Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The term inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a category of gastrointestinal illnesses that encompasses two conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are illnesses that cause inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Abdominal pain and diarrhea (often containing blood) are common symptoms for both diseases. Because of their like symptoms, doctors sometimes find it difficult to determine which IBD diagnosis is the best. As a result, almost one-tenth of IBD patients have conditions for which a conclusive judgment between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis cannot be made.
It is now well known within the gastroenterology community that the make up of gut bacteria is abnormal in both Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. We also know that there is mild gut wall inflammation in many other GI conditions, but in IBD, it is the worst. The recent article by experienced researchers in the field outlines where we are and looks to the future to make significant improvements.
The question is whether fiber, especially prebiotic fibers, could be helpful in treating these disorders. The following article looks at the published research. We just don’t have any data on Crohns disease. There is some evidence that fiber may be helpful in Ulcerative Colitis. There is no evidence that fiber is harmful in any of these patients.