Patient Comments: Crohn's Disease - Diet

Question:

What diet changes did you have to make, or continue to make to control the symptoms of your Crohn's disease? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Mics, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: September 21

I had big plantar warts for 2 or 3 years a few years back. The underarm and foot deodorant powder I used, Milcu (potash alum, hydrated magnesium silicate) helped remove the wart. I wasn't sure if it was the reason at first but when my sister, who got infected with warts used it too, her warts disappeared as well. It hasn't returned for both of us since. It took a few months to disappear.

Comment from: Hot Wheels, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 21

My low potassium was just temporary, but I am subject to having hypokalemia again. I had taken an extremely long, hundred plus mile bike ride in very hot Texas summer weather, about 108 degrees that day. I did take plenty of water and a bottle of sport drink, but it wasn't enough to keep my electrolytes up. I was sweating like mad, so I drank water to keep hydrated. However, I was losing minerals (including potassium) through my sweat, and water alone wasn't enough to replenish all of my losses. The sport drink was also pretty weak in electrolytes, under those conditions. When I got home, I drank more water and showered to cool down, then I felt okay. However, I then went to a friend's house for dinner. I should have had a snack at home first. Well, we were all sitting around chatting at the table when I began to feel weird. It was hot in that house, as they don't have central AC. I felt myself drifting off, feeling extremely weak and tired, and I got up to go lie down in the spare room and I dropped like a rock and hit the floor. What was odd was that I could still hear what was going on, I could hear my friends calling my name and trying to revive me but I just could not move or answer them. Slowly I woke up, still on the floor. Then they got me to the cool room, stripped my shorts and tunic off, and packed my legs and arms in wet towels and brought some low-salt V8, and within minutes I felt just fine. Then I had some baked potatoes and guacamole and beans for a snack, all great potassium sources.

Comment from: nutrients, Female (Patient) Published: December 15

Stay away from medications and drugs and go for the natural food approach for Crohn's disease. Foods, the right ones will heal you. I have been having gut issues for a while, but sticking to fruits and vegetables and staying away from drugs, pain killers too, has helped my gut heal. Moderation of the pain killers is required, try some pain tolerance once in a while, your body is not getting better from all the pain killers. Take only when you really need them.

Comment from: tooolddon, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 28

I was not diagnosed with Crohn's until 50 years old. I now take mesalamine 800 mg every morning with half of an imodium tablet and the results have been good. The main thing I want all of you to realize is that Crohn's is an immune system reaction caused by inflammation in your digestive track caused by things you're eating. My best results have been cutting out red meat, dairy, and spicy, seedy, raw, and high carbohydrate sugary things like fruit juice. I encourage you to keep a notebook and take it when you go to the store. If you're young, ask your parent/s not to keep items you've nixed in the house, to lessen the temptation. The chance that you can keep your Crohn's under control with only diet is very real.

Comment from: Emma, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 08

After over 40 years of Crohn's disease and going through the daily 'should I go or not' because of fear of a flare up, I changed my diet to eliminate sugar (honey excepted), cut back of coffee and went on a low fiber diet along with vitamins/minerals and Ferrex along with Imuran and probiotics. Today, after 2 months on that regime I have one or 2 mostly normal bowel movements per day and feel I can go and do anything anytime of the day.

Comment from: Hope to help, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 17

I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 1999 and was seriously ill for 3 years. Eventually, by luck and circumstance I discovered that my symptoms were triggered by yeast. I now avoid all yeast, yeast extract (in a lot of processed foods), mushrooms, etc., and regularly eating yoghurt which helps kill yeast. I have now been medication free and kept my condition under control for 10 years. I am not saying that all Crohn's is caused by yeast, but I do wonder if a lot of cases are caused by food intolerance. Try avoiding yeast, if this works a bit try eating yoghurt to see if it helps more. If it doesn't work, try experimenting with different exclusion diets. I know the pain and embarrassment this condition causes and hope that this may help someone.

