Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory intestinal disease that can effect the entire gastrointestinal tract. Many people who suffer from Crohn’s experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss. It can also affect areas outside the gastrointestinal tract. There is no cure for this disease, and oddly enough, no special diet to adhere to. So what should one do when confronted with a Thanksgiving feast? My suggestion is to simply take it in moderation.
Crohn’s seems to be a very individual disease. What starts an attack in one person may not affect another. The best way to tame this beast is to know your triggers. Try to avoid alcohol, butter, margarine, and mayonnaise. No carbonated beverages. Other triggers generally include beans, raw vegetables, red meats, high fiber and fatty foods, raw fruit, and possibly dairy. Sounds impossible, right? What’s left to eat? But not everyone reacts the same to these foods. Identify which you should avoid by pure trial and error. Many people keep a food journal and record what they eat on a daily basis, and how their body reacts.
Once you’ve established what some of your triggers are, you may be able to find a way around the preparation. Boil your vegetables if you can’t handle eating them raw. Eat lean cuts of meat rather than fatty cuts. Try baked apples.
For your Thanksgiving meal, monitor your intake. As tempting as it may be, please don’t load your plate! Eat a small helping, let it digest, and then take more as your hunger, and not your taste buds, dictates. Bypass the hefty man-sized meal that you may regret later. It isn’t worth it. Some are prone to attacks after eating turkey, or sweet potatoes. Know your body, and your limits. Basically, anything that can give you gas is a no-go.
While eyeing your options for Thanksgiving, keep these suggestions in mind:
1) Limit your dairy products. Again, this varies from person to person. Some are more lactose intolerant than others.
2) Go low fiber.
3) Try mashed potatoes with a small amount of gravy, or white rice.
4) Go for the leaner cuts of meat.
5) Avoid spices and onions.
6) Avoid any raw foods, such as veggie trays. These vegetables may be harder to digest.
7) Puddings for desert is probably safe. Avoid chocolate.
8) Absolutely no alcohol.
9) Think small portions.
10) Increase your exercise. Try taking a walk after your meal rather than easing back in a chair.
As always, keep in touch with your doctor. But most of all, carry a positive attitude. Don’t think of this as limiting. Think of it as caring for yourself.