How to Diet when Suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease

How to Diet when Suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Dieting when suffering from inflammatory bowel disease can be beneficial in several ways, but you must be sure to avoid certain food and diet plans. Some foods may cause adverse reactions with any medications you may be taking for your condition, plus certain ingredients are known to irritate the bowels even further. Before choosing a diet plan, there are several points you'll want to keep in mind.

What to Look for in a Diet

If you have inflammatory bowel disease, you may be searching for a diet that will not only help you return to a normal and healthy weight, but one that can curb your symptoms and help you to feel better overall. This can be accomplished by selecting the proper diet plan, or choosing foods that are healthy for your bowels and for your entire body. Because of the particular symptoms of this condition, however, it's possible to become malnourished and lose too much weight. Dietary management is important to restore your body to a healthy weight while clearing up symptoms as much as possible.

The IBD Diet

There is a particular diet that's been shown to work well for patients experiencing inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The eating plan gives instructions that change, depending upon how you are feeling and how severe your symptoms are at any given time. Certain foods and substances should be avoided at all times, however, and some kinds of supplements may be beneficial. Here is a brief overview of the directions to follow while on the IBD diet:

  • Drink 8 to 10 servings of fluids daily
  • A multivitamin or other supplement may be necessary for replacement of important nutrients
  • High fiber should be included when IBD is under control, but avoided when symptoms are present
  • Limit use of caffeine, alcohol and certain sweeteners, such as sorbitol
  • Limit foods which produce gas, such as cabbage, onions, peppers and carbonated beverages
  • Reduce the intake of fat
  • Fish oil or flax seed oil may be helpful in managing symptoms
  • Certain probiotics can help the intestines to recover from flare-ups

Other Considerations

Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease can differ greatly from patient to patient. Because of this, no one particular diet plan is the perfect answer when suffering symptoms of this condition. There are many points that you can keep in mind to help you come to good decisions about what foods are best for your body and how to maintain a healthy weight at the same time.

  • Keep a diet journal to help pinpoint foods or ingredients that may be leading to symptoms.
  • Break up meals and snacks to smaller portions and eat healthy foods several times throughout the day.
  • Vitamin or nutrient supplements may be necessary. Have your doctor run tests to find out where your body is deficient.
  • If you are also lactose intolerant, be sure you're replenishing your body's need for calcium with either foods that you can handle or a calcium supplement.
  • Be sure to check possible side effects and drug or food interactions that may be caused by medications for treating IBD.