Comment from: Tregaron, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 19

I suppose I got off pretty lightly. I was diagnosed with Crohn's when I was 15, having lost about 50% of my body weight in about 3 months. I was off school for a further 3 months. I used to get terrible stabbing pains just below the ribs on the right hand side. I still do. Breathing exercises help with this. I haven't had a normal stool since then, but rarely have diarrhea. I"m just regular, twice a day. I"ve not let it rule my life at all, I have a pretty stressful job as a civil engineer, I travel a lot, and up until my 40th birthday I was playing rugby in the national 2nd division. At 1.87 m I weighed 100kg (that's 6"2" and 220 lbs). I avoid fats, but everything else is OK. I can't eat big portions, so little and often. I have been prescribed steroids, but to be honest, I find the side effects (especially depression) worse than the symptoms, especially with my kids around.

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Comment from: just_me, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 16

I was diagnosed with Crohn's 18 years ago. I have had one bowel resection surgery (removed 18 inches of small intestine, 12 inches of my large). I have received every treatment under the sun including extensive medications including prednisone, Imuran, Entocort, Remicade, Humira and Cimzia. The side effects from all of these medications and others, have taken their toll and my body, simply stated, has begun to rebel/fight back. Approximately 6 months ago, I made a couple of back to back trips to the emergency room with severe upper abdominal pain along with significant weight loss in a short window of time. Initially I was told it was unconfirmed celiac disease and quickly switched to a gluten-free liquid diet. After 3 weeks, multiple tests including biopsies and blood work, we came to the conclusion it was not celiac disease but pancreatitis, most likely caused by long-term Imuran treatment. I had begun seeing some improvement from my diet so continued with the gluten-free and slowly introducing solids. Throughout this long endeavor I have been able to wean off all medications for Crohn's and shift to a daily life of no abdominal pain, no joint pain and the majority of my days feeling better than ever, all as a result of a strict gluten-free diet. In speaking with my doctor in a follow up visit recently, I was told 3 other Crohn's patients have had similar results by going gluten-free. I just wish someone had suggested this 18 years ago!

Comment from: lovely, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 07

After a year in consistent pain that had resulted in bed rest due to the lack of nutrients in my body and blinding attacks for no reason, my fiancée tracked down a specialist in Germany who I owe my functioning life to now. No normal crohn diets worked and no matter what I ate or didn't eat, I was always in pain. This doctor however told me for 3 weeks just eat anything that's nutrients are absorbed in the stomach and avoid any that get absorbed in the small intestine and colon, drink 12 glasses of water (tea was included) every day and never have an empty stomach. I had to be consistently eating every hour and a half. Most of the foods I could eat were high protein foods (the protein was absorbed in my stomach and therefore bypassed my small intestine, allowing it to calm) I ate Greek yogurt, protein shakes, meal replacements, lean cut thin sliced chicken and turkey, I could eat vegetables with no skin, cooked or raw. What I couldn't eat was grains, most fruits and nuts, which after the year I was having, I would have given up anything. It has been a month now and I have slowly added other foods to my diet, now being able to determine what actually causes the pain and what was just because the inflammation was so horrible it hurt for everything. It started to improve after only three days and everyone could tell.

Comment from: Chalet84, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

I find that stress can bring on an attack. I have to limit drinking. Margaritas and Kahlua will bother me if I drink more than once a week. Moderation is key. Diet and exercise are also key. Spicy food will also cause trouble. I also have to avoid fried foods. I had my gallbladder removed, too. I have had Crohn's disease for 25 years. I have had constipation, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, aching joints, stomach aches, and sore eyes. I have a deficiency of vitamins D, B12, and B6.

Comment from: Golfer, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

I am 16 and I've been diagnosed with Crohn's since November of last year. Because of my disease I've had very severe weight loss. My GI told me to eat every couple hours and eat food that was high in protein and fiber but while low in fat. I avoid a high amount of fried food and spicy food too. I can handle very minor amounts of milk and dairy. I find that veggies and fruit always sit with me well, along with most cereals. Turkey and chicken are my main meats now but I occasionally eat beef and pork. It all just depends on how touchy my stomach is that day.

