What is Inflammatory Bowel/Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disorder that leads to severe ulceration of the digestive tract. This disease generally occurs in the last portion of the small intestine (ileum) and the beginning large intestine, but it can occur in any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus.
Crohn’s disease affects the small intestine alone (35%), the large intestine alone (20%), or both – the last portion of the small intestine and the large intestine (45%).There may just be one ulceration or there may be several and they may skip areas of the digestive tract. When these ulcerations heal, they can leave behind scar tissue that narrows a portion of the gastrointestinal passageway.
- Stool analysis-flora balance, infection, degree of inflammation
- Food allergy test-blood or computerized
- Vitamin and Mineral analysis-blood or urine for nutritional deficiencies
- Stress hormones-DHEA, cortisol
Good nutrition is important for everyone, but people with IBD must be especially diligent about eating wholesome meals. It’s best to buy fresh ingredients (organic if possible) and prepare them yourself.
Protein deficiency is common in people with IBD. Incorporate quality protein sources such as organic chicken, legumes, turkey, and fish into your diet for two meals a day. Soy is also an option unless you are sensitive to it.
Homemade soups and broths are excellent. These meals are liquefied and easy to digest. Use a variety of fresh vegetables and quality protein sources as described above. This is particularly helpful during time of flare up.
Juices are ideal for IBD sufferers, because they require little work from the digestive system and their nutrients are easily absorbed. Drink vegetable juices every day. Cabbage juice is particularly effective in healing ulcerated areas.
Eat a cultured product like kefir or, if you’re not allergic to dairy, live unsweetened yogurt every day. A deficiency of friendly intestinal bacteria is common in IBDs patients.
Make proper hydration a priority. Drink at least one glass of clean water every two waking hours. You’ll replenish the water lost to diarrhea, and you’ll also help your bowels regulate themselves.
Foods to Avoid
- Refined carbohydrates are strongly associated with IBD. Eliminate white flour, white rice, and both white and brown sugars from your diet. Almost all packaged products are made with at least one of these ingredients, so read labels carefully.
- Foods high in saturated, hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated fat will irritate your gastrointestinal tract and make diarrhea even worse. Avoid red meat as well as any fried or greasy foods.
- Many people with IBD have undetected food allergies, particularly gluten sensitivity.
- Be careful with high fiber foods such as wheat bran as it is too harsh for some people with this disease. Slowly increase fiber rich foods in the diet.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, and spicy foods. Although these products don’t cause IBD , they irritate the gastrointestinal system and can make your symptoms worse.
- Limit the use of fruit juices that commonly irritate the digestive tract of those with this condition.
STUDY ON THE EFFECTS OF SUGAR AND FAST FOODS
A study that reviewed the diets of those with Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis found that the risk of Crohn’s disease was highest with those who had a high sugar intake. The same study also reported that the consumption of fast foods twice a week tripled the risk of this disease.