IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes Chron’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. People can manage both conditions through diet, but painful flare-ups can occur.

During a flare-up, the intestinal walls become inflamed, and the digestive tract is sensitive to different foods and beverages.7 These acute instances can lead to fatigue, fever, diarrhea, blood in the stool, and a decreased appetite.

Disease Definitions

  • Crohn’s disease Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown cause that can involve any portion of the digestive tract. Inflammation can extend entirely through the intestinal wall, often resulting in diarrhea, strictures (narrowing), fistulas (abnormal opening), malabsorption and the need for surgical resections of portions of the digestive tract.
  • Ulcerative colitis Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease of the colon, or large intestine, which is often accompanied by bloody diarrhea. This inflammation does not go through the entire wall of the intestines and therefore does not result in fistulas. However, extensive inflammation may eventually require surgery for removal of the affected area.

Among many things, an IBD-focused registered dietitian:

  • Screens and treats malnutrition
  • Screens for eating disorders and works with patients to improve their relationship with food
  • Monitors nutrient deficiencies and makes recommendations for repleting nutrients
  • Recommends and helps implement specific therapeutic diets
  • Helps patients add more foods into their diets
  • Helps patients decrease symptoms
  • Helps patients navigate diet perioperatively
  • Answers all questions patients may have about nutrition for IBD

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