Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation in the lining of the digestive system. It may go without saying for those with this disease that the symptoms can be quite difficult to deal with such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fatigue. And during a flare-up, there are certain foods, also known as 'trigger foods', that can further worsen these symptoms .
While there is currently no cure for Crohn's, according to experts, following a balanced and healthy diet packed with nutrient-dense foods may help in managing symptoms.
So, what can you eat with Crohn’s disease? Some items to consider incorporating into your diet include:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Calcium-rich foods
- Fiber-rich foods
What are the best foods to eat with Crohn's disease?
First things first, it’s important to know that there is no ‘right’ diet for Crohn’s disease. In fact, this condition can affect each person differently. So, although there is no set ‘diet plan’ for those with Crohn’s disease, a healthy and balanced diet is always a great place to start!
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre which is why it’s important to take in around five portions per day.
If you have trouble eating fruit and vegetables because of the fibre intake, try speaking with your doctor to see what other options are available.
A great way of getting calcium into your day to day diet is through calcium-rich foods, these include milk, cheese and yogurt.
For those with Crohn’s who are lactose intolerant, choosing lactose-free dairy products or using an enzyme product should help with your calcium intake! 
The role protein plays in growth and repair makes it an essential part of anyone's diet! Some of the most reliable sources include lean meats, poultry and fish.
Some great sources of protein for vegetarians include tofu, beans, peas, nutritional yeast and lentils.
Starchy foods and refined grains are a great source of energy and provide some pretty important nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, calcium and folate. Pasta, rice, potatoes and bread are all starchy foods and are all a delicious addition to your daily diet!
It’s common for those with Crohn’s to have unfavourable reactions to starchy foods, if this occurs, check in with your doctor.
What foods trigger Crohn’s disease?
According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, there are foods that those with Crohn's may want to avoid during flare-ups and some foods may even trigger some unwanted symptoms such as abdominal pain and unusual bowel movements.
Some foods that may potentially cause triggers include:
- High fibre foods
- Sugary foods
- Fatty foods
- Spicy foods
Remember, everyone's experience is unique. One reliable way to get an idea of the foods that trigger symptoms is by keeping a food diary. This way, you can get a better idea of your 'trigger foods' and what you should avoid.
See also: What Causes a Change In Bowel Movement?
What can I drink with Crohn’s disease?
Unfortunately, there is no direct answer to what people with Crohn’s can drink as, similar to food, not all beverages affect people with the disease in the same way.
With that in mind, there are some drinks that may potentially aggravate symptoms , these include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Sugary juices
What is nutrition therapy for Crohn’s disease?
Certain aspects of Crohn’s disease can make it difficult to ensure you’re getting all the right vitamins, minerals and calories in your day to day diet.
If this occurs, your doctor may suggest nutritional support therapy. This involves a special diet given either by mouth, through a tube (enteral nutrition) or infused into a vein (parenteral nutrition), according to Mayo Clinic.
What vitamins and minerals should someone with Crohn's take?
When you're living with Chron's disease, flares, medication, and surgery can all negatively impact your body's ability to absorb nutrients. Plus, if you avoid specific nutrient-dense foods because they make symptoms worse, it can sometimes result in nutritional deficiencies. This is why your healthcare provider may recommend certain vitamin or mineral supplements.
And while what's recommended for one patient won't necessarily always be recommended for another, these are some of the more common vitamin and mineral supplements for those with Chron's:
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
Remember to always speak with a professional before taking any supplements.
When it comes to testing Crohn’s disease, one of the main markets is C-Reactive Protein (CRP). Although elevated CRP levels are non-specific, they may indicate the presence of an underlying inflammatory disease such as Crohn’s disease.
LetsGetChecked’s at-home CRP Test allows you to check your CRP levels from the comfort of your own home. Online results will be available within 5 days and our dedicated clinical team will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the process.
You should consider taking the test if:
- You are at risk for chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or vasculitis
- You are at risk for Crohn's disease
- You are at risk for bowel disorders
- You are overweight
- You require a risk assessment for cardiovascular diseases
- You require a risk assessment for cancers
See also: What Does High CRP Mean?