What is a Crohn's diet plan?

tips on handling crohn's

Crohns Disease and Diet

If you have been reading up on modern health research you would have found plenty of information as to the influence of diet on a host of medical concerns. This is especially true when dealing with Crohn’s Disease. In fact, the importance of a regulated diet can be the difference between managing Crohn’s Disease and keeping it in check or falling victim to its more serious consequences.

Remember, changing your diet to a Crohn’s friendly one will not cure you of the disease. It will, however, limit the flare-ups – in both regularity and severity – and help you feel better. In terms of diet, Crohn’s Disease is very fickle. Since the disease plays havoc on the digestive tract, it is important that not only do you change what you eat, but also how you eat it. The higher quantity of food you ingest the more chance you have of difficulties with the disease. It is recommended that instead of eating a few large meals per day, you should have several smaller meals. Try not to give your digestive tract so much to do at once. This will help ease the effects of Crohn’s Disease.

Furthermore, you must make sure to consume the proper amount of vitamins and minerals on a daily basis. Failure to do so can result in other problems. This is important because diarrhea and constipation are symptoms of Crohn’s and can prevent your body from maintaining the proper nutritional fortification to ensure healthy functioning.

In addition to eating right, it is important that you keep your body fully hydrated. Not only is consuming fluids important to manage your Crohn’s, fluids can also help you detoxify which can lead to improved health. Drinking water is perhaps the best step in keeping yourself hydrated – aim for 8 glasses a day.

The diet for those with Crohn’s should include a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and just tiny amounts of fats. Keeping your diet high in fiber is probably the best bet because it influences your body’s ability to maintain regular bowel movements. The best source for Crohn’s fighting protein is apparently fish. Oily fish also has the added benefit of supplying Omega-3 oils. If you are not a fan of fish you can get Omega-3 oils through various supplements.

There are also many foods that sufferers of Crohns’s Disease should avoid like the plague. People diagnosed with Crohn’s should stay away from dairy products as much as possible. In addition, avoiding foots with saturated fats, Brassica vegetables, corn or gluten products, and alcohol and caffeine can help reduce the severity and regularity of Crohn’s Disease.

Those with Crohn’s often react differently to the disease. It is a good idea to keep a food diary so you can track your reactions to various foods. This is a great way to find out which foods work for you and those that cause complications.

There are also many more resources and lots of information about controlling and treating Crohn’s Disease symptoms here Breakthrough Crohn's Disease Guide


What You Should Know Before Using Aloe to Manage Crohns Disease Symptoms

Although many people who receive an ileostomy find that their Crohn’s disease successfully goes into remission, when a person has a Crohn’s flare up, they experience inflammation within their digestive track which leads to pain, discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, and many other unpleasant symptoms. If flare ups happen often, many people try to find different ways to naturally treat the disease instead of relying on drugs. One natural treatment method for treating stomach disorders is aloe vera.

It has been scientifically proven that aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory. It is the belief of many medical and scientific researchers that a natural anti-inflammatory is safer and has a better effect on the body than a synthetic anti-inflammatory. The reason is because natural anti-inflammatory treatments appear to target various inflammatory responses, instead of only targeting one as is the case with many synthetic types.

In addition, a natural anti-inflammatory is usually gentler on the body and does not wreak havoc on the immune system causing the negative side effects often resulting from prescription anti-inflammatory meds that are typically recommended for Crohn’s disease.

What is aloe vera?

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) is the most common form of the aloe plant and it has been used as a medicinal treatment for centuries, starting with the Ancient Egyptians. The only part of the aloe plant that is used for medicinal purposes is the sap and the gel located within the leaves. The sap is better known as aloe latex.

How is aloe used as a treatment?

Aloe can be used in two different ways. The first, and most common, is to externally treat skin wounds caused by dryness, cuts or burns. Gel is applied to the injured area and provides pain relief, sooths the skin and promotes healing.

The second form of treatment is when aloe is ingested to treat internal problems such as constipation, stomach disorders, diabeties, and many other problems. Sometimes aloe vera is even used to aid in digestion. When taken internally, aloe is available in powder and liquid forms.

