“What food can trigger a flare up?”
This is one of the most common question asked by patients with Crohn’s and Colitis.
“Doctor what should I eat?”
Findings from epidemiology studies indicate that certain foods can trigger a flare up of IBD. Diets high in animal fat, high in alcohol and high in red meat are common triggers. Other triggers include a diet low in fruits and vegetables commonly associated with an increased risk of IBD. Low levels of vitamin D also appear to be a risk factor for IBD. A diet high in fat, especially saturated animal fats, also increase inflammation, whereas supplementation with omega 3 long-chain fatty acids protect against intestinal inflammation. Unfortunately, omega 3 supplements have not been shown to decrease the risk of relapse in patients with Crohn’s disease. Avoiding highly processed foods with additives and preservatives is advised too.
Although fiber supplements have not been definitively shown to benefit patients with IBD, soluble fiber is the best way to generate short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, which has anti-inflammatory effects.
Addition of vitamin D and curcumin (Tumeric) has been shown to improve colitis. There is compelling evidence from animal models that emulsifiers (food additives to stabilize foods) typically found in processed foods increase risk for IBD.
You could consider seeing one of our dieticians at The Digestive Health Centre to optimize your diet to assist in achieving IBD remission. A GP initiated Medicare care plan for chronic diseases allows for upto 5 visits covered by a Medicare rebate