Easing Your Crohn's Symptoms

Easing Your Crohn's Symptoms

By Crohn's Connect Staff Published at February 1, 2016 Views 2,420

Many people with Crohn’s disease have a hard time figuring out what triggers flare-ups—a process that usually involves trial and error. According to Healthline, trigger foods vary from person to person; what causes one person's symptoms may have no adverse effect in someone else. Some foods and lifestyle changes are likely to ease your Crohn's symptoms, though.

Foods that may ease symptoms

If have Crohn's disease, finding ways to eat a healthy, balanced diet may be more challenging, but it’s essential for your overall health. Here are some of the foods that have been known to ease some Crohn's patients' symptoms:

• Fiber may cause inflammation in your intestines, so choosing low-fiber foods may allow you to enjoy foods like cereal without pain.
• Lactose intolerance is common in patients with Crohn's. If you're going to eat cheese, opt for cheeses low in lactose, like Swiss and Cheddar.
• Live-culture yogurt has probiotics that may aid in the recovery of your intestines, according to the website Live Science. If your symptoms don't seem to be triggered by dairy products, yogurt with live and active bacterial cultures may be beneficial.
• Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in your intestines and bowel. Consider adding fatty fish like salmon to your diet to increase your omega-3 intake.
• Raw fruits and vegetables often provoke Crohn's symptoms. To get the nutrients without the pain, try eating bananas or applesauce, and cook your vegetables until they're soft to make them easier to digest.
• Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is common in Crohn's patients, and drinking enough water is the simplest way to prevent it. Liquids in other beverages and foods help too.

In addition to trigger foods, your eating schedule could affect Crohn’s symptoms. Skipping meals and overeating often make symptoms worse. According to the Crohn's & Ulcerative Colitis Foundation, people who have Crohn's should eat small, frequent meals.

Sometimes it may seem easier to limit your eating out of fear that your meal will cause a Crohn's flare-up. This isn't wise. The foundation says that chronic diarrhea and vomiting can cause you to lose too many nutrients, so you need to continue to eat enough to make up for these unpleasant symptoms.

Lifestyle tips to ease Crohn's symptoms

Keep a journal of your symptoms. Log when and what you eat, how you feel afterward, your sleep schedule, medications you're taking, your stress level, and your exercise routines. This will help you recognize patterns to nail down what lifestyle factors help you feel good, and what may trigger your symptoms. Keep these factors in mind as well:

• Check with your doctor about whether you can drink alcohol while taking your Crohn's medication. Alcohol helps to dehydrate the body, and may also have harmful interactions with certain prescriptions.
• Smoking is unhealthy for anyone, but people with Crohn's should definitely try to quit. This bad habit causes inflammation in the body and could lead to flare-ups.
• According to a fact sheet from the Crohn's & Ulcerative Colitis Foundation, stress and negative emotions may cause flare ups, so stress-management techniques like mediation or yoga could be beneficial. Physical exercise promotes overall wellness and may help ease symptoms, plus it is a popular stress reliever.
• Avoid carbonated beverages because they can increase gas.
• Sip your beverages. Drinking quickly and gulping can lead to air in your digestive system, which could bother your stomach.
• Avoid high fructose corn syrup. This popular ingredient may cause diarrhea in Crohn's patients. Read food labels.
• Hulls and seeds can be difficult for people with Crohn's to digest. Limit your intake of nuts, popcorn, and fruits with edible seeds.

For more on Crohn's symptoms

Talking to Your Doctor: Find the Right Words to Describe Your Symptoms
Dieting to Ease Crohn's Disease
Crohn’s vs. Ulcerative Colitis

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