Healthy Living

Inside an NFL Player’s Battle with Crohn’s Disease

Scheduling meals alongside practice in Crohn’s Disease

Scheduling meals alongside practice

Crohn’s patients suffer from both poor absorption of nutrients into the body, and an overall loss in appetite. For Henderson, eating would become a necessary workout, just like strength training and conditioning. Inflammation can occur at any time, and during these times, fatigue can set in and prevent a person from being able to exercise or eat. This would be a problem for any person, but for Seantrel Henderson, being diagnosed with Crohn’s was a threat to his entire career.

Henderson has set meal plans that he must follow day to day, the same way that he must show up to practice and watch film to be able to play for the Bills. His diet consists of plenty of meats and greens, protein shakes, and a lot of fruit. Eating regularly and in excess helps his body to absorb the nutrients necessary for maintaining a high level of performance. Keeping his weight up is crucial to his ability to perform his role at right tackle, where he must block and redirect some of the heaviest players in the league.

Certain dietary foods may cause people with Crohn’s disease to experience stronger symptoms, and Henderson has had to learn to stay away from those foods if he is to successfully regain his position on the field. These foods include dairy products, low calorie foods, alcohols, coffee, tea, and any food that produces gas. Eating these foods, along with failing to properly hydrate, can cause flare ups that drastically affect a person’s ability to get along throughout the day. For an NFL player, this can mean missing crucial practices or having to forgo play time on game day.