Ulcerative colitis is recurring, painful, and stressful. If you are experiencing this disease, you should follow your customized diet plan. By skipping food that can increase the problem and consuming inflammation-fighting foods, you may be able to control the disease symptoms to the best extent.
Since you have ulcerative colitis, it is worth your while to watch out for what you eat. Foods do not cause the disease, but some may increase risk.
How can you prevent those triggers but still get the nutrients you require? That is where a diet plan can be the best help.
Facts Ulcerative Colitis
Table of Contents
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that leads to ulceration and inflammation of the innermost lining of the rectum and colon.
Around 2.5 million Europeans and 1.6 million Americans are impacted by this disease.
The source cause of this inflammatory disorder is not proved, but scientists have hypothesized that it may be caused because of the pathogenic bacteria or virus present in the immune system or gut attack on normal gut bacteria.
The most common symptoms are cramps, diarrhea, fever, rectal bleeding, joint pain, appetite loss, eye problems, and liver disease.
Ulcerative colitis can be diagnosed by CT-scan, X-rays, complete blood count, white blood cell scan, inflammation, liver function like C-reactive protein, colonoscopy, vitamin B-12, and antibody blood test.
It stays flare up and lifelong from time to time.
It can affect anyone at any age and may induce colon cancer if you have had the condition for more than 10 years.
Medicinal treatments include medicines and steroids that help lower inflammation, diarrhea, and immune system overreaction.
Sometimes, the affected part of the colon is removed to lower the risk of increasing colon cancer.
Causes of Ulcerative colitis
According to research, ulcerative colitis cause is complex and involves several factors. They think it is possibly the result of an overactive immune response. The immune system protects the inner body from harmful substances and germs. Sometimes your immune system mistakenly affects your body, which leads to tissue damage and inflammation.
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis symptoms often become worse with time. In the starting, you may see:
- Abdominal (belly) cramping
- Weight loss
- Urgent bowel movements
- Blood, mucous
- pus in bowel movements
- Mouth sores
- Severe cramping
- Joint pain
- Liver disease
- Skin rashes
- Red, painful eyes
- Loss of fluids and nutrients
Symptoms are the same as pediatric ulcerative colitis and may also have poor and delayed growth. Some ulcerative colitis symptoms present in children can lower other conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to tell all the symptoms.
Ulcerative Colitis – Foods To Avoid
You are lucky if you are someone who does not like eating broccoli. It has high fiber food, loaded with phytonutrients that help to benefit health, which is a big no to you. That is because broccoli takes more time to digest and can also lead to bloating.
Therefore, skip eating broccoli in any type like grilled, blanched, boiled, sauteed, or raw.
Legumes consist of rich fiber. Dietary fibers have several good qualities, but they are certainly not good for you. Fiber-rich foods take more time to digest and include bulk in stools, which might irritate the colon lining, thereby causing inflammation. Avoid lentils, kidney beans, bean sprouts, peas, lima beans, and chickpeas, to relieve the colon wall lining.
If you are experiencing ulcerative colitis, avoid alcohol. Alcohol can highly affect colon lining and lead to inflammation, bloating, in many cases, rectal bleeding also.
Therefore, toss alcohol bottles into the bin and stay away from consuming them.
These drinks contain aerated drinks that prevent thirst and lead to colon damage. The colon lining, which already has an ulcer, can have more irritation by bubbles in the drink. Moreover, the aerated drinks are loaded with caffeine, and sugar, which can cause bloating.
Tea And Coffee
Coffee and tea both consist of caffeine, which acts as a stimulant. Stimulants raise the transit time from the colon, thereby irritating the colon lining. Therefore, it is good to skip tea and coffee if you are experiencing ulcerative colitis.
Chocolate also consists of sugar and caffeine, both of which can irritate more the inner colon lining. Sugar increase diarrhea, and caffeine, as mentioned before, raise the colon transit time. Both these ingredients can reduce the symptoms. Skip eating chocolates.
Creamy And Greasy Food
Greasy and creamy foods consisting of butter, mayonnaise margarine, cream cheese, and animal fat, etc, can irritate the inner colon lining. It causes to worsen the ulcers and may lead to rectal bleeding. Avoid creamy pasta, cheese, creamy cheese consisting foods, and macaroni to pacify your colon.
