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If I have Crohn's disease, what are some nutrients that I may be missing?

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  • If you have Crohn's disease, you are more likely to have lower levels of: Vitamin B12. If you've had surgery in the lower part of your small intestine, you may not absorb enough of this. You can get a B12 vitamin, injection, or nasal spray.
  • Folic acid. Some Crohn's disease drugs, like methotrexate and sulfasalazine, lower levels of folic acid in your body. Try a daily 1-milligram dose of a folate supplement.
  • Calcium. Steroids for Crohn's disease can weaken bones and make it hard to absorb this key mineral. If your body can't digest milk or milk products, you're even more likely to be short on calcium. Up to half of people with Crohn's disease have thinning bones. Taking extra supplements -- often 1,500 milligrams of calcium a day -- will help keep bones strong and prevent other problems.
  • Vitamin D. It helps your body absorb calcium for strong bones, but people with Crohn's disease often don’t have enough. Your doctor may suggest a daily supplement of 800 international units.
  • Vitamins A, E, and K. Surgery can make it hard for your body to absorb fats. That lowers your levels of these vitamins.
  • Iron. It's the best treatment for anemia from blood loss in your intestines. Your doctor may tell you to take iron tablets, liquid, or infusions.
  • Potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Your doctor may suggest a daily supplement to raise your levels.

From: Vitamins for Crohn's Disease WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

ASPEN Nutrition Support Patient Education Manual: "Nutrition and Crohn's Disease."

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: "What Are the Complications of Crohn's Disease?"

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America: "Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)," "Diet and Nutrition."

Medscape: "Vitamin D Intake Associated with Reduced Risk of Crohn's Disease."

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Ulcerative Colitis."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on October 10, 2018

SOURCES:

ASPEN Nutrition Support Patient Education Manual: "Nutrition and Crohn's Disease."

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: "What Are the Complications of Crohn's Disease?"

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America: "Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)," "Diet and Nutrition."

Medscape: "Vitamin D Intake Associated with Reduced Risk of Crohn's Disease."

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Ulcerative Colitis."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on October 10, 2018

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If I have Crohn's disease, should I eat foods that are high in vitamins or take supplements?

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