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Diagnosed with IBD? Here’s 7 things you should know.

Diagnosed with IBD? Here’s 7 things you should know.

Updated on
November 12, 2023
Medical reviewer
Medically reviewed by
Brittany Rogers, MS, RDN
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Written by
Romanwell Dietitians

Were you just diagnosed with IBD or have you been living with it for years? In either case, here are 7 important things you should know about your IBD so that you can feel more confident advocating for yourself with your doctors, friends, and family.

1. Learn your disease subtype

The type of IBD you have determines your risks and treatment options. 

Crohn’s disease

The type of Crohn’s disease you have is determined by the location of the inflammation and the behavior of the disease. The different type of Crohn’s disease based on disease location include:

  • Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease
  • Jejunoileitis
  • Ileal Crohn’s disease
  • Ileocolitis
  • Crohn’s colitis
  • Perianal Crohn’s disease

The different types of Crohn’s disease based on the behavior of the disease include:

  • Stricturing
  • Penetrating
  • Non-stricturing/non-penetrating

Ulcerative colitis

There are several different types of ulcerative colitis which vary based on the location of the inflammation in your colon and rectum:

  • Ulcerative proctitis
  • Proctosigmoiditis
  • Left-sided colitis
  • Pancolitis

Microscopic colitis

There are two types of microscopic colitis including:

  • Collagenous colitis
  • Lymphocytic colitis

Indeterminate colitis

You may have indeterminate colitis if your doctor couldn’t tell which type of IBD you have. There are no subtypes of indeterminate colitis. 


2. Learn your disease severity and activity

The severity and activity level of your IBD will help your doctor determine which treatment option is best for you. 

  • Disease severity - what your disease prognosis is based on how many risk factors you have for a severe disease course
  • Disease activity - what your inflammation looks like right now

3. Learn the difference between a flare and active disease

The terms ‘flare’ and ‘active disease’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. 

  • Flare - when you experience an increase in symptoms (this could be with or without inflammation)
  • Active disease - inflammation is present according to inflammatory disease markers (fecal calprotectin, c-reactive protein, ESR), scopes/imaging results (colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, MRI, etc), and symptoms. 

4. Learn the different types of remission

There are different types of IBD remission including:

  • Clinical remission
  • Biochemical remission
  • Endoscopic remission
  • Surgical remission
  • Histological remission
  • Intestinal barrier healing

5. Learn the difference between trigger, pro-inflammatory, and anti-inflammatory foods

  • Trigger foods - foods that, when consumed, trigger symptoms
  • Pro-inflammatory foods - foods that, when consumed frequently over time, increase the risk for active disease
  • Anti-inflammatory foods - foods that, when consumed frequently over time, decrease the risk for active disease

6. Psychological support can help you cope with your diagnosis and symptoms

7. Learn the trusted sources for Crohn’s and colitis-related information

There’s a lot of information out there about IBD, including a lot of information that is misleading, conflicting, and confusing. Your best bet for navigating this information is to rely on a few reputable sources of information for answers to your IBD-related questions. Some reputable sources include:


Get support for your diet and symptoms

If you want support reducing your symptoms and expanding your diet, consider reaching out to one of our IBD-focused registered dietitians. We can help you quickly identify your trigger foods and find better tolerated alternatives you can swap into their place.

We can also help you decrease your risk for inflammation long-term and restore your relationship with food so you can feel more in control of your Crohn's or colitis. Request a call to learn more or to get started with an IBD-focused registered dietitian today.

We can help you reduce your symptoms without a restrictive diet
Pay as little as $0 per appointment with insurance
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Download our Flare Fighter Recipe Book

IBD friendly recipe book - Romanwell

Free Recipe Book for IBD

  • Flare-friendly recipes that tend to be well tolerated by most
  • Quick, simple, and delicious meals
  • Ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert
  • Written by the IBD dietitians at Romanwell

Download our free IBD Starter Kit

IBD starter kit Romanwell

An essential self-advocacy guide for IBD

  • Essential vocabulary to know
  • Who should be on your IBD care team & questions to ask them
  • Nutrition-related labs & how to request them
  • When to ask for a referral and to whom

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