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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can someone provide diet advice for my Crohn's condition?

    Fat intolerant due to bowel resection for Crohns, diet advice needed.

    Have suffered with Crohns for approx. 40 years.
    Had many ops. the last resulted in my present condition, resulting in excessive loss of weight
    am now only 43kg. Iam desperate to find a diet that I can tolerate and improve my overall condition.
    I am 78yrs. old.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Kathy Howson

    HealthShare Member

    Suggest you see a nutritionalist - they are usually in the large public hospitals, and you should be able to get a referral from your Gastroenterologist or GP. I have a similar problem after many surgeries and after seeing a nutritionalist I was put on panceatic enzymes which has helped but I also stay away from fatty foods.

  • Dorothy

    HealthShare Member

    Have tried the solution suggested with a little success, however my biggest problem seems to be that I having difficulty in absorbing the so called fat free products.Perhaps I am expecting too much having  lost so much bowel, could my age factor be abig disadvantage? 

  • Kathy Howson

    HealthShare Member

    The other suggestions would be talk with your Gastroenterologist about it and maybe try physallum husks - a soluble fibre available in the health food section of supermarkets. It might help absorb more and slow things down a bit so you absorb more nutrients. I find it just firms up things for me and doesn't send me to the loo more like normal fibre - I put it on porridge or on my cereal.

    The other alternative is Ensure from Chemist if you want to gain a bit of weight.

    You are never expecting too much with regard to our disease and I hope to get to 78 and want to remain healthy. I still have a few years to catch up but had CD for over 30 years.

  • Dorothy

    HealthShare Member

    Thanks for new suggestions ,having tried the Ensure path with no luck .
    Will look put for Physallem husks and mention it to my  Doctor.I appreciate your interest
    and suggestions as it is easy to fall into a routine and belief that there is no solution.

  • Kathy Howson

    HealthShare Member

    Over the years I have found if something doesn't work I just look for something else - and the internet has been a great help in finding other things to try.

  • 2


    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

    I would strongly recommend you seek the advice of an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). There should be an APD at the hospital where you had your operation from that you may be able to contact. If not, you can find and APD by logging onto the Dietitian Association of Australia's website ( and click on the “find an Accredited Practising Dietitian” tab in the top right of the screen.

    I would suggest avoiding using the internet as a source of information as it can be very unreliable. Speaking to your gastroenterologist or APD is a much better option as they are the “experts” in their fields.

  • Kathy Howson

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Chris, I had already suggested contact with nutritionalist/dietician. The problem we sometimes have with Inflammatory Bowel Disease is we don't all live near major hospitals and it can take months to get appointments with dieticians & other health professionals, then sometimes hours or days of travel to get there. This doesn't include all the stress and anxiety of trying to travel with long term diarrhoea, the high risk of having an ‘accident’ which is embarassing and more anxiety.

    I agree that the internet is not always a great place to seek advice however for people with IBD sometimes they need some support or ideas straight away - where I have found the most benefit with online support groups. I realise this forum is mostly run by professionals but ‘professionals’ also need to remember there may also be barriers to the use of professionals and maybe the person just wants some everyday ideas and support from those who live with the disease.

    PS I am a health professional but my expertise is not IBD - only had my disease for many years and still live every day to the full with it.

  • Thank you for your post regarding weight loss and Crohns disease.
    Inflammatory bowel disease affects people in different ways and therefore treatment needs to be individualised. Knowledge of any bowel resection or stage of disease ( remission or acute phase) medication being used are important to know, to be able to give the correct medical and nutritional advice.
    There are many good reasons why the psyllium husk and Ensure may not work for you and that is why providing nutritional information in this forum in some situations is not going to be that helpful unless more information is known.
    I agree that support within the community is not always accessible depending on location, state and territory and varying community allied and specialist health support available.
    You need to be in contact with your GP who should be able to direct you to the appropriate healthcare professionals close to where you live. Alternatively you have indicated that your last operation has left you in this state. I would work with your GP and get in touch with the hospital and ring the dietitian where you had this operation ( who knows about your medical information) and let them know things are not working well for you . They should be able to help you by directing you to help closer to where you live,recommend appropriate supplements for your situation and how to get these funded.

  • 1


    Mel Haynes


    Chef, Scientist and Nutritionist. I specialise culinary nutrition and disease prevention with plant based diets. View Profile

    As a nutritionist I could suggest some dietary alternatives that have been proven to assist with reducing and preventing Crohn's flare ups.  Whist fibre is always an ongoing issue, especially with severe and/or chronic flare ups there is little disgussion on the impact of meat.

    This small but very postiive study showed a semi vegetarian diet maintained remission in 92% of patients compared to the control group who had a relapse rate of 63% after two years. (1)

    You can read the diet used in the link below to see if that helps you.

    Turmeric has been shown to effectively and safely treat IBD / UC & CD (2)

    2 Kiwifruit per day (3)

    Avoid Titanium Dioxide (whitening nanoparticles found in hard chewing gum coating) (4)

    Good luck, hopefully some of these suggestions can help.

    (3) Hammerle CW, Surawicz CM. Updates on treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. World J Gastroenterol. 2008 May 7; 14(17):2639-49.

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