Frequently Asked Question's
This page contains a number of FAQ's, which are often asked by
patients. This will be regularly reviewed and updated.
"Should people with IBD follow a low fibre
This depends upon what sort of IBD you have. It is usually only
advised in people with narrowing in the small bowel due to Crohns
Disease. Also, if you are having a flare up of Ulcerative Colitis,
it can be helpful to reduce the amount of fruit and vegetables you
eat as they might make you go to the toilet even more.Most other
people with IBD should follow a healthy diet that includes fruit
and vegetables unless they cause problems on an individual
"Can I have IBS & IBD?"
Yes, quite common and sometimes difficult to know which is
causing symptoms. A lot of people with IBD and IBS experience
'wind'. Dietary adjustments can sometimes help and NACC have an
info leaflet 'bloating and wind' which contains useful advice.
Colpermin (peppermint oil) or peppermint tea is also
"How effective are Probiotics?"
A number of small studies have looked at the use of probiotics.
The evidence is strongest for their use in pouchitis - a condition
that people with UC can get when they have had surgery to form an
ileal pouch. There is some evidence for its use in Ulcerative
colitis but studies only looked at a small number of people. There
is no strong evidence for using probiotics in Crohn's disease at
There is also evidence that shows they can be helpful in
avoiding antibiotic associated diarrhoea.
"Does increased stress have any impact upon
Studies have shown that stress may be partly to blame for flare
ups in some people but not everyone.
"Why do we need to take Calcium & Vitamin D whilst
One of the most serious risks of taking steroids is osteoporosis
or thinning of the bones. This happens because steroids reduce the
bodies ability to absorb calcium which means that the bones become
thinner. Calcium and Vitamin D supplements may help to reduce this
"When do people with Ulcerative Colitis need
Not everyone with UC will need surgery. It is usually only
necessary if the disease Is not being controlled with medical
treatment - if someone is needing frequent courses of steroids
(>2 per year) for example. Occasionally, people have a flare up
that is not helped by steroids and surgery may then be necessary as
"What is Indeterminate Colitis?"
This diagnosis is given when the large bowel (Colon) is inflamed
and it is not clear whether it is crohns disease or ulcerative
colitis. When biopsies are taken during sigmoidoscopy or
colonoscopy they are sent to the histology department to be
examined under a microscope. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
are similar in some ways but have a few differences as well. The
histopathologists identify which condition it is by looking at the
differences. However sometimes they can only see the similarities
and none of the differences. It is therefore impossible to tell
which one it is and it is labelled indeterminate. Medical treatment
for inflammation in the large bowel (colitis) is similar for
Crohn's, UC and Indeterminate colitis.
'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly,
efficiently and professionally with full explanations and
compassion from all staff involved'.
Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital