There is no specific treatment for individuals with CIP. Treatment is directed toward the specific symptoms that are apparent in each individual, and to support adequate nutritional needs. The treatment plan may require the efforts of multiple of specialists. Each patient is different and will require an individual plan. Given the differences in each patient, the treatment plan that works for one may not work for another.
The specific therapeutic procedures and interventions for individuals with CIP will vary, depending upon numerous factors including the specific symptoms present, the site and extent of the affected portion of the GI tract, an individual’s age and overall health, tolerance of certain medications or procedures, personal preference and other factors.
Treatment options for individuals with CIP are complex and varied and often prove difficult. The specific treatment plan may be highly individualized and can include can dietary adjustments, total parenteral nutrition (TPN), enteral feeding, certain medications and surgery.
Individuals with CIP are encouraged to eat five to six small meals a day rather than three large ones and to follow a low-fat, low-fiber diet. Such a diet may emphasize liquids and soft foods. Fatty foods are believed to delay gastric emptying. High fiber foods are thought to be associated with abdominal bloating and discomfort.
Some physicians may recommend avoiding lactose because of the high incidence of lactose intolerance in the general population. Affected individuals may also be encouraged to follow a low-residue diet, which limits foods that leave undigested parts in the GI tract (these undigested parts normally become part of stool). A low-residue diet is similar, but generally more restrictive than a low fiber diet.
Affected individuals may also need to take daily multivitamins and nutritional supplements, which are beneficial for individuals who experience nutritional deficiencies and/or malnourishment.