Can an anti-inflammatory diet affect inflammatory bowel disease?

In a recently published study, an anti-inflammatory diet (AID) for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) was offered to 40 patients as an adjunctive regimen. Retrospective medical chart review was utilized to assess dietary adherence and outcomes. Of the 40 patients who were offered the program, 13 patients did not attempt the diet. Of the remaining 27 patients who did attempt the AID, 24 of them had a good or very good response, 3 of them had a "mixed" response. After following the diet, all patients were able to discontinue 1 or more IBD medications, and all patients reported decreased symptoms such as improved bowel frequency. Interestingly, of the 3 patients who had an ambivalent or negative response to the AID, 2 of them were diagnosed with C-difficile, a very challenging condition to resolve.

Inflammatory bowel disease can include the diagnoses of Chrohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and each are characterized by periods of relapse. Patients are often reliant upon medications such as corticosteroids or immunomodulators during flare-ups, and surgical interventions including colectomy. As medical theories have evolved, the authors of this study point out that the gut microbiome is believed to play an importnant role in IBD, and therefore treatments directed at improving intestinal microbiome have increased.

The IBD anti-inflammatory diet (AID) includes lean meats, poultry, fish, omega-3 eggs, particular carbohydrates, specified fruits and vegetables, flours from nuts and legumes, a few limited cheeses, cultured yogurt, kefir, miso and other foods rich in certain probiotics, and honey. Bananas, oats, blended chicory root, and flax meal are also included. Additional suggestions are given based on the acuity of patient symptoms such as pureeing food or avoiding food with seeds. The diet is detailed into "phases" that progress from Phase I+ to Phase IV, to be followed when the patient is in remission and without dietary restrictions.

As this study is a case series, the authors are hesitant to extrapolate findings beyond stating that "some of our patients with inflammatory bowel disease can benefit.." from an anti-inflammatory diet, with respect to decreased symptoms and a resultant decrease in medication usage. In the study, patients were primarily seen by a nutritionist. As the mechanism for the improvement noted with an AID is still theorized but not known, the article describes different proposed mechanisms for improved symptoms, such as changes in the gut flora, or gut mucosal healing due to decreased irritants.

As pelvic rehabilitation providers, we have a responsibility, not to counsel our patients in detailed nutritional regiments aimed at curing disease, but in educating our patients about the potential benefits of nutritional counseling and attention to diet. Many patients are not offered nutritional counseling, or need support in order to initiate or maintain dietary changes. We can play an important role in guiding our patients to help and in supporting them in their efforts to make lasting changes. If you find that you are working with more patients who have bowel dysfunction, and wish to increase your knowledge beyond the PF2A course, you still have time to register for the Bowel Pathology and Function course, taking place in June in Minneapolis, which addresses many factors specific to bowel health and pelvic rehabilitation approaches.

Coccyx Pain and Posture
The Value of Fascial Sparing in Radical Prostatect...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to

All Upcoming Continuing Education Courses