Ulcerative colitis does involve the inflammation of your digestive system, specifically the large bowel and the rectum. It also can affect the colon, causing the formation of ulcers and sores, producing pus and mucus that causes pain, and the need to empty out the bowels.
This does happen over time, rather than suddenly.
Nutrition and diet are a big part of inflammatory bowel disease, but there’s no one right way to diet in this case. Your nutrition does affect the overall wellbeing and health, and you can make sure that you tret the UC symptoms so that it doesn’t cause malnutrition or nutrient deficiencies.
Meal Planning Tips
First, keep hydrated when you’re trying to treat this. Keep enough fluids so your urine is minimally light yellow, or a clear color.
This can include water, different fruits and veggies, teas, broths and soups, and also rehydration means.
Sip your fluids so that you’re not drinking too quickly, to reduce the air that’s ingested and the gas.
You want to make sure that you eat six small meals, rather than three larger ones. And also try to boil, grill, steam, and poach your foods.
Finally, keep a food diary to help find foods that trigger the symptoms.
What to Do when it flares up
Naturally, this does happen. If it happens and the ulcerative colitis is mid-flare or inflamed, you may learn there are foods that need to be avoided. Some will trigger cramping, diarrhea, and bloating.
While other foods may get you the right nutrition’s, you may want to look at the trigger foods first.
Insoluble fiber is the biggest culprit since it’s hard to digest. Whole foods, whole grains, raw green veggies and broccoli or cauliflower do rigger this. Dried fruits and legumes cause this too.
Some other foods that cause problems include:
- Lactose in milk, cream cheeses, and soft cheese.
- Non-absorbable sugars
- High fat foods especially those buttery, greasy, and fried foods
- Spicy foods
- Caffeine and alcohol
- Reined sugar
If you do have this, you may want to consider seeing which foods you can handle.
The low-fiber foods usually are much more tolerated since they slow your bowel down, and better for those who have had surgery.
Some of the best ones include:
- Refined grains such as gluten-free breads, potato bread, sourdough, or white pasta and white rice, since this reduces flare-ups
- Salmon and tuna, which contain omega-3 and work to reduce inflammation.
- Whole nuts, mackerel, and flaxseed
- Eggs since they have omega-3 fatty acid
- Cooked squash, since this is tolerated, hydrates you, and is chalk full of beta carotene and vitamin C
- Avocadoes, since they’re high in water and healthy fats
- Smoothies since they usually are full of water, however, be mindful of the fruits you’re using if you know they trigger a flare up
- Carrot juice
- Soy-based proteins such as soy or nut milks
The best way to handle this type of thing is to speak to the GP or your dietician about the foods to eliminate or reduce in your diet and make sure that you have supervision when you do this.
By removing this for a smaller period of time and then re-introducing them, you’ll be able to figure out if these foods are good for you.
It takes time to master what your UC can treat, but luckily, there’s a lot of simple ways to help you fully understand what it is you may need to do.