Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative colitis are the two most common forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)--in short, when the intestine becomes sore or swollen. Ulcers form and destroy the surface of the intestine. Ulcerative colitis was thought to be limited to the large intestine, or colon (remembering that -itis at the end of a word means that organ or tissue has become inflamed--appendicitis, arthritis, bronchitis, and so on). However, our group has recently published evidence that similar sores can show up in the small intestine occasionally.

I'd be lying if I tell you that I, or anybody else, knows the actual cause of Crohn's disease. But we do know a lot. And what we know translates into important worthwhile dietary and nutritional advice.

For patients with IBD, the role of a good diet has been on replacing or supplementing nutrients that may not be absorbed because of intestinal swelling (as discussed in our blogpost on nutrition for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  Additional goals included promoting growth in the children and supporting the good health of patients with IBD.

Providing appropriate and adequate nutrition has long been an important part of taking care of patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (two of the most common Inflammatory Bowel Dieases, or IBD). This has been particularly true for children with IBD. They often have decreased growth (and delay in starting puberty). So the idea has always been to give them more (and better) nutrition--more calories with higher protein levels to improve growth and the kids' general health, and to replace or supplement what they may not be able to absorb completely through inflamed intestines.

You and I supposedly have around 100 trillion cells in our body as adults.  What's more amazing is that we have 10 to 100 times that many bacteria and other organisms living inside us.  More than a quadrillion.  We have some in our mouths.  Women have some in their vaginas.  Most are in our lower intestines.  So as someone said, the cute phrase really should be "me, myself and us."