Having a Crohn's & colitis flare up
Managing diet, stress and energy levels more effectively & efficiently
This page is designed and laid out in order to help you during a flare up.
If you're having a flare up then you should see your doctor first. We do not advise that any recommendations we make should replace your medication but rather work along side it.
- One of the most important things is to get as much rest as possible. Take time off work and cut down on social events (people should understand).
- Reduce your energy output – cut down on strong physical exercise
- Do a gentle 10min yoga routine daily with a minimum of 10 mins relaxation at the end.
- Meditate at least 10mins a day.
- Follow the guided audio for self stomach massage but please read the contraindications first - only do it every other day
- Go for a nice gentle walk (ideally in the park or somewhere with nice natural surroundings).
- Watch programmes / movies that are happy and positive
- No technology 40 mins before bedtime – follow the guided meditation for sleep
This programme is designed to dramatically reduce acidity levels, which may help to decrease the inflammation levels in the body. The recommended food & drinks which are easy on the digestion.
Food & drink
1st two weeks of a flare:
- Breakfast – porridge with non dairy milk such as oat, rice or coconut milk
- Main meals (lunch / dinner) – baked potatoes (sweet potato is best), with unsalted butter / with roasted vegetables (asparagus, courgettes, fennel, mushrooms. White fish, chicken or turkey breast with no skin (baked with a little oil, no salt) with boiled potatoes or basmati rice and steamed vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, peas).
- Drinks – aloe vera juice, coconut water, water, one fresh juice (apple, pear or pineapple – but only once a day), fresh mint tea, peppermint & camomile tea, red bush tea with oat, rice or coconut milk
- Dessert: baked apples or pears with a little cinnamon (make sure the fruit is sweet)
If you're suffering from an extremely aggressive flare up where you're opening your bowels more than 5 times a day then just stick with porridge for breakfast and have only baked or boiled potatoes for main meals (with a little unsalted butter). Please still follow the above drinks guidelines. Once you feel things are improving then follow the above guidelines in section 1 for 1 week then move on to section 3.
Please note - avoid:
- Alcohol, caffeine,, chocolate, dairy, fried foods, red meat, smoking, salty foods, spicy foods, sweet fizzy drinks.
2nd week of a flare up
Hopefully by this stage things should be better, if not please follow the guidelines in section 2 for 5 days then section 1 for 1 week then move on to section 3.
If things have improved then please follow the below guidelines:
Exercise: if your energy levels have improved then you can increase your physical output but make sure you do not wear yourself out. You can follow the intermediate yoga routine on the yoga page but only if that practice is suitable for your level (no more than 3 times a week with a day of rest in between and with a minimum of 10 mins relaxation)
- Breakfast – porridge with non dairy milk such as oat, rice or coconut milk. Homemade granola (from the recipe page), wheat & gluten free cereals.
- Main meals – seafood (grilled, steamed or baked), chicken or turkey breast (grilled, steamed or baked), with basmati rice or potatoes and vegetables (steamed, boiled or baked – asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, fennel, leeks, peas). At this stage you can add a little salt (not table salt – best to use rock salt or Himalayan salt). Ensure the salt is rubbed into the food.
- Drinks – aloe vera juice, coconut water, water, one fresh juice (apple, pear or pineapple – but only once a day), peppermint & camomile tea, red bush tea with oat, rice or coconut milk, date drink (from the recipe page)
- Dessert – apple or pear crumble (from the recipe page)
- Treats – dates (no more than 3 a day). If you're someone who likes crisps and snacking then choosing snacks made for small children / toddlers is great option but please make sure it has no artificial colours or flavours and also make sure they are baked or air dried.
3rd week of a flare up
We hope by this stage things have improved, if not then you will still need to follow section 1 until things get better. If things have gotten better then just follow the main framework from the dietary guideline page.
If things have calmed down completely then you can resume to your normal routine but always be mindful about managing your stress and energy levels.