Mushroom And Corn
Corn and mushroom are both hard to digest. Most corn kernels are not chewed the right way and can lead to inflammation. Mushrooms are also not digested, so you should stay away from them.
Herbs and Whole Spices
The spices are good but not the whole spices. Do not include whole spices in your food because they will not get digested and can scrape the highly sensitive big intestinal walls. If you wish to include aroma and flavor in your food, you can grind or chop the spices and herbs and use them. You can also keep the spices in a muslin cloth and keep it in your food to add an aroma.
Prunes are very effective for those experiencing constipation since they lower the transit time from the large intestine. They can be very risky because fat-moving foods can scratch the colon walls, and cause bleeding and inflammation. Keep away from dried and fresh prunes and their juice.
Gluten is present in wheat, oats, barley, flour, and rye. It can worsen the condition of ulcerative colitis in people who have gluten sensitivity. So, if you are gluten sensitive, avoid consuming foods that consist of gluten. Be cautious when you eat outside because gluten can be present in different sauces and lead to diarrhea and pain.
Seeds And Nuts
Nuts and seeds consist of healthy fats, but they are also difficult to digest. Therefore, avoid consuming nuts and whole seeds. You can grind them into a powder to prepare a paste to include in food and get healthy fats for body requirements.
If you are experiencing ulcerative colitis, you should strictly skip consuming fatty meats because they can lead to chafing of the colon wall. Choose lean cuts of pork, beef, chicken breast, and turkey to get the protein.
Refined sugar is also not good for people with ulcerative colitis. It pulls in water and lowers the transit time of foods, thereby making it more likely to get scraping of the colon wall or diarrhea. You can change refined sugar with jaggery.
Celery, Cabbage And Brussels Sprouts
Skip eating celery, Brussels, and cabbage sprouts because they have high fiber and colon lining irritants. Instead, eat sweet potato, squash, carrot, and potato.
Dairy is not given in this list due to some people not having ulcerative colitis while others get. Therefore, check with your physician to know if you can eat dairy products.
It may feel like you get options to consume, but that is not the case.
Ulcerative Colitis – Foods To Eat
You can consume fruit juices, but ensure you strain them before drinking. Peel the skin and skip the pith before you make fruit juice. Skip drinking smoothies. Avoid drinking papaya juice and prune juice.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are best for you as they get anti-inflammatory properties. You can eat mackerel, salmon, flaxseed oil, sardines, ground flax seeds, ground almond, smooth nut paste, ground peanut.
There are different squashes you can eat, zucchini, butternut squash, summer squash, winter squash, and acorn squash. You can make a blended soup or stew with them for a filling and mouth-watering lunch or dinner.
White rice has lower amounts of fiber and therefore, is easy to consume. Eat well-cooked white rice to lower the inflammatory reaction in the colon.
Potato And Sweet Potato
Sweet potato and peeled potato are easy for the digestive system. You can mash or grill them to prepare a delicious dinner. You can get sweet potatoes if you are anxious about weight gain.
Eggs are the best source of fat-soluble minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. The best thing about eggs is that they will not harm people with ulcerative colitis. Prepare boiled or scrambled eggs for a satisfying or yummy breakfast.
Avocados are rich in healthy fats; this nutty and buttery fruit is better for health. It does not irritate the colon and is easy for digestion. Have an avocado smoothie or include avocado in burritos or salad.
Make an apple sauce that is suitable for ulcerative colitis by peeling the apples and removing seeds. Then, boil the apple to prepare apple sauce but do not include refined sugar. You can utilize a bit of jaggery.
Lean meats like turkey, lean cuts of beef, chicken breast, pork are the best protein sources. Protein is important for your body and should not be skipped. Add lean meat to skip irritating the wall of the bigger intestine.
Flattened rice can be as best change for quinoa, breakfast cereals, oatmeal, and muesli. Flattened rice white rice is a flaky type of rice. It can be eaten instantly by including milk, water, or yogurt.
Depending on whether or not you are sensitive to dairy, you can eat flattened rice either soaked in water or dairy for one minute and then include peeled apples and avocado for soothing and filling breakfast.
These were the foods list you can eat if you are experiencing ulcerative colitis.
Sample Ulcerative Colitis Diet
Eat carrot and one boiled egg with apple sauce
Avocado and tuna sandwich
Eat one cup of apple juice with one cup of yogurt
Grilled lean meat and mashed pumpkin
Alternative Treatment Ways for Ulcerative Colitis
The nicotine found in cigarettes can bother the colon wall and colon ulcers. Therefore, you need to stop this habit.
