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Why might I be malnourished if I have Crohn's disease?

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  • You may not get enough nutrients because: Your gut is inflamed or damaged. It's hard to absorb carbohydrates, fats, water, and many vitamins and minerals from food. Surgery for Crohn's disease can also cause this problem if too much of your small intestine is removed.
  • You have no desire to eat. This can happen because of pain, diarrhea, anxiety, and changes in taste. As a result, you don't eat enough.
  • You take drugs to treat Crohn's disease. Some make it harder to absorb nutrients.
  • You have bleeding inside your body. This can lead to anemia, which can lower your iron 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, what are some nutrients that I may be missing?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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