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What Foods Should Seniors Avoid If They Have Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease that attacks the tissue lining of the digestive tract, especially the intestines. When someone with Crohn’s disease eats particular foods, it aggravates the body’s digestive system resulting in painful cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. The following are several foods home caregivers in The Grand Strand should dissuade their senior loved ones from eating if they have Crohn’s disease.

Whole Grains

High in natural fiber content, whole grains such as rye bread and pasta can be harmful for seniors who have Crohn’s disease. Fiber requires a complex digestion process that uses a lot of water. People with this disease already have inflamed intestinal linings because their bodies don’t regulate digestive enzymes and fluids properly. A significant loss of water that’s absorbed by fiber can further irritate the inflammation in the intestines.


Live-in The Grand Strand caregivers should discourage seniors from consuming milk because it contains a sugar known as lactose, which can cause digestive problems in individuals with Crohn’s disease. Lactose intolerance is often confused with Crohn’s disease because both conditions cause problems in the gastrointestinal system. Whether it’s skimmed or low in fat, any type of milk can significantly upset a stomach that’s already compromised by Crohn’s disease.


Raw nuts are loaded with essential nutrients such as unsaturated fats. However, they can be very difficult to digest. Since nuts have a hard texture, they are quite abrasive as they pass through sensitive linings of the inflamed digestive tract of individuals with Crohn’s disease. Salted nuts can be even worse because sodium can cause severe pain upon contact with open ulcers and other wounds in a person’s GI system.

Spicy Food

Spicy food releases various types of chemicals that could further inflame and irritate the stomach and intestines. Popular spices such as chili pepper is particularly reactive with the tissue in the digestive system. In fact, extremely spicy food could potentially eat away some of the protective linings in the stomach and intestines, thereby making the digestive tract more vulnerable to acidic, spicy, and difficult-to-digest foods.

Fruit and Veggies

Even though whole fruit and vegetables contain essential minerals and vitamins, such food is not recommended for people with Crohn’s disease. The raw fiber content in fruit and veggies creates digestive challenges for individuals who live with this condition. However, pureed fruits and veggies or vegetable soups are easy-to-digest alternatives that won’t deprive your loved one of nutrients.

It can be tricky maintaining a nutritious diet when seniors have Crohn’s disease or other digestive issues. To help your loved one maintain a healthy diet and overall lifestyle, reach out to a trusted The Grand Strand elderly care agency like Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of in-home care that helps seniors create and maintain a balanced schedule consisting of nutritious diet, regular exercise, and socialization to boost both physical and emotional wellbeing. Call us today at (843) 353-3105 to speak with an experienced Care Manager and set up a complimentary consultation.