Avoiding these foods can reduce symptoms and possibly lengthen the time between flare-ups:
Dairy and Lactose. They cause an imbalance of the bacteria and PH of the stomach lining. Also most people with Crohn’s are dairy or lactose intolerant meaning they cannot digest the sugar in milk and/or other forms of lactose. This leads to bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and gas. You should eliminate dairy completely, eat foods that have a small amount of lactose (goat cheese, yogurt, etc.) or take a supplement that increases the amount of lactose in your body.
Foods with High Amounts of Sugar. Though sugar does not cause an immediate change like other foods, the effect is substantial. Sugar completely strips the intestines of its healthy lining of bacteria, replacing it with bad bacteria. It also disrupts its PH balance and makes it very difficult for the body to heal. Fruits that are high in sugar, corn syrup, sugar substitutes, and alcohol should be avoided. Also avoid foods that are high in fat. If sugar is needed small amounts of honey is best.
Wheat, Fiber and foods with Gluten. All of these foods are hard on the digestive tract and lining. By disrupting the PH balance and bacteria levels in the body it causes gas, diarrhea, bloating and pain. Stay away from raw apples, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, etc.. If you must eat them, bake, steam, or stew them first.
Greasy and Fried foods. The fat in these types of foods are not fully absorbed. This can cause cramping and loose or fatty stools. Other foods that are high in fat should be avoided including butter, peanut butter, mayonnaise, cream, ice cream, fried foods, chocolate and red meats.
Items with Caffeine. Caffeine stimulates activity in the intestines causing symptoms to worsen. Instead drink water, sports drinks, and juices low in sugar.
Alcohol. It behaves similar to sugar in the body. It also dries you out and prevents proper rehydration. In addition, all can counteract with medication cause it to become less effective or a more serious condition.
Raw fruits and vegetables. Many contain high amounts of fiber. Some fruits contain high-amounts of sugar and/or acid which disrupts the PH balance.
The best thing is to try to eliminate one of these types of food for a length of 3 weeks in order to effectively determine how your body reacts.
This list should be used as a general dietary guide. Food choices may vary from person to person so listen to your body and determine what’s right for you. Dietary needs also change depending on the stage of the disease. As always, it is important to contact your physician when considering changing your diet.