Viewer Question:Is there any dietary suggestions to help with the management of Crohn's disease? Can stress cause the condition to become worse? Thank you for your help. PG
Doctor's Response:Patients with Crohn's disease should eat a normal well-balanced diet while avoiding any specific foods that may disagree with them. Those foods most commonly that cause problems are lactose (milk) containing foods in individuals who are lactose intolerant. Other foods that can cause problems are the gas-producing vegetables such as beans, peas and other legumes. (These foods may make the symptoms worse, but they do not aggravate the underlying inflammation.)
Stress is not a cause of Crohn's disease, but any stressful situation whether emotional or physical, may be associated with a flare of the disease either by chance or by a mechanism that is presently unclear.
Thank you for your question.
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Last Editorial Review: 6/26/2002