You may have nutritional deficiencies in IBD and must pay careful attention to eat highly nutritious foods! Inflammatory bowel disease is often associated with malnutrition due to poor digestion, malabsorption of nutrients, and loss of appetite.
It’s important you work with a registered dietitian and inflammatory bowel disease care team. They can assess your specific nutrient deficiencies and get you on the right path. If you’re interested in booking with one of our dietitians contact us through PlantedForward.com.
IBD is spectrum of diseases that cause inflammation of the digestive tract. People living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) face nutritional challenges. These can worsen symptoms. The lack of essential vitamins, minerals and other dietary components can add complications such as fatigue, anemia, and a weak immune system. So how exactly do nutritional deficiencies happen in IBD?
- Malabsorption – Inflammation can cause difficulty digesting and absorbing nutrients.
- Limited Diet – Nutritional deficiencies occur when a person’s nutrient intake consistently falls below the recommended requirement.
- Medication Side Effect – Certain medications can affect how the human body absorbs nutrients.
- Nutrient Utilization – Inflammation increases the need for certain nutrients (zinc, iron, vitamin D. )
Nutritional deficiencies in IBD and diet
Inflammatory bowel disease is often associated with malnutrition due to poor digestion, malabsorption of nutrients and loss of appetite. To maintain optimal health, those living with IBD need to take extra consideration when planning their diets. Eat a well-balanced diet! Try nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. This is essential for maintaining health in those with IBD. Eating a wide variety of foods can provide essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. It is also important to pay attention to any foods that may trigger IBD symptoms. You’ll want to limit these in your diet.
Additionally, taking a daily multivitamin along with other supplements may be beneficial in managing the condition. To ensure proper nutrition, it is important to speak to a healthcare professional about the best dietary approach for individual needs. Taking the necessary steps to manage IBD through diet and nutrition can help support overall health and well-being.
For patients with IBD I put a great emphasis on the following nutrients:
- Iron – leafy greens, chia seeds, beans, lentils
- Calcium – soy, tofu, chia seeds, edamame, white beans
- Vitamin B12 – fortified foods
- Folate – asparagus, beans, citrus fruits
- Vitamin D – found in fortified foods and mushrooms
- Zinc – found chickpeas, lentils, walnuts, quinoa
- Omega-3 – found in seaweed, algae, chia seeds, hemp seeds
- Magnesium - found in bananas, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, oats
For the general population a whole food plant-based approach allows you to get enough of all nutrients, except Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D which need to be supplemented with fortified foods or supplements. However, in patients with IBD and other malabsorption disorders, the diseases bowel may prevent absorption of certain nutrients and some of these should be monitored with laboratory tests to ensure you’re getting enough.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals
Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help manage symptoms, as well as avoiding high-fat and spicy foods. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated. Supplements may also be used to help fill any nutrient gaps in the diet. Speak with your doctor or nutritionist for personalized advice on how to best meet your nutritional needs. With the right diet and lifestyle changes, those with IBD can still enjoy nutritious meals while avoiding any flare-ups or digestive issues. Eating smaller meals throughout the day can also help reduce IBD symptoms. Eating several small meals can help keep your energy levels up and prevent fatigue or weakness due to malnutrition. Try to include a variety of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables in your meals.
By eating a balanced diet that is tailored to your individual needs, you can support your overall health and help manage symptoms of IBD. Taking the time to plan out meals in advance can help ensure you are eating the right foods and getting all of the essential nutrients your body needs. Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and be mindful when making food choices – this can go a long way in managing IBD symptoms!
Fiber and IBD
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, but it can be difficult for those with IBD to digest. If you have difficulty digesting fiber, try making small changes such as adding more cooked vegetables or pureed fruits and vegetables to your diet. Probiotics can help improve digestion, which is why it is important to make sure you are getting enough in your diet as well.
Take your medications
It is important to take any prescribed medications as directed by your physician. Many IBD medications can interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals, so it is important to discuss any potential side effects with your doctor before starting treatment. Additionally, you may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you are getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs while preventing flare-ups and reducing symptoms of IBD. Eating a balanced diet, limiting trigger foods, eating smaller meals, and taking supplements as needed are all important steps to maintaining your health while living with IBD.
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