Food in inflammatory diseases

What should I eat? I suffer from an inflammatory bowel disease. An inflamed bowel can resemble a bone fracture. Both situations have something in common, they can improve and sometimes get healed if the area remains at rest, you make it not to work at all.

The broken bone is generally treated by immobilizing the affected area with a cast. In the case of gut the concept we apply is “bowel rest”.

This strategy that is often used in children (mainly in Crohn´s disease) before using any aggressive medication, such as immunosuppressive or biological (anti-TNF) drugs. Food is administered as a liquid via nasogastric tube (enteral feeding) and sometimes even using a blood vessel (parenteral nutrition).

Those therapies are reserved to specialized doctors, but anyone suffering from ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease can improve their symptoms through some of the following tips aiming to keep the bowel at certain level of “rest”.

The basic ideas for this strategy are:

  • Avoid any food that by reaching the inflamed intestine make it “work”, keep in mind that the idea is to ingest foods that could be absorbed very early in the gut.
  • Eat foods that nourish the body, and the bowel as well, this is a basic concept generally overlooked. If the gut is sick that is the organ that we should nourish.
  • Avoid by all means any food that could feed the “bad bacteria”
  • Eating many small meals per day, keep the intestine hydrated and “busy” in a good way.
  • Eating unprocessed food coming from organic farms and are not transformed into “plastic”.
  • Think as the inflamed intestine as a celiac gut, has low tolerance for gluten.

Foods that are better tolerated are the fermented ones: homemade yogurt over 30 hours of maturation, kefir, fermented cabbage (sawerkraut), etc.

The egg whites are great food. They are absorbed just after passing the stomach, in the duodenum and can be consumed in large quantities.

Vegetable broth, meat and bone cooked for more than 12 hours are great for feeding not only the body but the intestinal wall, we recommend taking 6-8 small cups throughout the day. You may add the egg whites to them.

The “bad” bacteria are waiting for sugar, they love sweet stuff (disacarides and polisacarides), so they should be avoided. Liquid glucose, a simple sugar that is rapidly absorbed can replace sugar. It can be purchased in most health shops.

Another food to avoid are the potatoes and sweet potatoes, they have a lot of sugars and starches that inflame the intestinal walls.

There are many other useful strategies for treating intestinal inflammation. Contact us and our nutritionists will developed a specific diet to treat your problem.

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