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04-29-2013, 08:59 AM   #1
copeland
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Cheese and Crohn's

Hi everyone,

I'm currently in a Crohn's flare and not on any specific diet (as anything seems to make me ill).

I happened to eat a good amount of cheese yesterday (I made lasagna, so mozzarella and ricotta), and noticed that it made a marked difference in my gut. It gave me terrible gas and stomachaches all night, but also seemed to stop my diarrhea and I'm now having much more formed stools (well, not liquid anyway).

I was wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences with cheese. I don't know that I'd recommend it because of the stomach pain all night, but once I got all the gas out I actually felt much better this morning.

Then again, this could all be the seemingly random fluctuations in this disease. I do science for a living, and have never encountered a problem so frustrating. It seems to obey no fixed rules and seems to come and go entirely of its won accord sometimes.

Thanks,

-Dan
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04-29-2013, 04:35 PM   #2
CrohnsChicago
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Dairy is often a no-no for crohn's patients ESPECIALLY when flaring. Your body has a harder time breaking down the lactose in dairy.

Mind you, not everyone with crohn's has this problem...for example, I can eat most cheese without issue so long as I eat it in moderation. And I tend to stick to aged cheeses which have less lactose. Eggs are fine for me as well as yogurt.

But I stay away from milk unless it is baked into something. Creams and anything cream-based I try my best to avoid as well. It's like an instant bloating, gas, discomfort after consuming these products.

So if you ABSOLUTELY MUST have cheese (sounds like you should probably avoid it though), place your focus on the aged varieties like cheddar. Softer cheese, such as the ones you mention in your post, will give you the most problems because of the high lactose content. And mind your portions
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04-29-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
amrycrohns
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I eat chedder Extra sharp like it's going out of style. It very well could be cheese causeing your issue's, but also consider your sauce and spice's before you count out yummy cheese.
04-29-2013, 05:43 PM   #4
nogutsnoglory
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It could be a coincidence if you haven't noticed problems with dairy in the past. A lot of people here can't tolerate dairy. I seem to be okay with it. Try eliminating it for a few days and see if you improve then re-introduce it and if you get worse you can likely safely assume its a trigger food.
04-29-2013, 07:05 PM   #5
copeland
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Honestly, I think every food out there is a trigger food at the moment. I can't actually eat anything and feel good about it. I generally notice very little difference overall in how I feel with different foods.

I was wondering more if anyone else had run into the same change in stool consistency with cheese. Any sort of formed bowel movement is very rare for me, so I was just curious. Like I said, I'm not sure if my guts' behavior was better or worse, just kind of... different.
04-29-2013, 07:22 PM   #6
AlliRuns
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Not all cheese has lactose, anything fermented or aged has negligible lactose. I am lactose intolerant, but I tolerate extra old cheddar very well.
04-29-2013, 07:23 PM   #7
hawkeye
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I was always told that cheese acts to "form" things up. Maybe it's an old wives tale
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04-29-2013, 07:44 PM   #8
Charleigh
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If you are in a flare then you probably just can't digest the lactose. Soft cheeses like ricotta and even mozzarella are not lactose free. Hard, aged cheddar or parmesan, etc might more tolerated.
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04-29-2013, 08:30 PM   #9
Jennifer
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Cheese/milk in general can cause constipation. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddise.../constipation/ Likely hence the more formed stool. Yet you're also showing some symptoms of lactose intolerance with the increase in gas and abdominal pain, minus the loose stools and vomiting http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disor...topic-overview.

Here's info on aged cheeses and how they contain less lactose: http://cheese.about.com/od/cheesebas...ctose_free.htm

As mentioned it may also be the sauce, spices, noodles etc that could also be a contributing factor.
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04-30-2013, 06:11 AM   #10
copeland
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Thanks everyone!
05-01-2013, 06:13 AM   #11
Jam300
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If I eat Feta or full fat Cream Cheese, I can almost gaurentee that I won't be going to the loo the next day. If I do, it's formed for sure. As already mentioned, cheese is constipating in some people and this increase in transit time will possibly result in a more formed stool, as it has spent more time in the colon.
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05-01-2013, 08:23 AM   #12
mccindy
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As someone who has been lactose intolerant for years, I can tell you that ricotta and mozzarella are two huge no-nos for those who can't tolerate lactose. They are two of the freshest cheeses. To avoid lactose, any cheese that has been aged is a safe bet. I can eat sharp cheddar, swiss, gorgonzola, bleu, parmesan, asiago, romano, and any other aged cheese with little to no side effects. cheese curds are fresh cheese, along with colby, monterey jack, mild cheddar, and american.
05-01-2013, 01:31 PM   #13
sickofcrohns
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I am a dairy addict. Bring on the milk! Dairy products are 100% safe for me *unless* I've been having a flare.

Basically, the way it works is that if you have functional lactase-producing cells in your guts, cheese is constipating because you can break it down perfectly and cheese has no fibre.

But if you're having a flare, it's a different story. The cells in your guts that make the lactase necessary to break down lactose (milk protein) are on the surface of the gut lining. When you have a flare, these cells get sloughed off or otherwise damaged. This means that you can't break down and absorb these proteins yourself, so your gut flora (bacteria, yeast, etc.) do it for you, in other words, MAJOR GAS. If you're recovering from a flare, though, it is OK to introduce low-lactose cheeses and yogurt, starting with small doses and increasing them over time, until your cells are back in business.

Yay for dairy products!
05-02-2013, 08:04 AM   #14
copeland
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I am a dairy addict. Bring on the milk! Dairy products are 100% safe for me *unless* I've been having a flare.

Basically, the way it works is that if you have functional lactase-producing cells in your guts, cheese is constipating because you can break it down perfectly and cheese has no fibre.

But if you're having a flare, it's a different story. The cells in your guts that make the lactase necessary to break down lactose (milk protein) are on the surface of the gut lining. When you have a flare, these cells get sloughed off or otherwise damaged. This means that you can't break down and absorb these proteins yourself, so your gut flora (bacteria, yeast, etc.) do it for you, in other words, MAJOR GAS. If you're recovering from a flare, though, it is OK to introduce low-lactose cheeses and yogurt, starting with small doses and increasing them over time, until your cells are back in business.

Yay for dairy products!
Thanks, that makes a lot of sense and correlates well with my experience. I've been haveing a lot of mucus in my stool, which I believe comes from the sloughing off in the gut lining that you describe.

Too bad, I love lasagna!
05-02-2013, 08:25 AM   #15
mccindy
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If you can tolerate soy (which I've heard should be avoided during a flare) there is a product called "Better Than Cream Cheese" which I've used, along with a good quality imitation mozzarella, to make lasagna which is just as rich and tasty as when traditional cheeses are used.
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