How Diet Supplements Can Affect Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition that is caused by the inflammation of your intestines. This disease consists of a small number of disorders. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two most prevalent and well-known disorders associated with IBD. Inflammatory bowel disease is affected by what you eat, drink or take. If you have IBD and are on a diet, then you need to be aware of how your diet supplements affect your condition.


Inflammatory bowel disease interferes with digestion. Your stomach is a part of your digestive system. This complete system is called a gastrointestinal tract. When you eat something, the acid in your stomach breaks down food into smaller, more digestible pieces. Once this broken down food enters your intestines, its absorbed into your body. Some diet supplements aren’t as easily broken down in your stomach with inflammatory bowel disease. The supplements may irritate and inflame the lining of your intestines once they reach the bowels.

A good way to avoid this problem is by checking the ingredients of your diet pills. Make sure the ingredients won’t cause bleeding or irritation in your digestive system. Also make note of whether or not you need to take the supplements before or after your meals. You may be able to avoid problems if you take the supplements with meals for better absorption and digestion.


Inflammatory bowel diseases often triggers bouts of diarrhea. Some of the newer diet supplements can cause diarrhea and should be avoided. They may cause intestinal bleeding that leads to more serious health problems, including death.


With inflammatory bowel disease, you need to stay hydrated. Most diet supplements require this as well. You should always drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. If you don’t drink enough water or fluid, this may cause constipation. Although diarrhea is more prone to happen, constipation can still occur.


Most diet supplements have high amounts of caffeine. Caffeine irritates inflammatory bowel disease. The caffeine causes diarrhea and irritation in the intestines. You should take caffeine-free diet supplements. These are less likely to damage the lining of your intestines.

Diet Drinks

If you’re drinking diet sodas or liquid supplements, these can still upset your bowel disease. Even caffeine-free diet sodas affect bowel disease. Most diet drinks contain artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, can trigger bouts of diarrhea. Limit your intake of diet drinks containing this type of sweetener.

Protein, Nausea and Abdominal Pain

You may be on a protein diet and taking supplements to enhance your diet. Avoid diet supplements with protein as the main ingredient. Your body won’t absorb protein with inflammatory bowel disease. Nausea is a big problem associated with this disease as well. Taking your diet supplement may be difficult or it may actually increase nausea.

Inflammatory bowel disease needs to be regulated by eating the right foods, getting plenty of fluids and watching what you take. Not all diet supplements cause problems with your disease. You should read product labels carefully before taking any supplement. If in doubt, speak with your health care provider.


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