Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to a group of long-term inflammatory conditions that affect the digestive tract.

The cause still remains unknown, however over 1 million people in the US and 2.5 million people in Europe are affected (1).

The most common types of IBD are:

  • Ulcerative colitis: Found in the innermost lining of your colon and rectum. It produces inflammation and ulcers.
  • Crohn’s disease: Found anywhere in the digestive tract (from mouth to anus), but usually within the small intestine.
  • Microscopic Colitis: An inflammatory condition of the colon, broken down into two forms—collagenous and lymphocytic colitis.

There are sub-types of these diseases based on where it affects the gastrointestinal tract. At this time there is no known medical cure for IBD, but there is a range of treatment options to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms.

It is important to note that IBD is distinctly different from the more common inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is functional digestive disorder rather than a chronic inflammatory disease.

IBD is more severe and must be managed properly as it can cause irreversible damage and may even be life-threatening.

Can IBD be managed naturally?

Diet changes are required alongside medicine to manage symptoms, correct nutrient deficiencies and reduce the risk of recurrence.

There are specific dietary patterns that can prevent flare-ups. Depending on the sub-type of IBD that is being managed, different diets will be more effective and include:

  • A low fiber or low residue diet
  • The specific carbohydrate diet for IBD
  • Anti-inflammatory diet for IBD
  • Low FODMAP diet for IBD
  • The Maker’s diet

Some supplements including curcumin and certain probiotics may also be beneficial.

More on IBD

All articles about Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Treatment: Explained in Plain English


[Last updated 8th November, 2018]

Inflammatory bowel disease refers to long-term inflammation in the digestive tract.

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This article explores what you need to know about treating inflammatory bowel disease… without all the scientific jargon.[Discover More…]

The Best Diet For Ulcerative Colitis: Splitting Fact From Fiction


[Last updated 7th March, 2023]

Many people claim to have “cured” ulcerative colitis with diet or supplements.

Unfortunately, there is no diet or pill that can cure the disease.

However, certain diet changes have shown tremendous promise in reducing symptoms and easing discomfort, helping patients live a normal life once more.

This article explains what we currently know about the role of diet in ulcerative colitis.[Discover More…]