Diet & Nutrition
The digestive tract is responsible for digestion, absorption of nutrients from foods and beverages, and elimination of waste. Many patients with CD have inflammation in the small intestine. This can affect the patient’s ability to fully digest and absorb nutrients from the food that they eat. If not enough of the right kinds of nutrients are absorbed into the body; this can lead to nutritional deficiencies or malnutrition, which is a lack of essential nutrients in the body. Improperly digested food can also cause diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping.
Avoiding dehydration is an important strategy for anyone, whether they have IBD or not. Our bodies are 60% percent water and thus require regular frequent intake of water to stay hydrated.
Patients with CD or UC who are experiencing recurring diarrhea are especially at risk of becoming dehydrated. Everyone should attempt to drink at least 8 to 18 glasses of water every day. For some people With IBD, it could be beneficial to avoid beverages with caffeine, such as coffee and tea, because it could increase frequency of bowel movements. Some examples of good beverages include water, low-sugar sports drinks, and fruit juices that have been diluted in water.