Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes both Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

Ulcerative Colitis: 

Inflammation and ulcers in the colon and rectum in an uninterrupted pattern

Crohn’s Disease: 

Inflammation involving any part of the digestive tract (mouth to anus) that follows a patchy distribution

 Common IBD Symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramping 
  • Bloody stool
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation throughout the body 

IBD presents as chronic intestinal inflammation which causes a range of downstream effects on the body including damage and injury to the digestive tract causing malabsorption of nutrients. Because of this, the severity of IBD ranges and complications may be debilitating and life-threatening. 

Malnutrition results if IBD goes unchecked due to poor food intake and restrictive eating patterns, higher nutrient needs, higher nutrient losses, and malabsorption of nutrients. Low levels of iron, folate, B12, B6, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and other micronutrients are fairly common in this population. Additionally, poor protein and calorie intake and absorption may result in undesired weight loss and muscle wasting, especially for those with CD.

With this in mind, it is vital to include nutrition education, counseling, and therapy as a key part of effective IBD treatment. 

Goals of nutrition therapy include:

  • Identifying and eliminating specific trigger foods from the diet
  • Optimizing the health and functioning of the digestive tract
  • Identifying and correcting nutrient deficiencies
  • Achieving an ideal body weight and body composition
  • Maintenance of a remissive state 

IBD is a complex digestive disorder that requires lifelong management. Using the latest research findings, I’ll put together a nutrition, supplement, and lifestyle plan to complement the care provided by your gastroenterologist. Contact Nutrition by Erin today to find out how I may help your IBD and feel your best!