INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE

Prevalence of IBD is increasing, and nearly 200,000 people in Canada may be affected.1 The cause of IBD is not known but genetics, the immune system, and the environment are all believed to play a role.2,3 IBD symptoms can be affected by diet and stress, so lifestyle and nutritional changes may be an adjunct to medical therapies to help manage the symptoms.

Good nutrition is important in the management of IBD. Dietary changes may help reduce symptoms. A health care provider may recommend that a person make dietary changes, such as avoiding carbonated drinks, popcorn, vegetable skins, nuts, and other high-fibre foods, drinking more liquids, eating smaller meals more often, and keeping a food diary to help identify troublesome foods. Health care providers may sometimes recommend nutritional supplements and vitamins for people who do not absorb enough nutrients.

1. Bernstein  C , Wajda A, Senson LW, MacKenzie A, Koehoorn M, Jackson M, Fedorak R, Israel D, Blanchard JF..  The epidemiology of   inflammatory bowel disease in Canada:  A population-based study.  AN J Gastroentrol.  2006. 101: 1559-1568

2. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/crohns-disease/Pages/facts.aspx#3

3. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/crohns-disease/Pages/facts.aspx#8

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IBD is not irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)


Despite some overlapping symptoms, IBD and IBS are two different conditions. IBS is often episodic, meaning the symptoms wax and wane, but it is a not associated with any identifiable disease of the GI tract. IBD, on the other hand, is marked by inflammation of some part of the GI tract, and is a more serious condition. In either case, diet can play a role in alleviating symptoms.

Source: http://www.ccfa.org/assets/pdfs/flares_brochure_final.pdf. Accessed December 2014.

<h2>What to eat when IBD symptoms become active (a “flare”)</h2>

WHAT TO EAT WHEN IBD SYMPTOMS BECOME ACTIVE (A “FLARE”)

Despite some overlapping symptoms, IBD and IBS are two different conditions. IBS is often episodic, meaning the symptoms wax and wane, but it is a not associated with any identifiable disease of the GI tract. IBD, on the other hand, is marked by inflammation of some part of the GI tract, and is a more serious condition. In either case, diet can play a role in alleviating symptoms.


Source: http://www.ccfa.org/assets/pdfs/flares_brochure_final.pdf. Accessed December 2014.

<h2>Keep track of what you eat</h2>

KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU EAT

While food doesn't cause IBD, it can make IBD symptoms worse. Different food can affect patients differently. To know which foods to avoid, it is helpful to keep a diary or daily log of what you eat, along with a description of your symptoms. This will help link problem foods that worsen the symptoms so that they can be avoided in the future. It will also help a doctor or dietitian plan an individualized diet better tailored to your needs.