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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Foods That Trigger Stomach Pains

Common Crohn's Disease Food Triggers

Food alone won't cause — or cure — Crohn's disease, but a change in your diet may help you better manage your symptoms.

A healthy diet packed with vitamins and nutrients and one that’s low in fat is good for everyone — for people with Crohn's disease, it goes a step further. Following a carefully planned diet can actually help manage Crohn's symptoms like diarrhea, excessive gas, and abdominal cramping.
Crohn's diet isn't a cure for Crohn's disease, and it can't stop all of your symptoms — there's no special diet for Crohn's disease that's recommended for all patients. But certain foods can worsen common Crohn's symptoms, particularly when you’re experiencing a flare-up, and others may actually ease your distress.
Foods That May Trigger Crohn's Symptoms
Crohn's disease is not a one-size-fits-all condition, so foods may affect each person differently. While the following foods may not cause symptoms in some people, they can lead to significant symptoms in others:
  • Foods that contain a lot of insoluble fiber, such as popcorn, beans, bran, seeds, and nuts
  • High-fat, fried, and greasy food including rich cream sauces, butter, and many fast food choices
  • Dairy foods and beverages from ice cream to milk and cheese
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Raw vegetables and fruits
  • Spicy seasonings
Your best bet for managing Crohn's symptoms with diet is to avoid foods that your body seems to be sensitive to.
Foods That May Improve Crohn's Symptoms
Certain foods may help you better control Crohn's symptoms, too. Try adding these foods, in moderation, to your Crohn’s diet:
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Foods with soluble fiber, such as oatmeal, rice, applesauce, and bananas
  • Fish
  • Yogurt with live cultures
Making certain changes in your eating habits may also lessen your Crohn's symptoms:
  • Eat small meals more frequently instead of large meals two or three times a day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration — in particular, make sure you're taking in enough water each day.
  • Don't drink beverages that are too hot or too cold — try to enjoy them at room temperature.
  • Consume most of your fluids between meals instead of drinking them with meals.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy variety of foods to ensure that you get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Will an Elimination Diet Bring You Crohn’s Relief?
One of the best ways to use dietary changes to manage your Crohn's symptoms is with an elimination diet. It's pretty simple — you figure out which foods aggravate your Crohn's disease, and eliminate them from your diet.
Begin by keeping a food diary. Grab a notebook and write down all the foods that you eat every day for several weeks. Also make a note of your Crohn's symptoms, and look carefully at the foods eaten on the day and day before you experienced symptoms. If you spot a particular food consumed on days your Crohn's was flaring, try cutting it out of your diet for a few weeks and see if your symptoms improve. Through the elimination diet, you can determine which foods you need to avoid.
While developing your own Crohn's diet can’t cure Crohn's disease, avoiding your trigger foods and making dietary changes that help minimize your Crohn's symptoms will provide you with some much-needed relief.

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