We are what we eat, or so the saying goes. But how much truth does this hold, especially for those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)? If recent studies from LyfeMD are anything to go by, our diets indeed play a crucial role in managing IBD.
Introduction to IBD and LyfeMD’s Approach:
Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is an umbrella term for conditions that cause inflammation in the digestive tract. The most common types are Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). While managing these conditions can be challenging, new research suggests that the foods we eat can play a pivotal role.
LyfeMD, founded by Dr. Maitreyi Raman, a gastroenterologist, and nutrition expert, and Lorian Taylor, a dietitian with expertise in behavior change, delves into the relationship between diet and IBD. Their dedicated team has conducted several studies, with findings that shaped the IBD diet guidelines featured in the LyfeMD app.
What the Studies Say:
- Your Gut’s Bacteria Matters: One study examined the gut bacteria (or the gut microbiome) in CD patients. Those with healthier diets had better gut bacteria profiles. And here’s the exciting part: those who switched to healthier diets saw their gut microbiome change for the better.
- Eat Greens, Lower Inflammation: Another study found a connection between diet and inflammation in CD. Eating more leafy greens was linked to lower inflammation in the gut. Moreover, a balanced intake of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids reduced overall body inflammation.
- Vital Nutrients are Often Missing: CD patients, on average, consumed fewer vital nutrients like certain vitamins (C, D, thiamin, niacin), minerals (magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium), and healthy fats. Such a deficiency can result from various reasons, like symptom-related food restrictions, absorption issues, or medication-related interactions. This finding emphasizes the importance of a balanced diet.
- Food: A Pathway to Remission: The Crohn’s Disease Exclusion Diet (CDED) was explored as an alternative to tube feeding, a common treatment for CD flare-ups. This whole-food diet, combined with specific supplements, showed promising results, matching the effectiveness of tube feeding. This research informed LyfeMD’s flare diet guidelines, offering an alternative to the challenges of tube feeding.
- A Guiding Light on IBD-Friendly Foods: Dr. Raman’s team also introduced the first-ever IBD food guide. Drawing insights from a myriad of research, this guide, along with other international diet guidelines, became the foundation for the LyfeMD remission diets.
Why All This Matters:
The above studies make one thing clear: What you eat can make a difference. By making informed dietary choices, you can:
- Boost your intake of essential nutrients.
- Positively influence your gut bacteria.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Alleviate your IBD symptoms.
The LyfeMD app is designed to help you navigate these choices, leveraging research-backed insights to offer dietary guidance tailored for IBD patients.
Food is not just about pleasure or survival; it’s about wellness, especially for those with conditions like IBD. As science continues to unveil the complex relationship between our diets and health, one message stands out: With the right foods, we have the power to influence our well-being. Whether you’re dealing with IBD or simply curious about the gut-health connection, let’s remember the age-old wisdom – “We are what we eat” – and choose wisely.