Natural Foods to Soothe Ulcerative Colitis

Natural Foods to Soothe Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the colon and rectum, causing sores and inflammation throughout the digestive tract. The main symptoms of UC include abdominal pain and cramps, as well as bloody diarrhea (sometimes with pus), fatigue, fever, rectal pain and bleeding, inability to pass feces, sudden weight loss, and in some cases it may cause stunted growth in child patients.

Luckily colitis may be controlled with diet:

1. No gluten

No direct link between UC and gluten has been established. Eschewing gluten is advisable for people on ulcerative colitis diet because gluten sensitivity and UC share some of the same symptoms. Those with ulcerative colitis should look for baked goods made with Xanthan gum

2. High calorie diet

As weight loss is a symptom of UC increased caloric intake is necessary to maintain a healthy weight. Ulcerative colitis can lead to malnutrition. High-calorie foods that are also healthy include avocados, beans, fish, and granola. Other options are meat, milk, nuts, sweet potatoes, and whole grains.

3. No dairy

This is not a universal rule. Being lactose intolerant has nothing to do with having ulcerative colitis and having UC has nothing to do with lactose sensitivity. For those with ulcerative colitis and lactose intolerance dairy can aggravate UC symptoms. Non Dairy milk, yogurt, cheese, and butter are available.

4. Limit FODMAPs

The acronym FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. More simply, FODMAPs are sugar alcohols and sugars found in carbohydrates. Sensitivity to those sugars can trigger UC symptoms. A low FODMAP diet is recommended for people with ulcerative colitis. FODMAPs are found in sugar substitutes. Fruits, veggies, processed meats, wheat, and rye contain FODMAPs.

5. Limit fat intake

A study suggests that the linoleic acid in polyunsaturated fats is a potential cause of ulcerative colitis. In those who already have ulcerative colitis, the condition disrupts fat absorption causing a flare-up of symptoms. If you are adhering to ulcerative colitis diet avoid fried foods and red meat.

6. Eat more soluble fiber

Fiber is necessary to keep the excretory system functioning properly. For those with ulcerative colitis soluble fiber offers two benefits. It hardens the stool while enabling easier bowel movements. Insoluble fiber should be avoided because it can exacerbate UC related bleeding and inflammation. Excellent sources of soluble fiber are apples, barley, citrus fruits, carrots, dried peas, flaxseeds, and psyllium.

7. Limit salt

As mentioned earlier, ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease. Salt activates the production of cells that cause inflammation. Ulcerative colitis patients who have issues with water retention need to be careful about their salt intake. Fast foods and canned foods are notorious for having high salt content. Processed and cured meats and cold cereals are some of the foods to be avoided. If you have ulcerative colitis ask your doctor what your salt intake should be.

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