Aloe latex and Crohn’s disease – Although aloe is generally safe when used externally as a gel, ingesting aloe, especially aloe latex when you suffer from Crohn’s disease is contraindicated. Aloe latex is an extremely powerful laxative and is contraindicated with Crohn’s because it decreases the effectiveness of any medication that is taken with it simultaneously.

Aloe latex will cause other medications to move through the digestive track far too quickly to have any effect as treatment. In addition, aloe latex is not generally used as a laxative to treat constipation due to the fact that it often causes painful cramps in the abdomen.

Aloe latex has other risks including:

  • It is habit-forming

  • Prolonged use of aloe latex will require higher doses to work effectively which eventually leads to permanent damage to the intestinal muscle.

  • Large doses result in kidney damage

  • Aloe latex is not safe for pregnant women or mothers who are breast feeding.

Even though aloe latex is not an ideal treatment for Crohn’s, ingesting another form of aloe, such as aloe gel may be an alternative. Nevertheless, always check with your doctor before using aloe vera to treat Crohn’s disease. Furthermore, you can always ask your doctor about other alternative treatments that may be effective.

There are also many more resources and lots of information about controlling and treating Crohn’s Disease symptoms here Breakthrough Crohn's Disease Guide


What Crohns Disease Sufferers Need to Know About Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Medical research has shown that Crohn’s disease sufferers can greatly improve their overall health by including more omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients the body requires but cannot produce itself. They are found in fish and certain plant oils. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids, particularly those found in fish oil, have anti-inflammatory properties that can have a therapeutic effect on Crohn’s disease.

There are three major types of omega-3 fatty acids:

  1. Eicosapentaenoic (EPA)

  2. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

  3. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

When eaten, ALA is converted into EPA and DHA, the two fatty acids that are primarily used by the body for different process such as improving cardiovascular function, lowering blood pressure and brain function. Moreover, as was previously mentioned, the EPA and DHA have anti-inflammatory properties.

When it comes to treating Crohn’s disease with omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil supplements have been used as an alternative or complimentary treatment in a number of medical studies over the course of several years. The results of these studies have varied.

For instance, some researchers have discovered that while fish oil may help reduce preexisting inflammation, it does not actually help prevent inflammation from occurring. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids only appear to be a beneficial treatment for those who suffer from mild to moderate cases of Crohn’s disease.

In addition, studies have found that due to the positive influence fish oil has on intestinal cell growth, fish oil supplements may eventually increase the intestinal mucosal surface area. This would result in the increase of nutrient absorption, and improve a person’s overall nutrition.

The studies that have been conducted on the anti-inflammatory effect of fish oil show a promising future. More research must be done before it can be determined just how effective fish oil is in treating chronic inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease.

Before you talk to your doctor about taking fish oil supplements, you should first try the natural method of ingesting food rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Good sources included the following:

  • EPA and DHA - Cold water fish (IE halibut, herring, mackerel, salmon and sardines)

  • ALA – canola oil, flaxseeds and oil, pumpkin seeds and oil, perilla seed oil, purslane, walnuts and oil.

  • Enriched foods – It’s also not a bad idea to eat foods that have had omega-3 included in their ingredients such as omega-3 margarine and omega-3 eggs.

In order to ensure you are receiving the recommended amount of omega-3 in your diet to help treat your Crohn’s condition, you should eat two-three servings of fish each week (approximately 1,250 mg of EPA and DHA a day). If you find it difficult to eat this amount of fish in a week, talk to your doctor about taking fish oil supplements.

Finally, although omega-3 fatty acids can help improve many of the symptoms in Crohn’s disease sufferers, remember that medical research is still being conducted to find out how beneficial fish oil supplements are for inflammatory bowel disease. While it has shown many positive side effects, some patients in studies concerning the anti-inflammatory affects of fish oils encountered symptoms of halitosis (bad breath), belching, diarrhea and constipation.

There are also many more resources and lots of information about controlling and treating Crohn’s Disease symptoms here Breakthrough Crohn's Disease Guide


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