Comment from: Kendra, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: December 19

Today I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease during my colonoscopy. I am 15 and I have been having diarrhea, stomach cramps, trouble eating, slight loss of weight, waking up in the middle of the night to "go", and a decreased appetite for the past year. We went in to get it checked out last December at my check-up and they drew blood and got stool samples. All of the tests didn't show anything. They told me to try a certain medication for a while and see if it works. The medication didn't work so we came back and I was referred to a GI doctor. I had to wait 3 months until the doctor had an open clinic. When I went to the clinic the GI doctor observed me and said that everything seemed mostly normal, other than diarrhea of course. He gave us a plan to try. He told me to try a lactose free diet, which didn't work. Then he had me try a medication to relax my bowels before eating , this didn't help either . The next option was to have a colonoscopy. In the hopes of getting more answers we scheduled a colonoscopy. After finding out I had Crohn's disease, I didn't know what to think. I worry a lot about what could happen when I get older. I am very active in volleyball and I play year round. It has affected me in the past volleyball season because I always had to go. I really hope it doesn't get worse.

Comment from: Gramma2nine, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 07

After being hospitilized for very low iron, I received 4 units of blood, an endascope and a colonascopy. I also had a pill cam. I was told I had Crohn's Disease and small ulcers at the bottom of my small intestine. I have explosive bowel movements or sometimes just soft bowel movements. It is nothing for me to go 5-6 times a day. I cannot remember when I have had a solid bowel movement. I do not have any pain and I have not lost any weight (if anything I am about 50 lbs. overweight.) I am also a diabetic. I have been taking Budesonide and Balsalazide since August. I see no change in my condition. I have no idea what to eat because one day after eating an apple I wonn't have as many bowel movements and then another day I will eat an apple and it is back to the explosive bowel movements. I am very confused.

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Comment from: Sooty, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 20

I've had Crohn's for 14 years and as far as diet goes, I listen to my gastroenterologist who told me to eat what I want. That includes chocolate, fried foods, coffee, high fibre foods, low fibre foods, beer and anything else that makes me happy. I haven't had a flare up for 10 years and I believe my happy diet has contributed to this. Hope this helps and good luck

Comment from: Barbi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

I'm 45 and have had Crohn's for decades, but only recently was diagnosed. Over this past year I have been keeping a food diary. I noticed, I feel better when I eat burgers and fries, fish sticks, chili and stuff you wouldn't think would help it. Then when I start adding fruits and veggies, grilled meats without fat, milk products and my Crohn's flairs back up again. It gets so bad, I can't even leave home for days. It's the worst pain in the world. I think it really depends on the person as far as what foods you can tolerate. Find out by tracking everything you eat and how you feel for a few months. You will figure out what works best for you. Good luck.

Comment from: Wylljames, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 14

Initially, I was instructed to avoid high-fiber foods; however, over the years, I noted that each remission left me with irregular bowel function (alternating between constipation and diarrhea), which I found was helped by a moderate increase in fiber intake. This diet change appeared to help rectify both problems. At the onset of each exacerbation, I would revert to a low-fiber diet to help my Crohn's disease.

Comment from: AMysteryOne, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 11

Crohn's Disease is very difficult for me since I have not had many of the pain symptoms that others seem to have. As far as my diet goes, I never eat head lettuce, ever, because it's difficult to digest and has no nutritional value and gives me diarrhea. Also, chocolate is something I can eat only a small piece but many small pieces are hard on me. I always wear a pad since I never know when it will strike. This is one nasty ailment but now it is being controlled by Asacol but I still must be careful.

Comment from: scuba diver 1, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 28

I was in Mexico and had several salads. I came home and a week later I was having pain on the right lower abdomen that radiated to the back. Long story short, I ended up vomiting one night for hours and went to the emergency room where they did a CT that showed the thickening in the wall of the intestine saying it may be associated with Crohn's disease, and they put me on antibiotics for anthrax and one for killing parasites.

