IBD Treatment - Nutrition Management

While Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis may not be the result of reactions to specific foods or a poor diet, paying special attention to your diet may help reduce symptoms, replace lost nutrients, and promote healing.
Our surgeons, gastroenterologists, radiologists, nutritionists, and other specialists work side-by-side, communicating with patients and each other to provide coordinated, customized treatment solutions. Together, we will provide a personalized treatment plan that includes information and guidance on foods to eat and foods to avoid.

How Can Nutrition Help My IBD?

For people diagnosed with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, it is essential to maintain good nutrition. These conditions often reduce your appetite while increasing your body's energy needs. Common symptoms like diarrhea can reduce your body's ability to absorb protein, fat, carbohydrates, and even water, vitamins, and minerals. Some important nutritional guidelines for managing IBD include:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease can make it hard to get the nutrients you need.
  • It is important to eat a healthy, varied diet to help you keep your weight up and stay strong.
  • Some foods can make symptoms worse. Not eating these foods may help reduce your symptoms.
  • No one diet is right for everyone with an inflammatory bowel disease. Keep a food diary to find out which foods cause problems for you. Then you can avoid those foods and choose others that supply the same nutrients.
  • Because you may not be absorbing all the nutrients from the food you eat, you will need to eat a high-calorie, high-protein diet. This may be easier to do if you eat regular meals plus two or three snacks each day.
  • You may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements to help you get the nutrients you need.

While your diet can remain flexible and should include a variety of foods from all food groups, your doctor will likely make some recommendations for you, such as restricting your intake of dairy if you are found to be lactose-intolerant.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment, or to refer a patient to our care, contact our dedicated IBD Coordinator at 717-531-3998 or the Penn State Hershey Careline at 1-800-243-1455.