There is an age-old saying that says, “you are what you repeatedly do.” This saying may be right, but it is also right to say that “you are what you repeatedly eat.” You may be smiling upon reading this corrupted form of the abovementioned age-old saying, but there is surely a wisdom in this corrupted form of the abovementioned adage, especially, now that there are thousands of diseases that are afflicting humanity.
The food that you regularly eat could either determine your health and longevity. Yes, you heard it right, what you regularly eat can largely determine whether you will stay healthy or not. A food, when taken once, may not have a lasting side-effect on your health. But those food which you regularly eat would surely have a critical impact on your health. We have a term for the foods that we regularly eat, and we call it “diet.”
The Importance of Diet
Various types of diets have been devised like those of Ketogenic Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Fruitarian Diet, Ovo-lacto vegetarianism, Lacto vegetarianism, Vegan Diet, Pescetarian Diet, and many more. These different types of diets are usually based on the types of nutrients that are considered essential by those who subscribe to these diets. However, if you are sick with certain diseases like that of Crohn’s disease, you must configure your own Crohn’s disease diet in order not to aggravate the inflammation and symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
Understanding Crohn’s Disease and Its Causes
Crohn’s disease belongs to the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) which affects the gastrointestinal tract. It is characterized by abdominal pain, weight loss, diarrhea, fever, and other complications like skin rashes, anemia, arthritis, tiredness, and inflammation of the eye. There are many possible factors that may contribute to the onset of this disease. These factors include environmental factors, the immune system, genetics, and bacterial factors. The combinative effects of these factors can produce chronic inflammatory disorder in the gastrointestinal tract which is called Crohn’s disease.
At present, there are definitely no surgical procedures and medications that could totally cure this disease. The available treatment options for this disease are only designed to minimize the symptoms of this disease, produce remission, and prevent relapse. Hence, at this point, you would readily see that maintaining a Crohn’s disease diet is essential to achieve the minimization of symptoms and even remission.
The Value of Crohn’s Disease Diet
Maintaining a Crohn’s disease diet necessitates that you know which food would aggravate the symptoms of this disease so that you can avoid these foods. These foods are called “trigger foods” because they could trigger and aggravate the symptoms of this disease. Hence, it is important that you know these trigger foods such as alcohol, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, oils, carbonated beverages, coffee, chocolate, corn husks, tea, dairy products, fatty foods, high-fiber food, gas producing foods, nuts, seeds, raw foods, whole grains, red meat, pork. and spicy foods.
On the other hand, Crohn’s disease may cause your intestine to have difficulty in absorbing proteins; hence, more often, you would need high protein and high calorie diet. You would likewise need nutrients and vitamins that are recommended by your doctor, and for this reason, you should design your own Crohn’s disease diet in such a way that you would get ample supply of the necessary nutrients and micronutrients for your body.
Enteral Nutrition for Crohn’s Disease
One treatment that showed awesome potential for remedying Crohn’s disease is that of Exclusive Enteral Nutrition (EEN). EEN is a prepared drinking formula that is regularly given to a Crohn’s disease patients for a specified period. This dietary formula has been meticulously concocted to enable patients to regain weight that they’ve loss after the onset of the disease. EEN is definitely a viable alternative treatment to that of the corticosteroids therapy. It is also a very important treatment alternative for pediatric patients with Crohn’s disease.
Some studies have shown that EEN has been found to produce remission of CD among adult and pediatric patients and is excellently safe for both types of CD patients. Moreover, EEN has been found to have almost the same healthful effects as that of the corticosteroid therapy. Studies have also shown that EEN promotes improved linear growth, better bone health, and better healing of the mucosal linings. Some studies likewise have shown that partial enteral nutrition (PEN) could improve the maintenance of remission of CD in most adult patients, especially, after these patients had undergone EEN treatment. On the other hand, some studies on the long-term effects of PEN treatment have shown that long-term PEN treatment is very effective in lessening relapse rates. Furthermore, it readily suppresses the aggravation of endoscopic disease.
The Recommended Crohn’s Disease Diet
One of the types of foods for Crohn’s disease diet is the low-residue diet. This diet is made of certain foods that do not add residue to the feces or stool. Since one of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease is the narrowing of the ileum or lower small intestine, it is necessary that you reduce residue in the stool. Low-fiber diet is less in fiber, and they can lessen the symptoms of this disease while, at the same time, improve bowel movement. Examples of these foods include raw fruits, corn hulls, and vegetables. You would also need enough supply of vitamin B and D, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium because this disease can leave you lacking in these micronutrients. Some other foods that are recommended for people with Crohn’s disease are almond milk, eggs, oatmeal, vegetable soups, salmon, papaya, pureed beans, poultry, avocado, butter lettuce, roasted red peppers, rice, and smooth butters.
There is definitely no specific Crohn’s disease diet, and more often, a patient has to work out his own diet depending on his food tolerance and reaction to specific food. A kind of diet that is low in carbohydrates may be a good start to figure out the food that causes Crohn’s flare ups. In a study conducted on IBD patients, going on diets that are low in carbohydrates for several weeks have proven to improve symptoms of this disease. Moreover, diets that are rich in vegetables and fruits have been found to lower the risk of Crohn’s disease. There are also claims that specific carbohydrate diet and paleo diet have been shown to improve the symptoms of this disease. This Paleo diet usually eliminates as much as possible the inclusion of grains and root vegetables. It is focused more on meat and vegetables. Lastly, the secret of finding the right Crohn’s disease diet necessitates that you stay away from extreme diets. Instead, you should rather maintain a balanced diet that contains the necessary nutrients and micronutrients.