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How to Eat With Diabetes and Crohn's Disease

author image Clay McNight
Clay McNight is currently a nutrition writer with Demand Media Studios.
How to Eat With Diabetes and Crohn's Disease
3D illustration of a person with Crohn's disease Photo Credit EncroVision/iStock/Getty Images

When you consume a healthy, balanced diet that helps regulate and stabilize blood sugar levels, you can generally control diabetes. Crohn's disease, which is an inflammatory digestive disorder, doesn't have a specific known cause, and although there is no diet that can cure Crohn's disease, you can make dietary adjustments, which may be useful in preventing flare-ups of Crohn's disease.

Diabetes and Controlling Blood Sugar

The hormone insulin regulates blood sugar levels, which in diabetics, is either overproduced, underproduced, or both. Two major types of diabetes exist -- type-1 and type-2. In type-1 diabetes, the body makes little or no insulin, and the cause is still unknown. Type-2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the disease, is most prevalent in adults, although many younger people are now being diagnosed with it. If you have diabetes, it is important to control your blood sugar levels. MedlinePlus notes that you can do this by consuming fewer calories than usual, a consistent amount of carbohydrates at each meal and by consuming healthy monounsaturated fats.

Diabetic Dietary Recommendations

A healthy diet for diabetics includes vegetables, whole grains, beans, poultry, fish, lean meats, fruits and nonfat dairy products, according to the American Diabetes Association. Eating these foods can help promote balanced blood sugar levels. In addition to eating healthy foods, the association notes that portion size is also of high importance. Additionally, it's always better to choose whole foods over processed foods, which often lack sufficient nutrient content.

Crohn's and Diet

Crohn's disease is one type of inflammatory bowel disorder. It is characterized by chronic inflammation that can affect any part of the digestive tract. This inflammation often results in diarrhea, narrowing of the intestines, nutrient malabsorption and in severe cases, the need for surgical removal of sections of the digestive tract. There is no specific diet that has been proven to treat or prevent inflammatory bowel disease, according to University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center, although it can be beneficial to identify and eliminate problem foods by keeping a food journal.

Avoiding Problem Foods With Crohn's

People who have Crohn's disease should consume a healthy diet and avoid any foods that can potentially worsen symptoms, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Although foods are not the cause of Crohn's disease, alcohol, hot spices, bulky grains and dairy products can increase cramping and diarrhea in individuals who have Crohn's, notes the clearinghouse. During a Crohn's flare-up, avoid high-fiber foods, including fruits and vegetables. Following a flare-up, the UCSF Medical Center recommends that you eat foods that are easy on the digestive tract, which include applesauce, oatmeal, sourdough or white bread, diluted juices, cooked eggs, turkey, chicken and fish.

Eating for Crohn's and Diabetes

If you suffer from diabetes and Crohn's, start with a healthy diet that's high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, nuts, legumes and low-fat dairy to stabilize your blood sugar. From that point, it may be beneficial to keep a food journal to identify any foods that may cause Crohn's disease flare-ups. See your doctor during a flare-up to get personalized dietary recommendations.

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