- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is estimated
to affect nearly 1.6 million Americans.
- Diet and nutrition
concerns of patients with IBD is extremely common.
could affect the symptoms of IBD and play some role in the underlying
bowel disease (IBD) is a common disorder which affects the large intestine
involving cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation.
Although the exact cause of IBD is not known, few of the common triggers
include food allergy or intolerance, stress and hormonal changes.
Major categories of IBD include Crohn's disease
and ulcerative colitis
While Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the
gastrointestinal tract, ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon area.
‘Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) could be associated with nutritional problems!!!’
Although there is
no systematic review for relation between diet and IBD, it is believed that
shift to the popular 'Western' diet which is high in fat and protein and low in
fruits and vegetables could be attributed to a rise of inflammatory bowel
Observation and Results
- A study was undertaken to evaluate the relationship
between IBD and dietary intake, food preferences and nutritional status in
- This cross-sectional study involved a total of 78
patients (35 men and 43 women aged 18-74 years) suffering from either Crohn's
disease or ulcerative colitis.
- Most patients (80%) were on
infliximab infusion therapy; rest used other IBD drugs or no medications at
- All participants answered a questionnaire involving
questions mainly regarding their disease, medications, diet, and food
mass index was calculated for all the patients from their height and
weight and percentage of body fat was also calculated.
samples were analyzed to estimate nutritional status.
participants recorded their intake of food, drinks and dietary supplements
during three days and the average intake for each participant was calculated.
results demonstrated that diet affected the digestive tract symptoms in nearly
87% of patients and 72% of patients had reportedly changed their diet
- List of commonly restricted foods included
dairy products (60%), processed meat (55%), soft drinks (46%), alcohol (45%)
and fast food (44%), citrus fruits (41%).
- Foods which were
reported to have positive effects on symptoms were mainly fish (22%) and
non-processed foods (8%) amongst others.
- About 46% of
patients were diagnosed with some form of nutritional deficiency (iron
deficiency was seen in about 39% of patients). Iron deficiency could eventually
lead to anemia.
- Intake of vitamin D and calcium were
found to be 65% below the recommended intake value for both. This is an
important observation since IBD patients are at a greater risk of developing
metabolic bone disease and use of calcium and vitamin D supplements could
possibly have positive effects on bone health.
- Thus dietary
supplements such as those for calcium, vitamin D, iron, vitamin
B12 and folate are recommended for IBD
patients to prevent deficiency from occurring. However,
a word of caution: vitamin and mineral supplements could cause gastrointestinal
(GI) symptoms, hence, should be
taken only under the supervision of your physician.
this was a cross-sectional study, it could not differentiate between cause and
effect in an observed association.
- Study participants were
a selected group of IBD patients most of whom were on biological treatment; hence study results could not be extrapolated to an unselected
group of IBD patients, who probably are more affected by nutritional
Restriction of dairy and meat intake was commonly seen
in IBD patients which could have a negative effect on status of micronutrients
such as calcium and iron, hence should be done under the guidance of a dietitian or physician.
- The Relationship Between Food &