It should be understood that Crohn’s Disease can not be cured or treated with nutritional change. Food intake or allergies also do not cause Crohn’s Disease. However, after the disease is present, certain foods may aggravate the effects of Crohn’s and may be eliminated to reduce side effects.
There is no special diet Crohn’s sufferers should follow. For the most part, you should monitor your diet and the results of such on your body. One way of doing this is by utilizing a food diary in which you log such information. This way, you can keep track of any negative effects certain foods may have. Furthermore, the part of your intestine that is affected by Crohn’s may determine how your body reacts to certain foods and these results may change as time goes by.
Certain diets are being advertised as being effective in treating Crohn’s disease, such as “The Specific Carbohydrate Diet”. However, diets that make such claims are only supported by testimonials and have no scientific support. This should be considered in the validity of the diet. However, certain claims of the diet may be accurate, such as reducing gas and bloating by eliminating hard to digest foods. It should be understood that while certain side effects of the disease may be reduced, it does not actually lessen inflammation or cure the disease.
However, there are certain factors that should be kept in mind in regards to Crohn’s Disease and nutrition. One of which is malnutrition. Due to inadequate food intake, poor absorption, and a combination of diarrhea and vomiting, sufferers often do not have proper nutrient levels in their body. Therefore, special care should be taken to either take supplements or to maintain a proper diet. Also, dehydration is a very serious concern. Excessive diarrhea, as a result of the emptying of the intestines and inadequate absorption of liquids in the large intestines, may lead to dehydration which, in turn, can cause dysfunction of the kidneys or excessive weakness.
A possible treatment to aid in proper vitamin and mineral intake, nutritional support may be utilized. This is the use of a feeding tube through the stomach or small bowel to assure adequate nutrition.
New research is being done in the area of nutritional therapy. The use of fish or flaxseed oils has been shown to decrease inflammation in the digestive tract. The use of probiotics, or good bacteria, has also shown promise in restoring balance to the intestine.