The condition of ulcerative colitis causes abdominal discomfort due to ulcers in the digestive tract. Since it is linked to what one eats, patients can manage its symptoms by eating appropriate foods. This can help soothe inflammation of the digestive tract, and may also reduce the patient’s risk of flares. There’s no definitive proposed diet for those with the condition. But, there are dietary tips that can help manage ulcerative colitis symptoms. Accordingly, here are some foods to avoid, and some to consume, for those with the condition.
- Avoid high-fiber foods
High-fiber foods can aggravate an ulcerative colitis flare up. Fruits with skins like apples, pears, berries, and citrus fruits can cause symptoms of indigestion and intense abdominal pain. During a flare up, these symptoms can worsen a patient’s condition. Another eating tip for patients with ulcerative colitis is that one should also not eat whole grains, corn, nuts and seeds as they won’t soothe the digestive tract. Consult a doctor and switch to a low-fiber diet. It will still supply necessary nutrients, and help manage the symptoms.
- Have probiotics
Probiotics have been known to boost the function of one’s gut and improve digestion. This may help patients with ulcerative colitis. Eating foods like yogurt that have probiotics can build up good bacteria in the body. This aids to filter out residues like toxins and antibiotics that may be the reason behind abdominal pains and diarrhea. If one is lactose intolerant, instead of yogurt, opt for tablets like Escherichia coli Nissle. It can be effective in inducing remission in those with ulcerative colitis.
- Avoid eating raw vegetables
Raw vegetables are difficult to digest and can make ulcerative colitis worse. Raw cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower may cause severe indigestion for individuals with the condition. These can also cause diarrhea, and abdominal pain due to gas. However, vegetables are essential sources of nutrients and shouldn’t be avoided all together. Instead, one of the eating tips for patients with ulcerative colitis is that one can have steamed or baked vegetables to maintain a balanced diet, while effectively managing the symptoms.
- Eat iron-rich foods
Fatigue or extreme tiredness is a symptom of ulcerative colitis. It is caused due to multiple flare ups and diarrhea that weaken one’s body. Iron can build up one’s energy levels. It converts the energy from food into adenosine triphosphate, which is the body’s primary energy source. It is also instrumental in the transmission of nerve impulses, so that the body functions optimally. These factors may help patients with ulcerative colitis. So, patients with ulcerative colitis must have iron-rich foods, including spinach, lean meats, fish and artichokes. This can improve one’s energy and combat fatigue.
- Lessen dairy intake
Dairy products can trouble one’s gut and worsen ulcerative colitis symptoms. If having milk and cheese causes bloating and abdominal cramps, reduce its intake, or if advisable by a doctor, avoid it completely. If one decides to steer clear from dairy, it is essential to substitute it with calcium-rich foods like fatty fish, soy, or egg yolks.