The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can worsen after eating certain foods, while other foods can help improve symptoms.
People with Crohn’s are subject to “flare-ups,” which are periods of inflammation where a person has diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramping when they eat. As a result, doctors may often recommend a person take different dietary approaches when they have a flare-up and when they do not.
The following article describes some dietary approaches for those with Crohn’s when they are going through a flare-up and for their typical daily diet.
Foods to avoid
During a flare-up, most doctors and dietitians will recommend avoiding high-fiber foods and foods that are known to stimulate the gut, such as spicy foods.
Beverages to avoid during a Crohn’s flare-up include:
- alcoholic drinks
- caffeinated drinks
- highly sweetened drinks, such as with sugar or corn syrup
Very sugary drinks can worsen diarrhea that a person commonly experiences during a flare-up.
Breads and starches
While many diet plans recommend whole grains, a flare-up diet usually involves a low-fiber approach. This means a person should avoid the following foods:
- brown rice
- cereals containing nuts, dried fruit, or seeds
- whole-grain breads, crackers, or pastas
- whole-wheat breads, crackers, or pastas
- wild rice
A person should avoid dairy products that may contain added sources of fiber. Examples can include:
- cheeses that contain nuts or seeds
- yogurts that contain fruit skins, such as whole blueberries, cherries, or strawberries
Eating other dairy foods in moderation can be helpful during a flare-up, by providing calcium and live active cultures.
Some fat sources may contain fiber or are naturally high in fiber. Examples of fats to avoid include:
- salad dressings with poppy seeds
Raw fruits and fruit juices with pulp are foods to avoid during a Crohn’s flare-up. Other examples include:
- dried fruits, such as raisins
- prune juice
While people should avoid raw fruits when they have a flare-up, they can eat bananas, melon, and apples with the skins removed.
|Read on: Crohn's disease diet: Foods to eat and avoid|