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Crohn's Disease & Gluten Free Diet
By Mario Calhoun, eHow Contributing Writer
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Crohn's disease is an irritable bowel disorder that causes inflammation in your digestive tract, which manifests as diarrhea, bloody stool, abdominal pain and cramps, as well as ulcers. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite and weight loss, according to the Mayo Clinic. Taking anti-inflammatory and immune system suppressants, or adjusting your diet can reduce symptoms. Of the many IBS diets, a gluten-free diet can reduce the frequency of inflammation and other symptoms associated with the disorder. Contact your dietitian to determine the safety of a gluten-free diet.


  • A healthy diet needs to contain complex carbohydrates, as they provide fiber and nutrients that prevent constipation and reduce cholesterol. Unfortunately the protein gluten is found in food that contains wheat, rye or barley, according to "Controlling IBS the Drug-Free Way." Switch to gluten-free bread and pasta, and be sure to check food labels to determine if gluten is an ingredient. Gluten can also be found in cookies, cakes, soups, gravy, sauces, salad dressings, beer, processed meat and candy. You can find complex carbohydrates in beans and vegetables including corn, potatoes and yams.


  • Unless you are consuming processed meat or imitation seafood, it is safe to eat meats. Fresh meat that is low in saturated fat is preferred over fatty meats such as regular ground beef and bacon. Reduce your saturated fat intake by removing the skin from chicken, and eat salmon, mackerel, trout or albacore tuna, as they are high sources of polyunsaturated fat and protein.

    Products to Avoid

  • Lipstick, toothpaste, vitamins and even postage stamps contain gluten, and should be avoided to prevent Crohn's disease symptoms. Food additives that contain gluten include malt flavoring, modified cornstarch and brewer's yeast. Look for make-up lines that are labeled as gluten-free, and avoid taking vitamin supplements unless they are labeled as gluten-free.

    Meal Portioning

  • Decrease the size of your meals and break your meals from three large meals to five to six small ones, according to the Mayo Clinic. This helps your stomach digest the food easier by putting less stress on your digestive tract.

    Cross Contamination

  • Avoid cross contamination, which can occur if you place your food on a surface that previously had gluten on it, or if you touch a gluten food followed by touching your gluten-free food. Wash your hands by rubbing them with soap for 15 to 20 seconds followed by washing them with warm water. Wash a surface that had a gluten product on it before using it for your gluten-free food.
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