Practice and learn to avoid stress. Talk to your friend, go for walk, travel to new places, spend good times with family. It will give peace to your brain.
Practice yoga to lower colon inflammation. Yoga also helps to heal cancer. Therefore, believe in the yoga power and begin practicing it from today.
The low-residue diet
The name residue in the diet refers to foods the body cannot digest well that end up in the stool. Sometimes it is utilized interchangeably with the term low fiber diet. The low residue diet has low fiber and gives rest to the digestive tract. Low fiber foods are easy to digest. They help in bowel movements and reduce diarrhea.
You can still consume more foods than you would normally consume while managing fiber consumption around 10-15 gm every day.
Your body will still have sufficient minerals, protein, salt, and fluids.
But since rectal bleeding and chronic diarrhea can cause mineral and nutrient deficiencies, your doctor may want to include a multivitamin or different supplement to the diet.
Foods to eat on a low-residue diet:
Milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, or pudding
Pasta, refined white bread, dry cereals, and crackers that have lower than half a gram of fiber every serving
Tender and soft-cooked meats, such as eggs, poultry, fish, and pork
nut butter and smooth peanut
Fruit juices with no pulp
applesauce and canned fruits no including pineapple, watermelon, ripe bananas, melon, plums, apricots, and peaches
raw lettuce, onion, zucchini, and cucumbers
Cooked spinach, seedless yellow squash, pumpkin, eggplant, carrots, green, and potatoes, and wax beans
Margarine, butter, oils, mayonnaise, dressings, smooth sauces (not tomato), smooth condiments, and whipped cream.
Cookies, plain cakes, jell-O, and pies
What not to eat:
- dried fruits
- deli meats
- berries, prunes, figs,
- and prune juice
- raw vegetables not specified in the list above
Dressings, spic sauces, relishes with chunks, and pickles
seeds, nuts, and popcorn
beverages and foods that consist of cocoa, caffeine, and alcohol
This diet should only be utilized temporarily while facing flare-ups.
Talk with your nutritionist or doctor for further direction on how and when to follow a low-residue diet.
The Paleolithic diet
The paleo diet or paleolithic diet is a commonly known human diet for thousands of years. It is premise is that the bodies were not designed to consume a modern grain-based diet and
This diet has lean meat, which has at least 30% of its everyday calorie total. The fiber in the diet comes from roots, fruits, nuts, and legumes instead of grains.
Foods to eat on a paleo diet:
chicken and turkey
lean grass-fed beef
What not to eat:
Although some individuals claim they feel good on a paleo diet, there is no proof from clinical trials that it helps with IBD. Additionally, this diet can cause vitamin D deficiency different nutrient shortages. If you would like to try it, ask your physician whether you will need to consume a supplement.
Specific Carbohydrate Diet
This diet was created to treat celiac disease, but it has since been boosted for different gastrointestinal problems. The idea behind it is that the intestine does not digest or utilize some sugar and grains very well.
Consuming foods that consist of ingredients makes bacteria increase in the gut, which causes to create more mucus. It contributes to the intestinal damage cycle that causes ulcerative colitis symptoms.
Foods to eat on a specific carbohydrate diet:
- nuts and nut flours
- Vegetables and fruits
- milk and other dairy products with low in the sugar lactose
What not to eat:
- processed meats
- table sugar
- corn syrup
You may need to change it according to your symptoms. For example, raw vegetables, fruits, and eggs could make the diarrhea condition worse. This diet can also provide you with low nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B, calcium, and vitamin E. Ask your physician to take supplements if you following a Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
The low FODMAP diet is the same as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Both diets follow the assumptions that poorly absorbed sugar and carbs in the gut lead to extra bacterial growth and ulcerative colitis symptoms. Yet the components of this diet are slightly different.
Foods to eat on a low-FODMAP diet:
honeydew, grapefruit, blueberries, bananas,
lettuce, carrots, corn, celery eggplant,
other protein sources
What not to eat:
- wheat, rye
- apples, cherries, apricots,
- pears, watermelon
- cabbage, Brussels sprouts,
- legumes, onions, garlic, artichokes,
- milk, soft cheese, yogurt, ice cream
- high-fructose corn syrup
While the low FODMAP diet may lower your symptoms like bloating and gas, it will not reduce inflammation and prevent GI tract damage.
