Vegetarian Diets

Are you a Vegetarian?
Yes - 23.1%
No - 76.9%

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 947
   Posted 1/10/2009 5:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm just curious as if this has any meaning to our disease.
How many of you with Crohns are Vegetarians and have been your whole life. Just wondering if our diet is to blame.

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 1/10/2009 7:06 AM (GMT -7)   
I am not, but a very good friend (Crohnie) of mine is...her disease level is not as severe as mine but she is not immune to d/pain/meds and has good days and bad days. She is vegetarian and doesn't follow any of the no carb diets...

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 1/10/2009 8:14 AM (GMT -7)   
For me, being a vegetarian has not caused Crohn's. At age 15, I stopped eating meat at my GI's recommendation b/c my body couldn't digest most of it. Every time I ate meat, I got horribly sick within minutes. After already trying to eliminate dairy and wheat from my diet, neither of which helped, the GI suggested I stop eating meat and see if that helped. Well, it helped immensely! I gained 10 lbs fast, D wasn't as bad, etc. For me, I feel like being a vegetarian has really helped my overall health, but of course there are some vegetables I have to avoid...
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease; Meds: Entocort & Asacol; female in late 20s.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6117
   Posted 1/10/2009 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   
isnt vegetarian an old indian word for 'lousy hunter"? ;-) . ive known both and have seen no differance in the symptoms..

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 1/10/2009 8:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Although researchers have not completely ruled out diet as a possible trigger, that's not to say that diet doesn't have some impact...each persons trigger could be different and it's even more likely that for each person it may be more than one trigger that sets off the disease in motion...which would explain why even many vegitarians still get IBD...and for any who lean towards the MAPO theory, MAP is not found in dairy/milk alone, it is in soil (where many fruits and veggies grow) and water as well. But, researchers say that fast-foods, processed foods/beverages, caffeine, animal fats and refined sugar all do play a role in exacerbating IBD symptoms for many if not most or all IBD patients. So there are many varients to how diet can affect us.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 1/10/2009 8:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I believe diet has some sort of impact, and I agree with what pb4 said.
As for whether or not vegetarianism has anything to do with it? I don't think so. People who have many different diets end up in the same boat. I was a vegetarian for a while in my late teens before I had Crohn's, but I also started eating meat before things went bad as well. I'm sure you could come up with some theory about how switching from one to the other did a number on my digestive system, but I really think it was mostly a combination of genetic factors, stress, and poor diet for the few months I lived on campus with some friends.
I think that being a vegetarian afterward would be really difficult for some of us...I HAVE to have meat to get calories and energy, and I have a lot of trouble with fresh fruits and vegetables as well as certain soy products. I absolutely loved Silk's chocolate milk but had to quit drinking it based off of information I found not in favor of mass consumption of soy products, effects on hormone levels, etc.
Anyway, my apologies for getting off track at the end there!
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 20 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, multivitamin, humira every other week, and good probiotics.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Attempting a diet without refined sugars, high fat content, bleached or bromated flour, most dairy, red meat, and avoiding anything spicy like the plague. Also refuse to eat anything with trans fat or high fructose/corn syrup.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/12/2009 10:46 AM (GMT -7)   

I became a vegetarian when I was 10 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn's aged 20.

There aren't any foods that I've found I'm particularly intolerant to.  Only when I'm having a flare all food aggrevatesand when I'm in remission I'm fine with everything.

Being veggie is my choice as I'm really screamish and can't stand the thought of eating blood!  I'm sure my body could tolerate it fine (in remission) if I did choose to eat it.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2015
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/1/2015 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had digestive issues that have come and gone my whole life. When I was in my late teens through my mid 20's I was really into working for Green Peace, eating vegetarian, etc, etc... basically living like a hippy and my issues went away completely... to the point that I forgot I had ever had such problems (they had been assumed to be IBS). During my first pregnancy, I began eating meat again because I wasn't knowledgeable enough to eat vegetarian during pregnancy and I was concerned about enough protein... my digestive problems started to come back, but I figured it was just a "pregnancy thing". With a new job and hectic schedule after my daughter was born, it was just convenient to eat whatever was around, so I continued eating meat, and continued getting sicker. I knew all along that my problem was much more serious than IBS because of certain symptoms, and when a doctor finally ordered a colonoscopy (after years of insisting my problem was from IBS, hormones, or nerves) He stated (and I quote) " You obviously had some type of colitis at some point, but it is gone now. You just have a lot of scar tissue causing your symptoms." After years of dealing with this I was fed up... I have never heard of any type of colitis that just "goes away" and is gone, and because Crohn's and UC both run in my family I just could not understand why I could not get a diagnosis. I decided to take matters into my own hands by trying different diets. Gluten free didn't work. Eliminating all processed foods... no artificial colors or flavors, preservatives, etc.... and cooking form scratch helped significantly, but I was still sick a lot. I went back to a vegetarian diet (but I do consume very small amounts of dairy, and once in a while a boiled egg) about a year ago, and for me it has made the hugest difference ever. I cannot say it has "cured" my problem, because I occasionally get some mild inflammation, but I am no longer in too much pain to wash the dishes, clean the kitchen, and spend time with the kids after dinner. Before I switched back to being vegetarian, within 20 minutes of eating dinner I would be in so much pain (and I would go from a perfectly flat stomach to looking like I was about to give birth) that I could barely stand to wash dishes and clean the kitchen, then I would lay on the bed balled up or writhing around in pain for an hour.... I find it interesting that dinner was the only meal that ever did this to me, and dinner is the only meal I ever ate meat at. Now I can finish the kitchen, wrestle with my 5yr old son, do yard work, go out somewhere, work out, or do anything else after dinner with no pain. However, each person is different, and being a vegetarian might not be right for everyone. There are always weird exceptions too... like I HAVE to eat tons of raw fruits and veggies... lots and lots of roughage... in order to feel well, otherwise I get what I call "gutt sludge" that is nasty, gross, semisolid poop that I can't pass well (then I get really bloated, miserable, and inflamed), but others with IBD often have a lot of problems with eating these things... So finding what foods are right or beneficial is a matter of trial and error really.
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