HOW DOES THE FOOD WE EAT INFLUENCE Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) AND Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

July 31, 2017
August 21, 2017
Show all

HOW DOES THE FOOD WE EAT INFLUENCE Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) AND Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Does the food we eat influence symptoms of IBS and IBD? Y ES

IBS & IBD are both diseases of the bowel.

While IBD is much harsher that IBS they are both at times hard to manage and have confusing information on diet, especially on foods to avoid.

After all it is in the bowel where food is passing through, just the fact that foods are going past the area that is aggravated should give you a clear indication that yes food can definitely make this worse or better.

Some foods increase acidity in the body creating an acidic environment, this predisposes the body to inflammation. This is because an acidic environment triggers an immune response and part of that immune response is inflammation (1).

Inflammation causes intestinal distention or swelling to occur and this causes our intestines to stretch which triggers pain receptors.

Inflammation is the bodies normal response to an injury or insult, however when the tissues have recurrent low grade inflammation this can cause changes to the tissues and the immune system.

Inflammation in the GUT – think of the inside of the intestine like a hose, when a hose is working correctly water runs from one end to the other without leaks.

However when inflammation occurs in the lining of our hose (actually called a lumen) small holes appear because the inflammation is causing the individual cells of the lumen (hose) to part, this causes a leaky hose or in our digestive system; leaks of microscopic particles of food.

This triggers and immune reaction causing more inflammation, often this is where food intolerances start.

The good news is we can reduce the exacerbation and insult of this by diet and lifestyle changes.

 To reduce inflammation in the gut we need to reduce pro-inflammatory foods

Inflammatory Foods

Red Meat          – there is an abundance of research and evidence that proves red meat increases inflammation (2,3,4).

Dairy                  – Dairy has shown to increase inflammation and oxidative stress (5-6)

Refined sugars – refined sugars found in lollies, sweets, cake, breakfast cereals etc… have been linked to higher incidences of inflammation (7)

Alcohol              – alcohol causes oxidation which in turn causes inflammation. research has shown that clients with IBD have an increased risk of flare up with the ingestion of alcohol (8).

There are more but these are the main foods that will cause a reaction in IBS and IBD.

I know this seems to be all the tasty foods but there are many ways around these by getting the taste but not the symptoms. Follow me on Facebook @Balance Naturopathy. I am always posting recipes and resources that help people to work around food intolerances and dietary needs.

If you need some help to manage your IBS or IBD please don’t hesitate to call 0412241198 or email for an appointment or just some advice.



1 Lee 2011; An acidic pH environment increases cell death and pro-inflammatory cytokine release in osteoblasts: The involvement of BAX Inhibitor-1

2 Azadbakht 2009;

Ley 2013;

Samraj 2015;

Stancliffe 2011;

6 Meijl 2010;

Sorensen 2005;

8 Swanson 2009;