Dining Out With Crohn’s Disease

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Eating Out with Crohn’s Disease in Beverly Hills

For Los Angeles and Beverly Hills residents with Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, every day can be a challenge.  Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can rob you of simple pleasures like enjoying your favorite restaurant. If you’re afraid of sparking your symptoms, you may be understandably wary of heading to a restaurant.  However, eating out is something we all do. Whether for a friend’s birthday party or a lunchtime business meeting, you’ll likely find yourself behind a menu sometime soon.

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When you do, it will help immensely to have strategies in place that minimize your risk of experiencing symptoms.  A proctologist, or colon and rectal surgeon can help you with your diet.  The surgeons of Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates are board certified and knowledgeable about all aspects of IBD.   In the meantime, those with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can make it easier to enjoy a meal on the town by:

Learning Triggers

Every sufferer of inflammatory bowel disease has his or her own list of problem foods and knowing your own is the first step in avoiding dietary discomfort. Some experience cramping after eating high-fiber foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds and raw fruits and vegetables; others merely need to avoid common IBD triggers like fatty foods, spicy foods, dairy products, caffeine and alcohol. Pay close attention to which foods cause you the biggest problems and keep your personal triggers in mind.

Picking the Place

Once you know your triggers, they can be a big help in choosing the right restaurant. Many restaurants now offer their full menus online, making it easy to peruse the selections ahead of time and find an entrée that won’t aggravate your symptoms.

Some restaurants are inherently better choices for sufferers of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Mexican food and Indian food, as well as some other ethnic options, offer many spicy entrees that may not be prudent choices. Because steakhouses tend to focus on fatty red meat, they may also be best avoided.

Instead, you may want to opt for a restaurant where you can find salmon, tuna or other cold water fish, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids known for their anti-inflammatory effects. These can be healthy options if they are poached, broiled or steamed—just be sure to avoid anything  fried. Once you’ve found a restaurant that works well, you can revisit it knowing that you’ll be able to eat there safely.

Keeping the Atmosphere Stress-Free

Even if you choose the perfect restaurant, going at peak lunch or dinner hours can expose you to a stressful atmosphere that is not conducive to your health with IBD. Try to find restaurants with relaxing environments that allow you to take your time and enjoy the meal at your leisure. You may also feel more secure if you choose a table near the restroom.

Los AngelesColon and Rectal Surgical Associates

Eating out can be difficult for those with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease in Beverly Hills or Los Angeles, but it does not have to be a source of discomfort or worry. For more tips on managing your diet with IBD, speak with your colorectal specialist.

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