If you suffer from Crohn’s Disease, you know how the digestive disorder can take over your whole life during a flare-up. But knowing what to eat, how to move, and how to think can help you feel better and avoid or lessen the intensity of flare-ups.
What to Eat for Crohn’s Disease
The Crohn’s diet can vary greatly from one individual to the next, so half the battle is finding out what foods you specifically need to avoid as well as the ones that make you feel better. In general, though, these guidelines are good ones to start with.
- Avoid dairy. Lactose intolerance sometimes goes hand in hand with Crohn’s, so look into substitute milks like almond milk to get your calcium and vitamins.
- Easy-to-digest proteins. There’s a reason eggs and toast are a go-to meal during flare-ups. Eggs are a perfect protein, so make sure to keep them on hand, whether you like them hard-boiled, scrambled or over-easy. Also add seafood to your diet — white fish, shrimp and salmon are great options to get your protein.
- Good grains. Whole grains in general are good for your health, and oatmeal in particular can be a great choice during flare-ups. It’s easy to digest, and it contains soluble fiber, which absorbs water to slow down its journey through your digestive tract. If you’re having a particularly bad flare-up, it’s OK to stick to refined carbs like white rice, which can help you get the calories you need to get back to good health.
- Root vegetables and squash. Some vegetables can make symptoms worse for Crohn’s sufferers, but foot vegetables like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and squash are good candidates for helping you get your nutrients in. Try puréeing them into a soup rather than boiling them to retain as many nutrients as possible.
- Tropical fruits. Like veggies, some fruits can make flare-ups worse, but tropical fruits like cantaloupe, mango, papaya and bananas can actually help you feel better by providing much-needed nutrients while being easy to digest.
Consider keeping a food diary to record how foods affect your symptoms so you can add or subtract them from your diet in the future.
How to Exercise When You Have Crohn’s Disease
Studies have shown that regular exercise can be your secret weapon in managing Crohn’s Disease, but not all exercises are created equal. High-impact/intensity workouts can exacerbate symptoms, but moderate, low-impact workouts are a great choice for people with Crohn’s. Cycling, strength training, swimming and walking, as well as yoga and pilates, are all great exercises for Crohn’s sufferers.
Managing the Mental Toll of Crohn’s Disease
There’s no denying that chronic illnesses can take a toll on your mental as well as physical health. Many Crohn’s sufferers will at some point experience some degree of depression and/or anxiety, but there are things you can do to boost your mental health.
- Reduce anxiety by being prepared. One of the more challenging aspects of Crohn’s is that you never know when you’re going to experience a flare-up. But planning your itineraries in advance when you’re going to be away from home (and making note of when and where you can use the restroom) is an excellent strategy to reduce anxiety.
- Find a support group. This is a recurring theme when it comes to chronic illnesses, but there’s a reason for it. Knowing you’re not alone in your challenges can sometimes be just what you need to make it through a rough period. Whether you find community in an online or in-person Crohn’s support group, being able to share experiences, frustrations, strategies and triumphs can go a long way toward protecting your emotional health.
IV Treatment for Crohn’s Disease at Infusion Express
If IV treatment is part of your regimen for managing Crohn’s, know that you have options for where to receive that treatment. If having IV treatment in a spa-like setting at a time and location that are convenient for you sounds good, then it’s time for you to check out Infusion Express.
We believe you should start feeling better the moment you walk in the door. If you’re ready to experience the difference Infusion Express can make in your life, give us a call at either one of our two convenient locations in Lee’s Summit or Overland Park.