    I am a 37 year old female and enjoy eating lots of sweets and dairy products (milk, ice cream, etc). Will my diet affect the symptoms of Crohn’s disease? Are there any particular foods I should avoid?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1

    Thanks

    Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    It depends on whether your in the “active” or “flare up” stage of the disease or in the remission stage. If in the “flare up” stage you should try a low fibre diet in the short term (avoid fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole-grains) and avoid any GI irritants (e.g. caffeine, high fat foods, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, & spicy food) until the flare up settles down.

    When in the remission stage you should aim to achieve a healthy balanced diet with moderate fibre as tolerated. Taking some probiotics (found in yoghurt) and fish oil may also help. Many patients with IBD may also have intolerances to food so a FODMAP diet may be introduced.

    As dietary treatment is very individual in people with Crohn's Disease, a dietitian is a vital member of your clinical team, if you would like some more personalised information and dietary advice, get in contact with your local Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) to find what works for you. You can find one near you by logging onto www.daa.asn.au

  • Anonymous

    I would serously look at chaniong your diet stop eating ice cream and food that contains sugar I know doctors and nutionalist say you need to eat a balanced diet but that is for people that can tolerate blance diets.  I would suggest you keep a food diary and write down every thing you eat and jot down symptoms.  you are the only one that will be ble to determine what you can eat and what you cannot eat.  I also suggest that you look at diets that are anti inflamtory and also paelo or the special Carb Diet, or GAPS diet.  good luck I have heard lots of people that follow this way of eating found that it improves their IBD. 

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    From a nutritional view the GAPS diet promotes the consumption of “unhealthy fats” in particular saturated fat that is found on meat, in coconut oil and butter. Research proves that the consumption of these foods can lead to cardiovascular disease and heart disease. Also a high fat diet can potentially be an irritant to the gastrointestinal system further exacerbating IBD symptoms.

    Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) have over 4 years tertiary education and knowledge in food, nutrition and nutritional biochemistry. They are the “experts” when it comes to dietary advice and guidance and as I said earlier, they are vital to your clinical team. Consulting an APD will help you to understand what food choices work for you (as an individual).

  • Anonymous

    I am not saying APDs are not knowledeable they are taught to design diets around the australian dietary standard of eating which covers grains etc.,.  I was a dedicated multigrain bread, museli, grains and seed eater but my colitis symptoms just kept getting worse and when I was diagnosed with UC and insulin resisitance  I was referred to a dietition who still planed a diet around multigrain bread, museli, grains, pototoes, rice, etc., and yes this diet made my UC worse,and my insulin resisitance didn't get any better either.   I was then referred to a dietition to do an elemination diet which consisted of rice, pototes, sugar pears and canola oil, but that really didin't help either, as an elimination diet still allows you to eat unhealthy sugar which is one thing amongst other foods that I believe are making our society sick  I didin't at the time connect diet with my symptoms but when I look back at my diet I am sure my  diet is what is contributing to my autoimmune diseases. 

    I am now looking and considering to do the Paelo diet, as I cannot understand how someone can say Paelo diet etc., is not healthy when this diet is promoting eating lean meats/poultry, vegetables and salads and not eating processed food, which todays diet accepts. 

  • Anonymous

    The problem is unless you find a professional that specialises in Crohns or UC you will get incorrect advice. I was referred to a stomach disorder clinic many years ago which put me onto a low GI diet which is totally incorrect for Crohns.  

    I finally found a naturopath last year that specialises in Crohns and other gastric disorders. She taught me what the disease is doing to my body and what foods to avoid.  Wheat, grains, seeds, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, sugar and fatty foods like fried chicken are no good for Crohns and UC. Keep to organic or gluten free but keep in mind a lot of gluten free products are high in sodium and sugar.  I try to cook from scratch and keep to wholesome foods.

    I also maintain my immune system with concentrated fish oil, high strength probiotics and other naturopath supplements for the gut. Crohns depletes the body of Vitamins B and D and iron quite significantly when it flares up.

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    Many of the foods you have just mentioned you avoid were in my original post (please read first response to the question).

  • Anonymous

    thanks Chris I know I am just tired of being sick with my UC so I didn't realise how I responded sorry about that and lately the thought of food is making me feel ill and having problems eating and can't stomach food at the moment I am only tolerating ensure at present.  I hate this disease I just want to be well. 

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    Not a problem, I can tell it's very frustrating for you, and it would be for anyone else in your position. Best advice I can give you is to go see a health professional(s) who specialise in Crohns Disease and UC. Best of luck

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