Crohn’s disease: Foods and drinks to avoid a painful flare-up – including some vegetables

Amy Dowden opens up about her battle with Crohn's disease

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Additional warning signs of a flare-up include: blood-stained stools, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss; Crohn’s can also lead to fatigue and rashes. Leading charity, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, pointed out the role diet plays in the inflammatory bowel condition. “Although diet does not cause or cure inflammatory bowel disease, paying attention to your diet may help you reduce symptoms, replace lost nutrients, and promote healing,” the charity organisation stated.

Each person will have unique dietary requirements, as some foods could impact one person with Crohn’s disease but not another.

However, during a flare-up – to help reduce the impact of symptoms – it is advisable to avoid certain foods and drinks.

For instance, it is in your best interest to avoid greasy and fried foods, which can otherwise cause gas and diarrhoea.

“Some people find that foods high in fibre, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can be problematic,” the charity added.

However, rather than eliminating such foods from your diet – as their nutrient and mineral content is beneficial – it might be helpful to “eat only thoroughly-cooked fruits and vegetables”.

Other foods to avoid, as they are likely to produce gas, include:

  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli.

The charity also said that caffeine and carbonated drinks are also best left out of your diet during a flare.

“Alcohol intake, whether moderate or in excess, may also make symptoms worse,” Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation added.

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In order to manage a flare effectively, it is important to cultivate and stay in close communication with your dedicated healthcare support team.

During times of remission, a check-up every six months is recommended while, during a flare, more contact is advisable.

“Consider taking a multi-vitamin or mineral supplement,” the charity advised.

As Crohn’s disease can impair the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals, you might be experiencing nutritional deficiencies.

A simple blood test can determine if and which vitamin deficiencies you might be experiencing.

As such, you can base which vitamins you take daily based off your doctor’s recommendation.

Another way to manage a flare is to exercise, which can help reduce stress and improve bone strength.

Even low-intensity exercise, such as a 30-minute walk three times a week, would suffice.

“If your symptoms make mobility difficult, find ways to be active at home,” the charity added.

Other ways to help manage a flare is to be a non-smoker, as smoking can make symptoms worse, and to reduce stress levels.

In addition to exercise to relieve feelings of stress, other alternatives include tai chi, meditation, and yoga.

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