If you wish to try this diet, take your dietician’s help to know which sugars make your symptoms worse and which you can eat.
Gluten is a protein present in grains like rye, wheat, and barley. Some people with IBD find that cutting out gluten lowers their symptoms, although there is no evidence this diet reduces GI damage.
Foods to eat on the gluten-free diet:
vegetables and fruits
seeds, beans, and legumes
fish, eggs, meat, and poultry
low-fat dairy products
Corn, quinoa, flax, amaranth, and buckwheat
What not to eat:
barley, wheat, rye, and oats
processed products like cake, beer, pasta, bread, and gravies prepared with these grains
The Mediterranean diet has vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, dairy, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, seeds, and red wine. Red meat includes only some.
Although the Mediterranean diet has not been studied well in people with ulcerative colitis, still it has been indicated to lower inflammation in general.
Researchers are currently analyzing how well it piles up against the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for treating IBD.
Foods to eat on the Mediterranean diet:
- nuts and seeds
- whole grains
- vegetables and legumes
- olive oil and other healthy fats
- dairy products
This diet does not limit any foods, even if you use red meat only to reduce the amount.
Ulcerative Colitis: Diagnosis And Tests
The diagnosis of ulcerative colitis in teenagers, children, and adults depends on the symptoms and the other ailments. After a physical exam, you may be advised for the following:
Your blood can show anemia or infection signs. Anemia is a low level of blood iron. It can mean you get bleeding in the rectum or colon.
Signs of parasites, infection, and inflammation can present in poop.
Your healthcare offer may require a picture of the rectum and colon. You may get tests including a computed tomography (CT) scan and MRI-magnetic resonance imaging.
It is a flexible and thin tube with a small camera. A specialized doctor can add the endoscope from the anus to check the health of the colon and rectum. Common endoscopic tests include sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy.
Who Diagnoses Ulcerative Colitis?
If you have ulcerative colitis symptoms, your regular physician refers you to a specialist.
A gastroenterologist- is a physician who specializes in the digestive system will care for adults.
For youthful patients, a paediatric gastroenterologist who has specialization in children should care.
How Is Ulcerative Colitis Treated?
There is no treatment for ulcerative colitis, but treatments can reduce inflammation, help you feel good, and go back to everyday activities.
Treatment also relies on the severity and the individual, so the treatment depends on every need for the person. Commonly, healthcare offers to manage the disease with medications. If your test shows infections that are leading problems, your healthcare providers offer treatment according to conditions.
The goal of medicine is to trigger and manage remission and to increase the life quality with ulcerative colitis.
Physicians use different types of medication to lower inflammation in the large intestine. Lowering the swelling and tingle lets the tissue heal. It can also manage your symptoms so you have low pain and lower diarrhea. For teenagers, children, and adults, your provider may suggest:
For mild to moderate ulcerative colitis, your physician may recommend sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®). Let your doctor know if you are allergic to sulfa. She or he can prescribe a sulfa-free aminosalicylate instead, such as mesalamine Delzicol®, Canasa®, Pentasa®, Lialda®, Asacol® HD, Apriso®. The medications come in different forms like enema and pill, which can better reach inflammation in the rectum and colon.
If you get a severe type of ulcerative colitis, you may need to take corticosteroids like budesonide (Entocort® EC, Uceris®), prednisone (Deltasone®). Because corticosteroids carry severe side effects, the doctor only suggests them for short-term use. Other medications will be utilized to manage the remission.
Your doctor’s offer may suggest an immunomodulator. These medicines add 6-mercaptopurine Purinethol® and Purixan®. These medicines include 6-mercaptopurine, and azathioprine or methotrexate (Trexall®). These medicines help to benefit the overactive immune system.
Biologics treat mild to severe ulcerative colitis by focusing on parts of the immune system to calm it. Medications like adalimumab (Humira®), infliximab (Remicade®), golimumab (Simponi®), vedolizumab (Entyvio®), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia ®), and ustekinumab (Stelara®) are biologics.
Unannounced fire-ups are very common and can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety. Talk to a professional to help to treat the problems. Begin following these tips and manage the discomfort and fear of going to the washroom frequently. Have regular medical check-ups, consume medicines, and follow the diet of ulcerative colitis and a suitable lifestyle.