A survey of people with inflammatory bowel disease to investigate their views of food and nutritional issues

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Survey aims were to investigate the dietary concerns, beliefs and opinions of people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and differences between those with Crohn’s disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC). A cross-sectional postal questionnaire was sent to people with IBD who were booked into an adult IBD or Gastroenterology clinic over a 6-week period. There were 416 eligible people and 168 (40%) responded. Sixty-four (42%) people indicated that food affects their symptoms a lot or severely. Eighty (51%) respondents indicated that diet was important or extremely important in controlling symptoms. Significantly more people with CD reported meat, fatty foods, chocolate and salad as a trigger than people with UC. Significantly more people with UC reported wheat as a trigger. More people with CD avoided meat and chocolate than UC. This survey highlights the importance of nutrition and diet to people with IBD. Frequent food avoidance was reported. This may impact on nutrition-related health problems.

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