Diet is a powerful tool when used as part of a comprehensive medical management plan. Expanding research shows a number of dietary IBD therapies to be effective, and while many have commonalities, some also have subtle to significant differences. Given patients' microbial and genetic diversity, the optimal therapeutic approach is often contingent on the individual, and as a result, is best achieved through a process of personalization. Considering all of these factors, dietary therapy can prove challenging to navigate. A closer investigation will provide a framework to become familiar with the options available in nutritional therapy for IBD.

Dietary News Updates from Crohn's and Colitis Congress 2021

Three dietary studies were presented at Crohn's and Colitis Congress on Friday, January 22nd, 2021. Summaries of these presentations by David Suskind, MD, Arie Levine, MD and James D. Lewis, MD are now available.


Stanford Children’s Health is now enrolling IBD patients and caregivers for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet Curriculum- Patient and Caretaker’s Outlooks (SCRUMPTIOUS) Study. This study is evaluating the impact of an innovative and tailored Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) curriculum, on the knowledge and perspectives of patients with IBD and their caretakers. Participation is via Zoom and participants will receive a $15 gift card.

Our Newsletter is Launching Soon

Nutritional Therapy for IBD is excited to announce the launch of our quarterly newsletter. Visit our Newsletter Page to subscribe or review archived copies of the newsletter.

What is Nutritional Therapy?

Nutritional therapy consists of the use of therapeutic diets and/or enteral nutrition in patients with IBD, with the goal of both improving clinical symptoms and reducing inflammation, leading to induction and/or maintenance of remission. It can be utilized as primary therapy when medically appropriate or as adjunctive therapy with immune suppression and biologics and is well tolerated, with patients reporting improved quality of life (Sandell A et al). Progress should be evaluated using the same standard and techniques as pharmaceutical therapy, by monitoring inflammation via laboratory work and endoscopy, as well as assessing clinical symptoms.

Therapeutic Diets

Therapeutic diets are whole-food based, nutritionally balanced dietary plans that improve symptoms, reduce inflammation, and aid in mucosal healing. Items that have been shown to be harmful (processed foods and additives) are eliminated and items with potential deleterious effects in IBD (gluten, sugar, and dairy) are either eliminated or limited, while the quantity and variety of beneficial fruits and vegetables are increased.

Enteral Nutrition

Enteral nutrition involves the use of a nutritionally complete liquid diet, often formula-based. It includes Exclusive Enteral Nutrition (EEN), which consists solely (exclusively) of a liquid diet with no solid food for 6-8 weeks, sometimes up to 12 weeks, and Partial Enteral Nutrition (PEN), in which a combination of liquid nutrition and solid foods is consumed.

Can Diet Impact IBD-related Conditions of Depression and Anxiety?

Patients with IBD suffer disproportionally higher rates of depression and anxiety, which are associated with a lower quality of life (Bernstein CN) (Byrne G et al) and correlated with active disease (Marrie RA et al). Furthermore, anxiety, depression, and fatigue are reported to be the most common severe symptoms of IBD in a recent international survey of patients (Rubin DT et al). Can diet impact the gut microbiota to influence the gut-brain axis and subsequently our mental health?


Patient Pathway

Are you or is someone you love a patient with IBD looking for more information on nutritional therapy? Visit the Patient Pathway for helpful resources.

Clinician Resources Overview

Are you a medical professional looking for more information on integrating nutritional therapy into your practice? Visit our Clinician Resources.

Latest Presentations from the Medical Experts

NT for IBD Presentations at the 2020 NASPGHAN Annual Meeting:

  • Why Diet Therapies for IBD?
    Presented by: Lindsey Albenberg, DO
  • Putting out the Fire with EEN: Anti-inflammatory Effects of Nutritional Therapy in Crohn's Disease
    Presented by: Andrew S. Day, MB, ChB, MD, FRACP, AGAF
  • Offering Nutritional Therapies to Patients with IBD: Even if You're not an Expert
    Presented by: Kaylie Nguyen, MSN, PNP and Venus S. Kalami, MNSP, RDN
  • Diet in IBD: From the Microbiome and Beyond
    Presented by: David Suskind, MD
  • Crohn's Disease Exclusion Diet: A Novel Dietary Therapy for the Treatment of Uncomplicated Crohn's Disease
    Presented by: Arie Levine, MD

About Us

Nutritional Therapy for IBD is a new 501c3 established to promote awareness of dietary options for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, providing educational resources to assist in the implementation of nutritional therapy into clinical practice. It is an independent organization with no affiliations to industry, corporations, or advocacy groups.