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09 Feb 2004

Diet for Crohn's/Colitis
My son of 19 has been diagnosed with Colitis/Crohns', is on all the necessary medication but would appreciate a list of foods NOT allowed ie green veggies, lactose = can he have marge? and how can lettuce cause such pain?
Thankk you!
Answer 493 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Leslie
Because Crohn's disease/ulcerative colitis is primarily an autoimmune disease with genetic overtones, medical treatment in the form of medication and surgery when indicated, is the prime form of management. Despite the involvement of the gi tract, food intolerances only occur in about 3% of patients, thus unless your son has tested positive for lactose intolerance, exclusion of milk and dairy products will not alleviate his symptoms. If he has tested positive then all cow's milk, cheeses and processed products containing milk, milk powder, whey, lactose, etc, must be eliminated. Most margarines contain small quantities of skim milk and could elicit a reaction if he is lactose intolerant. Some of the reactions of patients with Crohn's disease are very individual - thus your son may react to vegetables like lettuce, while another patient may react only to raw onions. Because of the complex nature of this condition and the patient's need for adequate nutrient supply esp during an acute phase when the requirements for energy and protective nutrients increase significantly, I would strongly urge you to consult a clinical dietitian (check the List of Dietitians on this Website or phone 082-593-0276 or send an e-mail to or look in your local telephone directory or Yellow Pages, to find a dietitian in your area). The dietitian will help you by working out a specific diet for your son's needs and take any food intolerances that may be present into account. There is some indication that the use of probiotics ('good microorganisms') such as Bifidoflora or Bifidoforte (buy at health shops), increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids (buy Salmon oil capsules at the chemist or health shops) and/or use of so-called medium-chain triglycerides can help patients with this condition. But it is best to explore such options under the guidance of a clinical dietitian.
I do hope that your son feels better soon.
Best regards
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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