Patients with Crohn’s disease in Los Angeles and elsewhere can frequently improve their symptoms with a healthy eating plan. One of the first steps in establishing a successful plan is consulting with a nutritionist who has expertise with this disease. Although there is no known cure for this chronic inflammatory bowel disease, each person may have a set of trigger foods that can make the disease worse. Likewise, there are foods that might help alleviate the pain and problems.
The nutritionist will suggest keeping a food diary where you enter every food and drink, noting how it affects your symptoms. Eating smaller, more frequent meals helps ease digestion. In your food diary, note portion size, cooking method and the timing of meals. Remember to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of pure water or diluted fruit juices. During serious flair-ups, a balanced liquid diet might help.
Introducing too many new foods at once can be a disaster. Try one new food at a time, carefully monitoring any reactions in your food diary. Foods that are high in fat are difficult to digest, especially with bowel problems. Stay away from fatty meats, fried foods and heavy cream sauces. Too much fiber may also cause flair-ups. The indigestible roughage in some fruits, vegetables and grains can be avoided by choosing refined grains and peeling or cooking produce.
If you have frequent diarrhea, be aware that lost electrolytes need to be replenished. Eat bananas, peeled potatoes and citrus fruits for their potassium. Add a little extra salt to foods to replenish lost sodium. Take a daily multivitamin to be sure that you are getting adequate nutrition. Experiment with quality protein sources. Sometimes the problem is eating too much beef, cheese or beans. Smaller portions might be handled perfectly well.