Crohn’s & Colitis: Understanding and Managing IBD
Dr. A. Hillary Steinhart, MD, MSc, FRCP
Robert Rose Publishing (2006)
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (10/10)
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis, are rampant in this county. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America reports that IBD affects approximately 1.4 million Americans, including some 140,000 children under the age of 18. IBD involves excessive or uncontrolled inflammation of the gut. However, in chronic cases it may affect the joints, eyes, skin, liver, bones, and may cause cancer. According to the author, Dr. A. Hillary Steinhart, “diet has been studied as a possible cause of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and as a possible treatment for these conditions.”
Steinhart, head of the Combined Division of Gastroenterology for Mount SinaiHospital and University Health Network in Toronto, gives thorough explanations of what the disease is, the symptoms, resuming normal lifestyle, diet and psychological management, drug therapy and surgical treatment. He also covers how to treat children with IBD as well as gives resources and references.
Because of the required diet changes, patients with IBD may not get enough fiber. Steinhart explains “The priority when you have n IBD flare is to recover, return to better health, and have improved quality of life. This may require adjusting or reducing your fiber intake.” He encourages “to include more soluble fiber in your diet, [by] adding oat bran to moist foods, such as yogurt, pudding, sauces, and soups, as well as in baked goods (muffins and cookies) and cereal…Try adding chickpeas to lentils to a casserole, or include kidney beans in a stew.”
Although devastating and incurable, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are manageable. Understanding IBD is the first step to creating a program that works. Each individual is different and what may work for one IBD patient may not work for another. Steinhart gives information that is based on medical research as well as his own experience with patients. “Crohn’s & Colitis” is a very reader-friendly resource book, not only for sufferers of IBD but anyone wanting to create a healthy environment in his or her gut.