What Is Nutritional Therapy?

There are numerous forms of nutritional therapy that can be used to help patients with IBD. Although ongoing research will continue to modify the approach, patients can benefit greatly by applying the information and options available today.

Nutritional therapy at its highest levels can both improve clinical symptoms and reduce inflammation, leading to induction and/or maintenance of remission. While higher tiers of dietary intervention may provide greater reduction in symptoms and inflammation, more liberalized dietary options, including small steps of change for healthy eating, still provide benefit to patients and may be more practical for those without the interest or the resources to adopt more stringent dietary therapies. As nutritional therapy is well tolerated, with patients reporting improved quality of life (Sandell A et al), it is important to offer options for every level of interest to provide some level of benefit to each patient.

Nutritional Therapy Options

All of the listed options may be considered for adjunctive therapy alongside medications. There are many advantages to using dietary therapies in combination with medication, as they offer the opportunity to target inflammation from two different pathways (Green N et al) (van de Guchte et al), providing the potential to resolve symptoms and inflammation more quickly than using either alone. Primary therapy with EEN or Therapeutic Diets may be appropriate for select patients. Considerations for primary therapy will be detailed in our upcoming Clinical Approach to Nutritional Therapy.


Clinical Approach to Nutritional Therapy

Photo Credit: Creativa Images/Shutterstock
Photo Credit: Creativa Images/Shutterstock 

Given the full array of options, it can be challenging for clinicians and patients to match the individuality of each patient and their disease presentation with the most appropriate dietary fit. Nutritional Therapy for IBD has developed a new patient-centric approach, including an algorithm to help guide clinicians and patients in selecting a dietary approach.

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Nutritional Therapy for IBD

Improving the Care of Patients with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis through Nutrition