Issues in Nutrition: Dietary Considerations in Select Chronic Conditions

Thompson ME1, Noel MB2. FP Essent. 2017 Jan;452:31-39.
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1Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Secchia Center 15 Michigan St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. 2Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Department of Family Medicine Clinical Center, 788 Service Rd #B104B, East Lansing, MI 48824-7046.


Chronic diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract also tend to affect nutrition. The incidence of chronic liver disease is increasing. As the prevalence of obesity rises, so do the incidences of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Patients with chronic liver disease usually have some degree of malnutrition. In the absence of encephalopathy, patients with chronic liver disease should consume more protein than that in the average diet. There is some controversy about whether diet plays a role in the development of inflammatory bowel disease. Patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease frequently present with weight loss as a symptom, and require careful nutritional assessment. Exclusive enteral nutrition plays an important role in inducing remission in children with Crohn disease but the same is not true in adults. Celiac disease is a relatively common enteropathy characterized by an autoimmune response in the intestinal lining. Patients with celiac disease should avoid eating gluten, which is found in wheat, soy, and barley. There is no evidence that gluten avoidance results in improved health outcomes in patients who are not gluten intolerant.

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