Today is World IBD day and we’re raising awareness about the debilitating conditions of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

IBD affects 75,000 Australians but many people living with these illnesses stay silent about the day-to-day issues they face. IBDs are chronic inflammatory diseases that affects the lining of the digestive tract causing symptoms such as abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, weight loss, constipation and anaemia.

IBD can have a huge impact on a person’s life, interfering with social activity, work and relationships, as well as affecting their mood and mental health. IBDs are chronic condition which require a long term management plan. Since food has a direct effect on the digestive tract, a balanced diet and lifestyle can help manage the symptoms. The current guideline consensus is that diet and lifestyle advice should be the first-line approach in the dietary management of IBDs. A balanced diet rich in fibre, healthy fats and plenty of polyphenols (fruit and veggies) along with limited intake of potential dietary triggers, such as alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods is effective in long term management of IBDs.

However, there is no one size fits all approach to the management of IBD and it is always a good idea to consult an accredited dietitian for individualised nutrition advice. A dietitian can help you find your trigger foods via an elimination diet and help avoid any future flare ups while making sure you are still receiving the necessary nutrients.

If you or a family member have an IBD, contact our Dietitian Areeba for tailored advice and guidance on managing your symptoms and avoiding any future flare ups. You can contact us on 07 4638 7645 or come in and see us at the Fit Lab Allied Health Centre for more information.