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Nutrition

In general, what are the dietary recommendations to maintain a healthy digestive system?

It is important to eat adequate fruits and veggies, consume lots of fibre and protein, drink lots of fluid, and limit fats and concetrated sweets. Along with eating healthy, it is also important to be mindful of your body, eat slowly, and stop eating once you are full. These measures can help with symptoms such as acid reflux. 

Will consuming probiotics help with my digestive health?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that have been suggested to increase digestive health when consumed. At times, they have been shown to help in prevention and treatment of diarrhea. Some studies also suggest that probiotics help in the treatment of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, and constipation. The most common probiotic-rich food is yogurt, however food products such as sauerkraut, miso, and kimchi also contain probiotics. 

Does diet affect IBD?

Diet does not play a major role in minimizing IBD symptoms, however it is important that patients with IBD have a well-balanced diet. IBD is often associated with decreased nutritional status, so diet recommendations for IBD patients focus on getting adequate nutrition, and avoiding foods that may increase symptoms. Calcium is important to protect bones, fibre may not be tolerated during flare ups and certain vitamins (for example, B12) may be required. Occasionally, a dietitian and a dietary intervention may help patients.

Does diet affect GERD?

There are some diet modification recommendations for GERD patients. It is advised to avoid eating 3-4 hours before going to bed, and to avoid overating. These foods should be avoided when possible: citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, carbonated beverages, spicy foods, fatty or fried foods, carbonated beverages, chocolate, and mints. 

Does diet affect IBS? 

IBS is chronic but symptoms can be managed with appropriate diet and lifestyle changes. Click here for more information. 

What is nutrition intervention? 

In situations where the stomach or intestine is not functioning appropriately, nutrition must be supplied through a different method, as oral intake may not be the best strategy. Nutrition can be provided either through a feeding tube (enteral nutrition) or when the digestive tract cannot be used, through an intravenous catheter that is inserted directly into the veins (parenteral nutrition). 

Am I a candidate for nutrition intervention?

In general, patients who are unable to meet their nutritional requirement neither orally or through the gastrointestinal tract are potential candidates for nutrition intervention. However, home enteral and parenteral nutrition have different admission criteria. To read the details on admission criteria for both programs, click here


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