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The etiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) remains elusive but it is believed to result from incompletely understood interactions between environmental triggers in a potentially genetically susceptible host and a subsequent aberrant immune response. Its incidence is increasing worldwide at an unprecedented rate, outpacing what genetic influences alone could instigate. The increasingly integral role played by eating in social life has led patients to gravitate to diet and food in their consultations with physicians and other health care professionals, in an attempt to improve, control, or even “cure” IBD through diet. Diet is a modifiable factor, and both patients and healthcare professionals have fuelled resurgent interest in the role of diet in maintaining IBD remission. Despite significant and increasing interest, there is a lack of credible evidence to support dietary modification or restrictions to prevent relapse of IBD. However, recent studies have shown that more than half of the patients believe that diet plays an important role in triggering relapse, leading to self-imposed dietary restrictions, some of which can have adverse consequences. This underpins the need for physicians and health care professionals to have a better understanding of dietary practices, in triggering, perpetuating, and improving IBD. This review examines and discusses the evidence behind this.
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- Dietary practices and inflammatory bowel disease
Jimmy K. Limdi
- Springer India
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