By Dietitian and Nutritionist Alison Bencke
If you have Crohn's disease, it’s best to consult your doctor before considering dieting or attempting weight loss. However, being overweight increases your risk for many other health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart diseases, and osteoarthritis.
Crohn’s weight loss
When your disease is active, weight loss may occur. Weight gain for underweight individuals with Crohn’s is most beneficial when it results from a healthy Crohn’s diet plan. Also, talk to your doctor about what exercise may help you feel your best.
Don’t be afraid of weight gain from steroid medications
Some people with Crohn’s, often young girls and women, refuse steroid treatment (corticosteroids) because they fear they will gain weight. Optimal treatment involves taking Crohn’s drugs as prescribed and maintaining as healthy a lifestyle as possible.
Professional nutritional help may ensure that you are eating adequately and help you limit unwanted weight gain. Some people find that any weight gained during treatment is easily lost after they finish their course of treatment.
Starving yourself to keep your weight "normal" may defeat or slow your efforts to treat your Crohn’s disease. Following a healthy Crohn’s diet and avoiding unhealthy foods may help you avoid unwanted pounds.
Note: these tips should not replace advice from your physician. Always check with your physician before making any changes to your eating habits.
See also: Registered dietitians: your new best friend, Your body image and Crohn’s, Videos of people living with Crohn’s