IBD affects nutrition in several ways, and people with the disease need to pay close attention to diet and to their nutritional needs. Children with IBD are at particular risk for nutritional problems.

In adults, IBD can reduce both appetite and the actual amount of nutrients absorbed from food, particularly if any significant sections of small intestine have been surgically removed. People with IBD may find that they have lower tolerance for particular types of foods, such as milk products, spicy foods, sugar and fat.

In severe cases when a person with IBD isn’t getting enough nutrients, the physician may suggest an elemental diet, a specially formulated liquid that meets all nutritional needs and is readily absorbed in the upper intestinal tract.

In extreme situations or before surgery, patients may be fed intravenously.

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