I've been wondering lately what role, if any, there is for protein in Crohn's disease management, and I am glad I found your thread.
I, like NCOT, would suggest Ensure/Boost type of beverages. It was what was recommended to me over a year ago when I was in a similar situation to you. It was a good calorie replacement, and is fortified with vitamins, protein, etc. I was drinking about
4-6 per day just prior to surgery. It actually helped stabalize my weight, and helped relieve my gut from as much work as would normally be necessary when consuming 1000-1500 calories.
After surgery, I continued to drink some, but weened off over the course of a month or two while transitioning from liquid/soft diet to a more regular diet.
I'd never consider the protein portion of the Ensure drink, or my diet, until after surgery. When getting discharged from the hospital, I received a diet plan from a nutrionalist. It wasn't a specific menu plan, but rather a list of things that were OK to eat and a target protein goal of 100g per day (for my age, weight, height, etc.)
It was a lot of effort to get that many grams of protein per day, and I'm sure that I would not have hit that level (1) if I wasn't actively counting them and (2) if not for the Ensure/Boost drinks.
It is my understanding that the protein levels help with energy & help promote healing.
So, I've continued to monitor my protein intake. I make sure I get at least 15% of my calories each day from protein. I probably eat more protein each day/week than I would if I wasn't monitoring that specifically. Now, I am certainly aware that my current physical condition could be a normal "remission" and I would feel great no matter what I ate...but I am under the belief that my protein monitoring is aiding in my health.
In February, I had routine bloodwork done, and for the first time in a long, long time...maybe ever since diagnosis, every single measure that they looked at was within the normal range. Most of the things they look at are my red blood counts. I've had non-anemic readings in the past that still had one or two measures outside the normal range...this was the first time that every single number on the report was within the normal window.
Diagnosed in Feb 1989 at age 14Just diagnosed, worried about future?Tips on recovery from 1st surgery
1 Resection: 4" at terminal ileum + 24" of jejunum - June 2011
Current med: Humira (since Mar 2011)
Also take: monthly B12 injection, Calcium, Multivitamin