By: Jenn Wihborg
December 1-7 is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract that falls under a group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Crohn’s most commonly affects the small bowel and be beginning of the colon, but it can actually affect any part of the GI tract. Some of the adverse affects of Crohn’s include persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, constipation, loss of appetite, and subsequent weight loss. Colitis also falls under the IBD category, but its effects are specific to the large intestine. The colon become inflamed and develops ulcers that produce pus and mucous. Patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) suffer from symptoms such as loose and urgent bowel movements, persistent diarrhea, bloody stools, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss. It is the role of Registered Dietitians to help these patients find ease in adhering to a diet such as a low-fiber diet in order to minimize the adverse effects such as abdominal pain.