Crohn’s – Can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from your esophagus to rectum however, inflammation most commonly occurs in the small intestine. Within twenty years of diagnosis it is common for an abscess to form in the gut which can result in the development of fistulas resulting in the need for surgery.
Ulcerative Colitis – Occurs primarily in the colon and rectum. Unlike Crohn’s’s the inflammation does not result in fistulas. However, the extensive inflammation may eventually require surgery for removal of the affected area.
The goal for those diagnosed with IBD is to relieve symptoms, prevent malnutrition, induce remission and relieve future flare ups by identifying potential triggers.
Symptoms can be relieved by working with a medical team to heal your gut and reduce triggers that can result in worsening of conditions. Those diagnosed with IBD typically do best by following a low residue diet. A low residue diet limits fiber to less than 15 grams a day and limits foods that could stimulate increased bowel activity.
Certain foods can stimulate increased bowel activity and should be avoided. These include:
Specific considerations for those with Crohn’s:
For those experiencing IBD, it is best to focus on foods that promote gut healing such as:
Those with Crohn’s disease are at greater risk for deficiencies of several vitamins and minerals than those with ulcerative colitis, especially if a portion of the small intestine has been removed. Meanwhile those with ulcerative colitis may be prone to iron, fluid or electrolyte deficiencies especially if there has been removal of the large intestine.
Bottom line, if you are having GI inflammation always work with a medical professional to determine the best form of care and relieve symptoms fast.
By Veronica Campbell RD, LDN
Veronica Campbell is a Registered Dietitian in the states of New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee.