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Perception of the role of food and dietary modifications in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: Impact on lifestyle

  • Authors: Guida L.; Di Giorgio F.M.; Busacca A.; Carrozza L.; Ciminnisi S.; Almasio P.L.; Di Marco V.; Cappello M.
  • Publication year: 2021
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • Key words: Dietary changes; Food perception; Inflammatory bowel disease; Adolescent; Adult; Colitis, Ulcerative; Crohn Disease; Diet; Feeding Behavior; Female; Humans; Middle Aged; Qualitative Research; Surveys and Questionnaires; Life Style
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Background: Diet has a relevant role in triggering symptoms in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from the patients’ perspective, but there is gap the between patients’ and doctors’ perceptions. Few studies have addressed this topic. The aim of this study was to evaluate food habits and nutrition knowledge in a homogeneous cohort of patients with IBD from southern Italy. Methods: 167 consecutive patients with IBD were recruited. The survey was based on the administration of a semi-structured questionnaire assessing demographics, disease features, dietary behavior, and food intolerance. Results: The majority of patients did not consider food a cause of their disease. However more than 80% changed their diet after the diagnosis and most report an improvement in symptoms. Spiced and seasoned foods, dairy products, vegetables, and fruit were often avoided. A dairy-free diet was adopted by 33.7%. Food choices were based on self-experience and not on medical counselling. Dietary modifications deeply impact on lifestyle. Conclusions: Most of the patients with IBD set diet and lifestyle on self-experience and give up many foods. This has an impact on psychosocial functioning and can lead to nutritional deficiencies. High quality studies are warranted to assess evidence-based dietary strategies and develop patient-targeted dietary recommendations.