Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a lifelong, relapsing condition (fluctuating between active flare ups and remission). Inflammation and ulceration in the gut can trigger pain, loss of appetite, diarrhoea and fatigue.
There are two main forms of IBD: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). Crohn’s can occur anywhere along the digestive tract and affects its full thickness, whereas UC is localised to the large intestine and rectum, affecting just the lining of the intestine.
The main symptoms of IBD include: severe tummy pain and cramping, diarrhoea and urgency, unintentional weight loss and feeling really tired and fatigued. Living with IBD also increases your likelihood of nutritional deficiencies leading to symptoms such as fatigue and problems with your bones later in life. Some of the symptoms of IBD overlap with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but the condition is very different and you can have both.
Over 70% of people with IBD report that diet affects their disease. There are strong links between the types of foods we consume and how they are processed, and our risk of developing IBD.
An IBD dietitian will support you to optimise your nutrition and gut health during flare up and in remission, in addition to ensuring that your condition is not impacting your overall health and quality of life, so get in touch if you’d like to book a consultation!