FAQ: What is the role of diet? The role of diet is surprisingly limited but nutritional deficiencies need to identified and treated. There are usually several factors leading to weight loss and nutritional deficiencies. Inadequate oral intake is often more important than failure of absorption.Supplemental oral feeding with liquid diet (Ensure, Fortisip) may be helpful, particularly to enhance growth in children. Some patients feel better with some dietary exclusions. e.g wheat-free or dairy-free diet or exclusion of specific vegetables/fruits - this is a non-specific effect.An exclusion diet, similar to dietary advice given for irritable bowel, has been advocated by some doctors. For a well-motivated person keen to explore all natural options this has some value and some successes. Some of the benefit is because of an overlap between irritable bowel and inflammatory disease. This overlap is simply because irritable bowel is a common problem.