• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

Could a liquid diet help me?


I have a fistula from the ileum to the abdominal wall. I have been on azathioprine + infliximab combo for almost 6 weeks with no signs of it healing the fistula. From my understanding a liquid diet allows the distal part of the small bowel to rest as the majority of the liquid food is absorbed earlier on in the intestinal track. My fistula outputs mostly liquid but also small amounts of solid food e.g seeds from jalapeno peppers (sorry for tmi).

I pinged the question to my specialist via email and he said it isn't a bad idea but doesn't think it will make much of a difference as I am already on powerful immunosuppresents. He said we can talk about it more at our next appointment but that isn't for another month.

If my current concoction of drugs do not work I will need to have a bowel resection and most likely a temporary stoma. I would like to exhaust every option before it comes to that. Do you guys think pursuing a liquid enteral diet along with inflix + aza is worth a shot?

Thank you for reading


Staff member
'Exclusive' enteral nutrition (EN) will provide bowel rest ('exclusive' means no other food, however). I have no experience with fistulas but I don't believe EN will treat a fistula. However, if you have active inflammation and that inflammation is contributing to the fistula, then EN will calm the inflammation and may, indirectly, help the fistula. This may also help alleviate your symptoms while your meds continue to work towards treating the actual fistula???

The best EN formulas would be the elemental or semi-elemental ones. I believe Modulen and Peptamin are semi-elemental.

It also does take a number of weeks of exclusive EN to see real results (my son did it for six weeks), although even a short time can help alleviate immediate symptoms. Some GIs do not allow any food at all while on exclusive EN (except water), however, my son's GI did allow clear broth, freezies/popsicles (no chocolate flavours though), jello, clear pop, gatorade, clear fruit beverages (like apple juice - no fibre, no pulp).

Good luck!
Last edited: