Monday, February 25, 2008

Nutrition Part One - Overview

There is so much to learn about Inflmmatory Bowel Disease and one area is that of Nutrition and Diet.

A lot of the information I am going to provide here is from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundations of Canada site. If you would like to find out more you can go to their web site....

When I first started doing research on this topic I wanted some graphics to help demonstrate the effects IBD has on a person both pyhsically and the effects it has on self image. I came across the cover of this book....which I think illistrates very well how people with IBD can be effected.

I know that is exactly how I felt. It gets way to personal and at times very humbling....but it is necessary in order to get to the bottom of things(no pun intended). Acutally maybe there was...humour can be good and healthy. I digress.


While good nutrition is universally important, it's even more so for people with IBD. That's because the better-nourished they are , the better their bodies will respond to the treatment of IBD.

People with IBD tend to eat less during periods of pain. Additionally when IBD is active, the digestive process is interrupted and nutrients are not absorbed effectively. Malnutrition may result.

People with IBD must be on guard for malnutrition which can happen very easily. People who are malnourished lose weight, lack energy, can become deficient in proteins,and essential vitamins and minerals and are more susuceptible to other illnesses.

Malnutrition can also be caused by malabsorption; the digestive tract's reduced ability to absorb all the nutrients offer to it.

Malabsorption may happen in IBD when:

  • nutrients are lost through bleeding and diarrhea

  • medications taken for IBD interact adversely with nutrients

  • part of the intestine is surgically removed(that is, there is less absorptive tissue to process the nutrients in food).

A healthy diet is key component in the treatment of IBD. It's important that people with IBD consult their health-care team(doctor,dietitian, gastroenterologist and others)about the treatment that is most appropriate for their circumstances.

When symptoms are mild, a normal healthy diet and regular visits to your health professional may be advised. When symptoms are moderate,the person may be advised to change their diet slightly, and eat certain foods while avoiding others. Nutritional supplements may be recommended to reduce symptoms or compensate for weight loss.

Tomorrow I will post about the nutrients you need and how a poor diet affects the body.

Good Health to you all!


vancitygirl said...

Thanks Mare for doing this... hopefully no one else in the family will have to deal with "indignities" of UC or CD and if they do they will know what they are dealing with.

I was back seeing both my GP & GI yesterday as I was "flaring" again. I had started to decrease the daily prednisone but I am now back to the 10mg, 3x a day. He has also added Modulon (200 mg 3x a day) to try and regulate the bowel and of course the Pentasa and potassium.

It was me and my magic bag for the last 24 hours but today I am pain free and I had a good night's sleep so hopefully I will be a little more productive today. Take care. Helena

Cathy said...

Mary Anne, this is a wonderful blog. Thank you for doing this for so many who suffer with IBDs.

I am going to go link to this blog right now. I will be back many times.

How are you feeling now?