Managing IBD with an Intelligent Diet: Know What Works and What Doesn’t
IBD, inflammatory bowel disease, is a complicated inflammatory disorder of the GI tract, which causes significant discomfort and can even lead to other more serious diseases down the line. Managing IBD is extremely difficult as there is no guarantee that two people will react in the same way to the same diet.
However, there are methods you can follow to figure out a food chart that will supply you with all the nutrients you need without upsetting your stomach in the process.
The Rule of Small, Frequent Meals
Following the simple rule of small, frequent meals comes with many benefits, as stated below.
- The digestive system will be less stressed after each meal
- On consuming a small amount of something that could be upsetting for your IBD, the effects will be minimal
- Smaller frequent meals are, in general, better for everyone
What to Avoid: Food that Triggers IBD Flares
Bloody diarrhea and intolerable abdominal cramps are just two of the many symptoms which accompany a severe IBD flare, so it’s imperative to avoid any food that may trigger a flare.
Not everyone reacts in the same way to the same food of course, but the following are more or less proven to be bad for anyone with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease & ulcerative colitis included).
- Oily (vegetable oils), fried food
- Spicy food and sauce
- Excess meat protein
- Unpeeled fruits and leafy greens
- Popcorn, nuts, beans, whole grains, etc.
- Caffeine (coffee, soda, energy drinks)
- Anything from candies to packed juice that contains refined sugar or artificial sweeteners
- Alcoholic beverages (cocktails, whiskey, rum, vodka, etc.)
- Dairy products (milk, milk chocolate, cream, etc.)
Filling Gaps in Nutrition: How Supplements Help
IBD often leads to poor nutrition, or even malnutrition, in suffering patients due to two primary reasons:
- They have to avoid fiber and protein rich food to prevent flares
- A large number of ingested nutrients are never digested
Therefore, taking food supplements that are specifically designed to aid IBD patients in meeting their daily nutritional needs is an effective solution against IBD induced malnutrition. A supplement like Metagenics UltraInflamX, that contains reduced iso-alpha acids, L-glutamine and rice protein will not flare up any IBD symptoms, but will fulfill a large portion of the patient’s nutritional needs at the same time.
Food that Does Not Contribute to IBD Flares in Most People
As mentioned previously, there is no guarantee that what works for one person will work for another, but the following are generally found to be well digested by people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease:
- White bread and white pasta, only if you are not gluten intolerant
- Watered down fruit juice (dilution)
- Poultry (eggs and chicken)
- Mashed potatoes and applesauce
- Avocadoes and cantaloupes
- Olive oil
Finally, a bit of experimentation is advised to figure out what works and in what quantity. Now that you have a guideline to work with, it shouldn’t be too difficult to avoid what upsets your stomach and take in more of what doesn’t.