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Role of diet in the management of inflammatory bowel diseases

Corticosteroids, frequently prescribed for patients, can be precursors to osteoporosis.

Lcda. Wanda González, nutritionist, dietitian. Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Plaza.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are the main types of inflammatory bowel disease that, between the two, have great similarities. However, there are several differences between them.

In a space dedicated to patient nutrition, organized by the Arthritis and Rheumatology portal and the Journal of Medicine and Public Health, the Bachelor of Nutrition, Wanda González Otero, explained the fundamental characteristics of these conditions.

“Colitis mainly affects the colon and large intestine. In contrast, Crohn’s disease can cause damage to any part of the gastrointestinal tract“.

The gastrointestinal tract has, within its functions, to convert ingested food into energy. In addition, it favors the absorption of nutrients, vitamins and minerals necessary for the body. Also, it contributes to waste disposal process and toxins.

The intestine The intestine is made up of three divisions: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the hilum. And I mention this because it is important for us to know that in different parts of the small intestine Absorption of certain vitamins, electrolytes, nutrients and minerals will occur”, highlighted the nutritionist. “If you have any type of inflammation, you should notify your doctor, because depending on the area where the discomfort is occurring, it may be due to deficiency of some vitamins and minerals.

It is important to be able to identify the state of the condition, that is, if there is inflammation and/or active bleeding, in order to determine the type of diet that is best for said patient.

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“In many cases, food is not given by mouth, because you have to let the intestinal inflammation go down, so that is where you work, rather, with medical therapy. Now, if the patient tolerates food, a totally low diet is recommended. in fiber, since it increases the stool size“.

We can find fiber in different foods, such as whole grains, whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, among others. We should also avoid the consumption of nuts, seeds, vegetables raw and shelled fruit.

When talking about anti-inflammatory diets, health professionals focus on the consumption of probiotics and prebiotics, as these help restore the gastrointestinal flora. Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote intestinal health and we can find them in products such as yogurts

“It has been seen that, many times, restoring the gastrointestinal microbiota can also help us in the management and delay of corresponding symptoms to inflammatory bowel diseases.

On the other hand, prebiotics are foods that are generally found in fiber content and these also act as nutrients for the human microbiota. Generally, they are found in whole grains, bananas, green vegetables, onions, garlic, chives, asparagus, artichokes, among others.

Recommendations for patients with inflammatory bowel disease

1. Keep a food diary: As soon as the foods that exacerbate the symptoms of this disease are identified, the specialist can help you plan the right diet for your needs.

2. During a flare, avoid or reduce foods that make symptoms worse:

Choose dairy products that are low in lactose, such as yogurt, lactose-free milk, and hard cheeses like cheddar.

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3. If you have fat in your stool, choose low-fat foods.

4. Instead of frying food, try baking or grilling it.

5. Cook fruits and vegetables without peel, skin, or seeds.

6. Eat a varied and nutritious diet that is rich in calories and protein.

7. Try to eat 3 meals plus 2 or 3 snacks a day. It may be easier to get more calories if you spread out your food intake throughout the day.

“Many times, when we feel unwell, perhaps we tend to eat foods that we feel like, but they are not necessarily the right foods for that stage of the disease. So it is very important to be aware of what is being consumed, and avoid consuming alcoholic beverages. alcoholic, carbonated and caffeine”, concluded the lawyer Wanda González.

See the full program:

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