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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Health Center

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Vitamins for Crohn's Disease

Vitamins for Crohn's Disease: Foods or Supplements?

Almost any diet expert will tell you it's better to get vitamins and minerals from foods than from a pill.

For some people with Crohn's disease, that's not possible. Certain healthy foods, such as high-fiber nuts and seeds, may trigger their symptoms.

Crohn's, especially when it's active, can make your body work harder. You may need more calories and nutrients than other people. 

In these cases, vitamin supplements can help fill the gaps.

If you think you're lactose intolerant and can’t digest dairy, ask your doctor to test you for that. You may be able to enjoy dairy foods if you take lactase pills.

Work With Your Doctor

While supplements may be a good idea for you, don't decide by yourself. Talk to your doctor first. Some supplements could affect your Crohn's drugs or make your symptoms worse. 

Your doctor may want to test your levels of iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and other vitamins and minerals first. What you need may also depend on where the damage is in your small intestine. 

Together, you can decide what supplements may help you feel your best with Crohn's.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on November 18, 2014
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