Vitamins for Crohn's Disease: Diet vs. Supplements
In general, any dietitian or nutritionist would tell you it's better to get your nutrition from whole foods instead of supplements.
For some people with Crohn's disease, that's just not possible. Because of absorption problems, pain, and nausea, it may be hard to eat enough of the healthy foods that would give you the nutrition you need.
What's more, Crohn's disease -- especially when it's active -- can make your body work harder. You may need more calories and nutrients than normal -- precisely at the time when it's hard to eat. Some healthy foods, such as high-fiber nuts and seeds, can also trigger flares in some people with Crohn's disease.
In these cases, vitamin supplements for Crohn's disease can help fill any gaps in your nutrition.
Crohn's Disease Nutrition: Working With Your Doctor
While supplements can be a good idea for some people with Crohn's disease, don't start treating yourself with handfuls of vitamins every day. That's risky.
Talk to your doctor first. Some supplements could interact with your medication or make your Crohn's symptoms worse.
Before suggesting supplements, your doctor may want to check you for nutritional deficiencies. The doctor may test your levels of iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and other vitamins and minerals. The vitamins you need may also depend on where the damage is in your small intestine.
Schedule an appointment with a doctor. Getting good nutrition -- whether it's through dietary changes or supplements -- is essential to protect your health and help you feel better with Crohn's disease.