Can diet plan help with inflammatory bowel illness?

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Micrograph showing inflammation of the big bowel in a case of inflammatory bowel disease. Colonic biopsy. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

More than 6.8 million individuals around the world are estimated to be coping with inflammatory bowel illness (IBD). IBD is believed to be the result of a malfunctioning body immune system, which results in an improper immune response that attacks the lining of the intestines.

There is no remedy and no specific cause, though researchers continue to take a look at how genes, the microbiome and ecological elements play a role in this chronic disease. Dr. Amanda Johnson, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist, helps us much better understand IBD and whether diet can help.

IBD is a broad term for chronic swelling of your gastrointestinal system. Two types are Crohn’s illness and ulcerative colitis.

“Ulcerative colitis really tends to just include the colon and be more of a shallow type swelling; whereas Crohn’s disease can affect anything in the intestinal tract, basically, from the mouth all the way to the anus,” states Dr. Johnson.

She says diet alone does not cause IBD. While some foods may minimize signs, there is nobody shown diet to control inflammation.

“The right diet plan is most likely different for each person, based on the kind of IBD that they have, the area of their disease, whether they’ve had surgical treatments or other problems,” states Dr. Johnson.

Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid ultraprocessed foods, sugarcoated and animal fats. And beverage a lot of fluid to stay hydrated.

Diet plan does not replace medical treatment. Dr. Johnson states there are effective treatment alternatives, so it is important to deal with your health care service provider.

“The renter of treatment we have are immune-suppressing-type therapies that try to target that improper response to the intestinal tracts and then cool down that swelling within the gut,” she says.

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