Crohn’s disease can impede your body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals, leading to nutritional deficiencies like anemia due to iron deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is common among those living with CD, particularly when their small bowel is involved (Reference Raftery Martineau and Greiller 86). Supplementation with 50mg (2000IU/day) vitamin D significantly increased handgrip strength – an indicator of muscle function – without impacting fatigue or quality of life (Maalouf Nabulsi and Vieth 24).
Table of Contents
Folic acid (vitamin B9) is essential to the production of new cells in your body and pregnant women to prevent birth defects. People living with Crohn’s should ensure they consume sufficient folate through fruits, vegetables and grains – however individuals living with Crohn’s may have difficulty accessing enough folate due to various factors.
Diarrhea is a common symptom of Crohn’s disease and may rob your body of essential nutrients. If this happens regularly, doctors may advise drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and balance electrolytes, in addition to avoiding foods known to trigger diarrhea as much as possible to avoid dehydration and stomach discomfort.
As there are numerous herbal and supplement options to support gut health, it’s wise to speak to your doctor first before taking any. Some herbs can interfere with Crohn’s medications and make symptoms worse – for instance St John’s Wort and black cohosh may increase nausea and vomiting in Crohn’s patients.
Crohn’s can hinder your body’s ability to absorb iron and calcium, leading to deficiency of these essential vitamins. Your doctor may therefore suggest taking daily supplements as part of a remedy plan.
Vitamin D deficiency may also exacerbate Crohn’s symptoms. Your physician may advise drinking milk fortified with vitamin D and eating fish high in this nutrient to increase levels of this essential nutrient.
Folate can help your body absorb calcium for strong bones. Additionally, folate plays an essential role in DNA production and the methylation cycle that maintains cell health in your body. People living with Crohn’s should consume ample folate through leafy vegetables and fortified cereals as certain medications such as Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) and Methotrexate may cause folate deficiency.
If you are experiencing a Crohn’s flare-up, try eating smaller meals more frequently to help your digestive system work more efficiently and reduce inflammation. Furthermore, avoid foods known to trigger flare-ups like dairy products and caffeine; check with your physician regarding testing vitamin D, B12 and folate levels if possible to detect nutritional deficiencies.
Crohn’s disease can make it hard to obtain essential vitamins and minerals. Flare-ups, symptoms and surgery can interfere with how much you eat or how easily your body absorbs certain nutrients; to overcome this issue, your doctor may suggest supplementation as a means to bridge these gaps and avoid complications like anemia.
People living with Crohn’s often have deficiency of vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for red blood cell production and nerve health. Absorption typically occurs at the ileum of the small intestine; however, damage to that region often caused by Crohn’s can make absorption impossible, leading to vitamin B12 deficiency – with symptoms including fatigue, confusion, depression memory problems tingling in hands or feet as well as muscle weakness.
Many people living with Crohn’s are deficient or at risk of becoming deficient in calcium, an essential nutrient for bone and muscle health. When you experience flare-ups, albumin production by your liver drops, leading calcium levels in your bloodstream to plummet resulting in deficiencies which may lead to fractures, osteoporosis and muscle weakness.
Low iron intake can be a cause of anemia in individuals living with Crohn’s. Iron is needed for red blood cell production, making it essential to include it as part of our diets; otherwise, your doctor may advise supplementation as part of treatment plan. Food sources that contain iron include beans, red meat, poultry, fish, fortified cereal, dark leafy vegetables and fruits – these include sources such as beans.
Magnesium is an essential mineral, helping regulate your heart rhythm, bone health, blood sugar regulation and the breakdown of protein and fat metabolism. Magnesium also plays an integral part in nerve function and muscle movement – however its deficiency may result from decreased appetite or inflammation; eating foods high in magnesium such as almonds, bananas, chia seeds, quinoa, black beans fortified cereal or leafy green vegetables is the solution.
People living with Crohn’s disease often develop anemia due to insufficient iron levels in the bloodstream. This may be caused by abdominal pain and diarrhea associated with Crohn’s interfering with your ability to consume enough food, along with medications used in treatment that cause an upset stomach and make eating difficult. Malnutrition may also occur as inflammation damages digestion systems’ ability to absorb vital nutrients efficiently from foods like protein.
Vitamin D plays an essential role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, helping maintain bone mineral density. Low levels of vitamin D have long been identified as risk factors for osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis; low vitamin D levels may also increase your chances of infection and cancer due to its role in cell regulation and tumor prevention.
Studies have outlined the significance of adequate vitamin D intake in Crohn’s patients. For instance, one three-month trial in quiescent Crohn’s patients demonstrated how supplementing with 50mg (2000IU) of vitamin D3 improved both dominant and non-dominant handgrip strength as well as fatigue significantly.
The Nurses Health Study, which monitored over 175,000 women for 20 years, also showed that higher intakes of vitamin D are linked with reduced risks of Crohn’s disease. This relationship could be explained by its ability to strengthen digestive epithelial barrier function which becomes impaired with Crohn’s.
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among people living with Crohn’s disease and, according to an expert panel’s consensus recommendations, 25(OH)D concentrations should exceed 75nmol/l for optimal musculoskeletal and immunological effects. More research needs to be conducted into its mechanisms of action as well as optimal serum vitamin D levels in this condition.
Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of your intestines that leads to bleeding, leading to anemia – a condition in which there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells delivering oxygen to your brain and organs – over time. Anemia can result in fatigue and difficulty focusing or thinking clearly as well as decreased appetite leading to weight loss.
Bleeding occurs when inflammation irritates and weakens your intestinal walls, leading them to break open, leading your body to lose blood, which in turn lowers iron levels in your system.
People living with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are at increased risk of anemia, especially women of childbearing age. Long periods of chronic diarrhea or flare-ups that cause significant blood loss could also put them at an increased risk.
Your doctor can determine whether your iron levels are low. They can also assist in selecting appropriate vitamins and supplements; vitamin B12 for instance helps keep nerves and blood cells healthy while it’s absorbed through food through the ileum of your small intestine. Unfortunately, getting enough B12 may be challenging if Crohn’s Disease affects this area or surgery was performed on your digestive tract.
Consider taking a high-quality multivitamin that contains these nutrients; however, some supplements could interfere with or worsen your Crohn’s medications and symptoms, so always speak to your physician prior to adding or altering any new supplements or adjusting doses of existing ones.
If anemia is compounding your Crohn’s symptoms, working closely with your physician to find relief is key. They can create an individualized treatment plan tailored specifically for you that may include nutritional therapies like Ferosom Forte that will help restore optimal health.