Personalized Nutrition for IBD?
Have you ever asked your doctor…”So what can I eat?” If so, you’re not alone.
Research shows that this is one of the most common questions that patients with IBD ask their doctors (1). In fact, there is an entire field of study called precision nutrition, also known as personalized nutrition, that aims to better understand the impact of an individual patients’ nutrition on their disease activity and gut microbiome. No two people experience food in exactly the same way.
If you’ve ever noticed that your symptoms are triggered by a particular food, yet your partner, sibling or friend with IBD can enjoy the same food without issue, you’ve queued into one of the many puzzling questions precision nutrition researchers are trying to answer. The ultimate goal is that precision nutrition research will help us learn how nutrition affects each unique individual so that we can create nutrition plans that are based on measurement and prediction of an individual’s responses to food, while taking into account the individual’s biological, lifestyle, and clinical characteristics (2-4). While exciting, this research can take years or decades to reach a conclusion and may likely leave us with more questions than answers.
So…what should we do in the meantime?
While we wait to determine how different foods impact an individual’s disease activity and microbiome, researchers have identified general eating patterns as supportive for regulating the gut microbiome, and these are summarized in the food pyramid above (5).
“But precision nutrition sounds like food sensitivity tests…are they the same?”
They are not; We encourage you to check out this post where we dive deep into food sensitivity tests and bust some of the common myths associated with them.
If you’re looking at this food pyramid thinking of all your trigger foods that fall into the food-pyramid categories, know that this is commonly experienced by many of our clients.Consider reaching out for a free one-on-one consultation to see how we can work together to find an individualized nutrition plan that helps you confidently expand your diet, reduce your symptoms, and build a better relationship with food.
- Forbes A. Nutrition and inflammatory bowel disease. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2020;23:350–354
- Zeisel, SH. Precision (personalized) nutrition: understanding metabolic heterogeneity. Annu Rev Food Sci Technol.2020;11:71–92.;11:71–92.
- Barnes EL.Are nutrition interventions to augment treatment plans the most personalized approach to inflammatory bowel disease therapy?Crohns Colitis 360.2020;2. doi:10.1093/crocol/otaa043.
- Collins CB, Roche HM. Personalized nutrition for inflammatory bowel disease. Crohns Colitis 360.2020;2.doi:10.1093/crocol/otaa042.
- Sasson, A. N., Ingram, R., Zhang, Z., Taylor, L. M., Ananthakrishnan, A. N., Kaplan, G. G., Ng, S. C., Ghosh, S., & Raman, M. (2021). The role of precision nutrition in the modulation of microbial composition and function in people with inflammatory bowel disease. The lancet. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 6(9), 754–769. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-1253(21)00097-2
More IBD Resources:
The Flare Fighter Recipe Book
We've put together this 40+ page recipe book to give you some ideas for what to eat when you have IBD. These recipes are designed to be quick, simple, and delicious. We hope you enjoy them! Download the recipe book at the link below.
The IBD Starter Kit
An essential self-advocacy guide for people with IBD and their caregivers. We designed this Starter Kit with you in mind, to save you time and give you the tools you need to be your own best healthcare advocate. Download the Starter Kit at the link below.