Health Advice



Are your food choices triggering inflammatory bowel disease symptoms?

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

John F. Kennedy suffered from digestive problems, including persistent diarrhea. He took antispasmodics to ease his stomach cramping. Not much was known about his condition at the time, but now, some doctors suggest he suffered from inflammatory bowel disease.

IBD is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. It affects around 3 million Americans. There are two types: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Common symptoms include persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding or bloody stools, weight loss and fatigue. IBD is also linked to cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. And, it's costly. According to some research, annual out-of-pocket medical costs for folks with the condition are more than twice what folks without IBD spend ($2,213 versus $979).

The physical, emotional and financial hardships caused by the disease are why it's so important to manage IBD symptoms with healthy lifestyle choices, especially dietary ones.

A recent study published in the journal PlosOne exposed the harmful food choices that are associated with IBD: french fries, sodas and energy drinks, cheese and cookies -- in short, what the researchers from Georgia State University called "junk foods."

If you want to make smart food choices that can help control your IBD symptoms, here's what to do:

-- Choose veggies that are lower in fiber, such as carrots, asparagus tips, green beans, peeled cucumbers and bell peppers. Eat them steamed, not raw.

-- Opt for fruits, such as applesauce, melons, papaya and bananas.


-- Skip red meat and enjoy salmon, white meat chicken and tofu.

-- Drink plenty of water!


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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