Nutritional considerations in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease

Laurie S. Conklin, Maria Oliva-Hemker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Nutrition is a critical part of the management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in children and adults. Malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are common at the time of diagnosis and may persist throughout the course of the disease. There are a number of similarities with regards to the nutritional complications and the approach to nutritional management in IBD in both children and adults, but there are also important differences. Growth failure, pubertal delay and the need for corticosteroid-sparing regimens are of higher importance in pediatrics. In the pediatric population, exclusive enteral nutrition may be equivalent to corticosteroids in inducing remission in acute Crohn's disease, and may have benefits over corticosteroids in children. Adherence with exclusive enteral nutrition is better in children than in adults. Iron deficiency anemia is an important problem for adults and children with IBD. Intravenous iron administration may be superior to oral iron supplementation. Ensuring adequate bone health is another critical component of nutritional management in IBD, but guidelines for screening and therapeutic interventions for low bone mineral density are lacking in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-317
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Children
  • Crohn's disease
  • Enteral
  • Growth
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Micronutrient deficiency
  • Nutrition
  • Pediatric
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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