Irritable Bowel Disease Symptoms and Treatment

Ashley Charlebois, RD, discusses Irritable Bowel Disease Symptoms and Treatment

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Ashley Charlebois, RD, discusses Irritable Bowel Disease Symptoms and Treatment
Video transcript

Ashley Charlebois, CEP, RD, Registered Dietitian

Irritable Bowel Disease Symptoms and Treatment Duration: 2 minutes

What you want to do will depend on what phase of the disease you are in. There are actually two different phases because you will go through periods of flare-ups where your symptoms are exacerbated, and then you’ll go through periods where your symptoms are more under control, and this is completely normal, but you do want to have a longer period where your symptoms are under control obviously.

When you are experiencing flare ups of IBD, you want to have a low fibre diet. If you have extremely severe symptoms, you might actually have to go to a completely elemental diet, which just means that you will have to have nutritional supplements that have predigested nutrients, and that is something you can get more help with from your local dietitian.

When your symptoms are more under control, you can tolerate fibre, so it’s a good idea to actually have a high fibre diet, so it’s completely opposite of when you are having worse symptoms. Whether or not you are experiencing flare ups, or your symptoms are under control, you do want to avoid common trigger foods for your symptoms, such as alcohol, caffeine, high fat foods, fried foods, processed foods, as well as foods that contain high amounts of lactose, like dairy products, if you are lactose-intolerant, which is actually quite common in individuals with IBD.

There are some alternatives if you are having problems with certain foods. For example, instead of having milk, you can have almond milk or soy milk, if you are not able to digest high fibre foods because you are experiencing a flare up, and you need to have a more low fibre diet, you can have things such as applesauce, canned vegetables and fruits to ease the digestion.

Key things to remember are that you do want to have high fibre foods when you are not experiencing a flare up because it is important to get that fibre intake during periods that you can tolerate it. It is also important that you seek extra help from your doctor if you need to manage this through other options besides diet, such as medication. Otherwise, do visit your local registered dietician for more information and for more help with dietary management of IBD.

Presenter: Ms. Ashley Charlebois, Registered Dietitian, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Registered Dietitian

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.