Enteral nutrition (a special liquid only diet) can be used as an alternative to steroids to induce remission. People on this diet do not need to eat ordinary food or drink because the liquid diet provides them with all the necessary nutrients they need. This approach can be especially helpful for children when there are concerns steroids could affect growth. In adults, studies show steroids work better at inducing remission than enteral therapy, but liquid diets or supplements may be used to support nutrition. If you prefer to try the liquid diet approach discuss this with our IBD team.

For people with IBD affecting the colon who cannot tolerate steroids (or wish to avoid them) 5-ASA can be considered in some circumstances, but are generally less powerful. For people who can not come off steroids (because their symptoms return when they stop treatment) biological treatments or immunosuppressants can be considered.