Dr. Mutlu discusses if diets are safe for women with inflammatory bowel disease.
In terms of a specific diet for patients who have inflammatory bowel disease, there are no proven diets in the literature, and diet can cause, dietary changes can cause a fair number of restrictions in what the person can eat.
So, definitely I would not advise patients to go on and try various diets without the knowledge of their medical practitioner or being monitored by a dietician because patients with inflammatory bowel disease typically are nutritionally deficient, and such restrictions in the diet could lead to even more nutritional deficiencies.
However, having said that, do I believe that diet makes a difference for inflammatory bowel disease? Yes, and that is why I am doing the research for it, and I do encourage all patients to be closely monitored and enroll in research trials that do have, that do advocate dietary changes for inflammatory bowel disease.
In general, we know from epidemiological studies, which are population-based studies, that we see Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis more so in the urban areas versus the rural areas, and there seems to be a fairly big difference in the types of foods that are consumed in that regard.
We also see and have evidence from the literature, even though it is not perfect evidence, that high amounts of sweet consumption, consumption of certain types of oils, significant amounts of additives, preservatives in food, could potentially be associated with inflammatory bowel disease. I would like to specifically state that these are associations, and they don’t prove that these things do cause inflammatory bowel disease or even causally related to it.
Having said that, could there be something there to investigate and research further? And the answer to that question for me would be definitely yes.
About Dr. Mutlu, M.D.:
Dr. Ece A. Mutlu, M.D., is Associate Professor of Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in gastroenterology and nutrition, and her research interests include diet therapy in inflammatory bowel disease, role of microbiological flora on gastrointestinal illness, role of nutrition in gastrointestinal disease, complementary and alternative medicine for gastrointestinal disease, and antioxidant treatment of radiation proctitis.