Inflammatory Bowel Disease May Reduce Life Expectancy: Study

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According to the journal Gastroenterology, children who develop inflammatory bowel disease, are at an increased risk of death, both in childhood and later in life. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the ongoing inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. The findings of the study suggested that it is important that patients who are diagnosed with IBD are carefully monitored. For the study, the team from the varsity compared mortality rates in about 9,400 children who developed inflammatory bowel disease with those of other children. The results showed that children who developed IBD before the age of 18 have a three to five-fold high mortality rate as compared to people without IBD, both during childhood and into adulthood.

This translates to a 2.2-year reduction in life expectancy in individuals monitored up to the age of 65, as per the findings. According to the researchers, most young people with IBD do not die earlier than their peers, but a few individuals with a severe case of IBD and serious complications such as cancer, greatly elevate the relative risk.

IBD in adults has previously been linked to shortened life expectancy and is often thought to have a more aggressive disease course among children compared to adults.

Here are a few nutrition and diet tips for people suffering from IBD. Please note that these points are general diet tips and shouldn't be used as substitute to proper medications recommended by the doctor. These nutrition tips are suggested by Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America and University of California San Francisco:

  1. A well-balanced diet with adequate protein, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as vitamins and minerals, is necessary for nutrition.
  2. Having a chronic, active disease like IBD tends to increase the body's requirement for calories, nutrients and energy. It is good nutritional diet that will help keep things balanced.
  3. Reduce concentrated sweets in your diet, such as juices, candy and soda; it should be done to decrease amount of water pulled into your intestine, which may contribute to watery stools.
  4. Try incorporating omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. These essential fats may have an anti-inflammatory effect. So include more greens and fish like mackerel, salmon, tuna, et al in your diet.
  5. Reduce alcohol consumption as it only ups the risk of inflammation in the body.

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