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Are we at risk of nutritional deficiencies while in remission?

Hi everyone!

I was just wondering whether I still need to be taking any supplements as I am, in my eyes, in remission and living a pretty normal life now (Hooray!!).

I have Crohn's colitis and have been on azathioprine for over 2 years. Since I stopped taking Mezavant 3 months ago my gut habits have returned to their pre-disease state (turns out the Mez was causing looser stools, and not the Crohn's as I had thought!).

I had been taking Adcal D3, but I don't know if I really need to anymore.

Are nutritional deficiencies just caused by malabsorption when the gut wall is damaged/inflamed, or are there any other reasons why Crohn's can affect vitamin levels?
Yes and no. Some like iron deficiency can be directly caused by flare and bleeding but others I think can have trouble being absorbed even in remission. I believe D is one you should likely continue. My GI says pretty much everyone should supplement D as very few people get enough naturally.

I'm not 100 percent sure on this tbh and would live to hear more detailed info from someone.
I think it may also depend a little on your history. If you have had diseased areas removed, you will likely always battle some absorption issues. I think scar tissue can have the same affect as well.
It's best to get tested regularly for all these nutritional factors, otherwise you can possibly miss out on what you need or otherwise waste money on unneeded supplements. I have had an ileostomy for almost 15 years and have thorough blood tests at least annually. I only take magnesium and vitD at present.


Super Moderator
As Susan said, have your levels checked. It is still possible to have definicies in remission. If there is scar tissue in your GI tract, that area won't absorb as well as it did pre-disease.
If you get your blood work done and everything comes back good, then there is no need to take it anymore.


Also, in addition to what's said above if you had any resection you may be more apt to deficiency depending on the intestine portion removed.
Thanks everyone,

I've been relatively lucky so far - no surgery, and although my disease initially flared quite badly it was brought under control within about 18 months, so I'm hoping there's not too much scarring in there.

My doctor decided to check my Vit D levels this month anyway, so that will be a good measure, and I will probably keep taking the Adcal at some level as I also have to bear in mind that I have a family history of fairly early menopause (at least the early end of normal anyway) and at 44 years old now I'm starting to get symptoms of that on the not too distant horizon.
I have had 3 1/2 feet of bowel removed. I am in remission but I have been told to continue supplementing. I take Vit D, a Multi-vitamin, prescription strength Potassium.
The small bowel absorbs different nutrients along different parts of its tract. So, depending on what section of bowel is resected you will still have deficiencies that need to be watched for, even in remission.
I don't have crohn's (my son does) but I do have vitamin deficiencies. I take D3, Magnesium, and B12 because I am deficient in all 3. Having deficient D3 is now being linked to various autoimmune disorders so you may very well naturally run deficient even when in remission. I had blood tests to confirm my deficiency but I knew because I would sweat excessively when exercising (mainly my head) and I was tired and had stomach issues. All of those problems have gone away since starting to take the vitamin D3. I started on 10,000 a day for 2 weeks and am now on 5,000 per day. Don't take it after noon because it will give you insomnia. Vit D3 suppresses melatonin production a few hours after you take it. I would wake up at 4 am and not be able to get back to sleep!

Good luck, glad to hear you are in remission!!
Trials have found that taking a vitamin D supplement with a meal with fat increases vitamin D levels compared to a meal that contains no fat. I take mine, plus magnesium, in the morning with full fat yoghurt.
Thanks Johnnysmom,

That's really interesting about the D3 and insomnia. I had stopped taking the evening tablet of Adcal D3 (just taking one in the morning, when I remember!), so if I return to my original dose I might take it all in the morning.
If you live in areas that have long cold spells or little sunlight (i.e. UK for you, Minnesota for me :p), then Vitamin D would be a very good thing to take as it also effects many things including mood and memory. Also, a multivitamin doesn't hurt, just make sure it's easy of the stomach. Congratulations on the remission!!!
Thanks, Basmah,

It's good to feel 'normal' again. It certainly makes you appreciate good health and not take it too much for granted!


Hi, I have had surgery 4 years ago for the second time ,but, still the frist one was in"87" and was great for 20 years,b ut , still each time I am battling with major malnursihment, badly animic and missing all the needed vit.s b6-b12 iron,d,calcium Now my eyeballs[literaly] hurt bad and swell-up and feel like my eyes are on fire, just from badly malnourished , but, a life time of this I have been sick since 11-12 years old, I suffer from C.D. very bad. I have been throw a lot from this horrible disease. Plz keep getting your iron,D, and check every few years for Ostyo-arthrituis in your back...A lot of Crohns people are getting the old ladys disease [ostyo-arth..]..Your iron ,,if this is low you will suffer from Getting light-headed when standing and seeing flying spots and if bad you will start to lose your vision, just like going blind,, look out for this that's LOW iron...I never had blood loss and I had all thoses bad......