images/macc_logo.gif(87860 bytes)images/logo_right_space.gif (28465 bytes)

Printer friendlyCrohn's disease

What else do I need to know about Crohn's disease?


There is no evidence that stress causes Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. However, people with IBD sometimes feel increased stress in their lives from having to live with a chronic illness and the symptoms. Some people also say that a stressful event or situation can bring on a flare. For people who find there is a connection between their stress level and a worsening of their symptoms, using relaxation techniques, such as slow breathing, and taking special care to eat well and get enough sleep, may help them feel better.

Travel tips

If you are planning to travel, consider asking your doctor for a letter outlining your medical condition, in case you need to get medical attention in another city or country. You might also consider asking your doctor to write down a brief plan for what to do if symptoms arise. Take a copy of the prescriptions for any medicines you bring with you, for customs or security inspections, or if they are lost. Also, be sure to bring your doctor's contact information with you, and research ahead to find out who to contact or where to go if you have any medical needs while you are travelling. Helpful travel information for some countries is available at the EFCCA website (


There is no evidence that Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis is due to food allergies. Most importantly, you need to eat a healthy, balanced diet to maintain your weight and give your body nutrients. If certain foods seem to make your symptoms worse, you may want to try to remove those foods from your diet when you have a flare-up. Keeping a food diary could help you identify which foods to avoid. Some people find that foods with high fibre content (eg, fruits, vegetables, nuts and wholemeal grains) make their symptoms worse, whereas other people find it helps to avoid spicy foods or fatty foods.

If removing a food from your diet doesn't seem to help, then re-introduce it into your usual diet so you continue to get balanced nutrition from a variety of foods.

It is best to discuss any questions you may have about diet and your condition with your doctor and he or she may suggest that you see a nutritionist for additional guidance.

For more tips and resources to help you manage your IBD, please see, Treatment Plan for Crohn's disease.

For more advice on managing stress, diet and travelling, please see Living with IBD/ Achieve more with IBD and Living with IBD/ Controlling your IBD

In SEVERE cases

A few people with severe Crohn's disease are unable to absorb particular nutrients and need to take vitamin or mineral tablets, either due to the inflammation in their digestive system, or because previous surgery may have removed some parts of the bowel. Some people need to have an injection of vitamin B12 every 3 months. In comparison, most people with ulcerative colitis do not have this sort of problem, although they may need to take iron supplements for anaemia (a low red blood cell count) due to blood loss. Blood tests can help confirm whether you need vitamin B12, or iron supplements.



 Home    About MACC    Disclaimer    Privacy Policy   Glossary    FAQs    Acknowledgements    Site Map