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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease, commonly referred to as IBD, is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (otherwise referred to as “the Gut”). There are two types of IBD: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. In Crohn’s disease, the inflammation can occur on any part of the gut. In Ulcerative Colitis, the inflammation is limited to the large intestine. Both forms of the disease have states of “active” disease (or flare ups) and inactive disease (remission).  The exact cause of IBD is not known.

Symptoms are more commonly seen when you are having a flare up of IBD. The symptoms can include: diarrhea, stomach cramping, gas, bloating and bleeding/blood loss in stool. These symptoms can affect what you eat and how much you eat and can lead to nutritional problems.

If you are living with IBD

A team of health care providers will help you to manage your symptoms and monitor your health over time to keep you as healthy as possible. Complications of IBD might include weight loss especially if you are not eating enough calories, protein and fat. Other nutrients that you can be low in your diet and/or body include: vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, iron and folic acid. Long term deficiencies in these nutrients compounded with medications you may be using can lead to problems such as iron deficiency, osteoporosis, weight loss and fatigue.

Nutrition Tips to Keep You Healthy

See a dietitian for an assessment of your diet. If possible, get a blood test to determine any nutrient deficiencies. When you are in remission, eat a well balanced diet and take a multivitamin. You may need additional nutrient supplementation – a dietitian can help determine this. If you are having a flare up, eat foods that you feel you can easily digest. Take a multivitamin. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated (especially if you have frequent diarrhea). Use liquid nutritional supplements if needed.

IBD Supports & Resources:

To learn more:

IBD and Nutrition

In your community:

IBD Mantioba

Dial a Dietitian

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