Review of American College of Gastroenterology's IBD Podcasts
I recently reviewed a book by Sunanda V. Kane, MD, MSPH, FACG. Today I was able to listen to her podcasts on IBD made possible by the American College of Gastroenterology. I highly recommend listening to them yourself if you would like any additional information. They can be found HERE.
In the podcasts Dr. Kane acknowledges that IBD patients can have a never ending frustration with food. There are many challenges dependant on what form of IBD you have and where the damage is in your GI tract. For UC patients it can be the fear of eating that can cause huge problems. UC patients may also want to avoid foods that can increase the frequency of bowel movements when in a flare up but most of the time diet does not play as large a role in triggering disease states.
Unlike UC, Crohn’s has a lot of dietary implications. This is because Crohn’s can affect any part of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus. Depending on what portion is effected you can have different nutritional issues. For instance the small intestines absorbs vitamin D, calcium, Iron, B-12 and folic acid. Add a limited dietary intake and you increase the risk of deficiencies in those areas. That is why Crohn’s patients tend to have a higher risk of malnutrition.
Dr Kane goes on to discuss diet “cures” and makes clear that we do not even know, in the medical community, what is causing IBD so to state that you can “cure” it with anything dietary is not likely. Many of these diets can reduce symptoms but some are so restrictive that they really limit a patient’s quality of life. Every person processes foods in different ways so it is not realistic that there will be a "cure" in one book with one plan. Food journals were noted as a wonderful tool for determining your own triggers. (Remember to be completely honest and complete a journal for at least two weeks).
When asked what the number one factor for seeing success with treatment, Dr. Kane reiterates what many experts have noted. Patients with IBD who smoke tend to do poorly in comparison with those who do not. If you smoke, now is the time to quit!
In conclusion Dr. Kane discuses how attitude plays a role in living with IBD. She noted that patients who remain positive and don’t allow IBD to define them tend to have the most success. So smile and remember you are a wonderful person who happens to be living with IBD!