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Crohn's Disease Diet Plan And The Relation To Osteoporosis Treatment

A Crohn's disease diet plan is essential for people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammation in the intestine impedes absorption of essential nutrients and calcium in particular. Prescription medication may further interfere with the bone renewal process.

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that usually involves the small intestine. Men and women are affected equally.

A Crohn’s disease diet plan is essential for sufferers as inflammation in the intestine impedes the absorption and retention of essential nutrients and prescription medication may further interfere with the bone renewal process.

The erosion of bone health may occur for any of the following reasons:

  • Sufferers may reduce the amount they eat in order to avoid the pain associated with digestion – and avoid dairy and high fiber vegetables that are essential for healthy bones
  • Absorption of nutrients (and calcium in particular) may be poor through the inflamed digestive tract
  • Diarrhea may cause a loss of nutrients
  • Some steroids and antibiotics impede the bone renewal process

No special Crohn’s disease diet plan has proven effective for preventing or treating the disease. Some symptoms are made worse by milk, alcohol, hot spices, or fiber-but this may not be true for everyone. To control diarrhea, it often helps to:

  • Eat small, frequent meals.
  • Avoid dairy products that contain lactose.
  • Drink liquids at room temperature and between meals rather than with meals.
  • Avoid caffeine.
  • Avoid concentrated sweets such as candy, cakes, and pies.
  • Avoid gas-producing foods such as:
    • beans
    • peas
    • broccoli
    • onions
    • cabbage

High-fiber foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains may worsen abdominal pain and diarrhea although their digestion is made easier through cooking. As an alkaline diet of fruits and vegetables is essential for healthy bones, it is important to find a way of including these foods in a Crohn’s disease diet plan. Soluble fiber will be easier to digest from sources such as:

  • bananas
  • rice
  • applesauce
  • tapioca
  • oatmeal

... but these are not a sufficient replacement for the nutrients available in dark, leafy green vegetables and in a variety of fruits. And for those of you who want more treats than just fruit... the following cookbook provides recipes that are gluten free and delicious.


The antibiotics and corticosteroids used to treat Crohn’s disease can interfere with the bone renewal process and may begin to destroy bone health after only 3 months. Studies show that after one year of corticosteroid therapy, patients lose an average of 14 percent of their bone mineral content.

Vitamin and mineral supplements can help to reinforce a Crohn’s disease diet plan... if taken consistently and appropriately. Calcium is best absorbed with meals and in amounts less than 600 mg at a time.

Sufficient vitamin D is essential to facilitate calcium absorption and is absorbed best when accompanied with foods that contain some fat. Magnesium, vitamin K2 and strontium should also be included in a bone building program for the best results.