Comment from: ravensdodance, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 30

I have had Crohns all my life. I am now 60, was diagnosed when I was 38. I have discovered that if a food smells bad to me, or I don't feel like eating it- and do anyway, I'll get sick. So I go with what smells good, and what I want to eat. I have craved salads, eaten a big one, and been fine, but if I eat salad greens when I 'don't feel like it' I get sick. If everything looks and smells bad, I go back to green Jello for a day or two, then add rice, then back to eating what I want. I've given birth, and Crohns cramps are much worse than childbirth.

Comment from: Burger, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 02

I have had Crohn's for 10 years and find that I have to avoid soda, lettuce, spinach, fried foods, (especially fish fries) and sugary alcoholic drinks. I am fine if I have a few beers. I have recently been taken off of medication but still have the occasional flare up. Maybe 5 times a year. Those 5 times a year are usually due to stress or 1 of the above mentioned items.

Comment from: June, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 05

It appears that people vary a lot in their diets with Crohn's. I have had Crohn's for over 30 years now. I have to avoid fiber, citrus, spicy food, more recently wheat (there goes my white bread). I have 1 latte a day (more for calcium than anything else) any more milk and I have problems. No fried food and again just in the last 6 months potatoes in any shape or form. My diet is so plain; I have started eating boiled rice with peas, and chicken or cod. My Crohn's is under control and flares up only when I do or eat something I shouldn't. Not always easy as what I could eat yesterday I may not be able to eat tomorrow. Then when you are under control something stressful happens and you lose your insides. Its life, but not as we know it.

Comment from: Kathy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I have Crohn's disease. I had crippling arthritis associated with Crohn's disease. I am now arthritis free and my Crohn's is in remission. Strictly follow: 1) Book and website: Breaking the Vicious Cycle, by Elaine Gotschall 2) Book: The Fat Resistance Diet, by Leo Galland and google Leo Galland for a wealth of knowledge on the web 3) Take a good fish oil and MSM daily

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Comment from: Mayhaw Mary, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 21

I have discovered in the 10 years I've had Crohn's disease that I must avoid tomato-based sauces, but can have a few bites of fresh tomato in a salad. I must limit salads to 1 cup of lettuce & avoid iceberg lettuce. Gluten really irritates my digestion, but not in very small amounts (unlike someone with Celiac.) I do best when I have some roughage throughout the day. Oatmeal, beans, quinoa, but none in excess. My gut likes moderation!

Comment from: Healthy 1, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 07

I've been fighting Crohn's disease for 25 years now and went through the surgery to remove my colon where it came back and attacked what I have left, a pouch inside me. I've been following a diet where I don't mix proteins and starches when I eat. I actually found the diet on the web and there seems to be a lot of truth to it. If I mix the proteins and starches, my insides bleed. If I don't mix them, I don't see any bleeding. I'm able to eat anything as long as I don't mix the two. I'm no longer taking any medication because I'm getting a lot better results by following this diet than what the drugs were doing for me.

Comment from: maryann.fish, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 28

I was just diagnosed and I am not sure what I should be eating and what I shouldn't. The only thing that I was told was to cut all spicy foods, tomato products, cheese, fried foods and anything that may cause symptoms to appear. They told me to keep track of what I eat and write it down for reference. Please someone give me some ideas of what is okay to eat.

Published: January 03

I had to cut out all tomato products, watch the fiber in all foods, the key is to eat in moderation, I will have a very little pizza if I get a craving for it (very little). I find that if I tell myself that I can't have something I will want it that much more.

Comment from: Jen, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

I've had Crohn's disease my entire life of 18 years, and am currently having a terrible flare up that has lasted about 3 months now. I am on Humira and other medications, but nothing makes dramatic differences the way it has for previous flare ups. Beer and lettuce are horrible at the moment, but does anyone else have any idea what foods I should be avoiding? I am at my wits end here and am just sick of being, well, sick!

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