Anti-Inflammatory Diet to Enhance Post-Colectomy

Quality of Life: A Pilot Study



Background: Quality of life challenges faced by patients with bowel diversions are frequently related to nutrition. Chief complaints include maintaining adequate hydration, absorbing vitamins and nutrients, adapting to new or altered food responses, accidental bowel leakage, bowel movement frequency, and flatulence. Although immediate dietary suggestions are often provided during the post-surgical recovery period, longterm nutritional needs are frequently left unaddressed. Strong evidence supports the efficacy of anti-inflammatory diets in the treatment of IBS, IBD, crohn’s disease, and colitis (Mullin & Swift, 2011). Identifying and reducing bioindividual food irritants decreases gastrointestinal inflammation, thereby improving nutrient absorption, reducing B12 and iron deficiencies, decreasing abdominal pain/discomfort, improving energy level, and promoting increased sleep quality. 


Objective: This pilot study is a preliminary asessment of the efficacy of an anti-inflammatory diet on improving the quality of life for patients with bowel diversions.





Participants were recruited from the member list of the Hereditary Colon Cancer Foundation. They received written and verbal instruction to follow an anti-inflammatory diet for 21 days. Specifically, they eliminated dairy, gluten, corn, soy, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and other food additives. Support materials including food lists, shopping guides and recipes were provided.




Incorporating a bio-individual, non-inflammatory diet as part of the standard of care for post-colectomy patients can improve the patients’ health and quality of life.  The long-term affect of a non-inflammatory diet also may potentially reduce GI polyp burden through a mechanism similar to usage of NSAIDs. We are actively seeking a research partners to develop a formal study. 


CLICK HERE to read full details of poster presented September, 2014 at the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer.


If you would like to know more about the study, please contact Shawnie Bray, Integrative Nutrition Coach, at