Diet Therapy For Ulcerative Colitis

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Table of Contents

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

What is ulcerative colitis?

The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown at present. Ulcerative colitis is regarded as an autoimmune disorder, that is, one in which the body attacks itself. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic medical condition that causes inflammation of the large intestine (colon) and the rectum.  Ulcerative colitis affects men slightly more frequently than females. The disease is commonly diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40.

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

– feeling a desperate need to have a bowel movement,

– fatigue,

– abdominal pain and cramping,

– diarrhea,

– loss of appetite,

weight loss,

– rectal bleeding and

– nausea (low red blood cell count).

What causes ulcerative colitis?

What causes ulcerative colitis?

The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown.  It can be due to a combination of factors such as an overactive immune system, genetics, and the environment. IBD is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body is attacking its cells. Research indicates that people with IBD have a specific gene in their DNA, which makes them vulnerable to developing the illness. But this gene requires a trigger so as to be turned on. That trigger may be a viral infection like the flu or a cold, it could be the antibiotics given during surgery, or it may even be a stressful life event. When the gene is turned on, it probably can’t be turned off, so the therapy’s objective is disease remission.

Overactive immune system: The immune system mistakenly attacks the internal lining of the large intestine. The attack causes inflammation and symptoms of ulcerative colitis.

Genetics: Ulcerative colitis can run in families. The genetic link isn’t obvious, but studies show that around 20 percent of those with ulcerative colitis have a relative with the disease.

Environment: Certain environmental factors such as taking certain drugs (antibiotics, NSAIDs, and oral contraceptives), and having a high-fat diet may heighten the risk of developing ulcerative colitis.

Physical or emotional stress and specific foods don’t cause ulcerative colitis. However, they may cause symptoms in someone that has ulcerative colitis.

Those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can go from days of depression to days of diarrhea and are constantly on bath alert. What you might not know is that IBS has a related condition known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that is truly a term for two distinct but similar diseases, Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn’s disease. People with IBD often experience similar but more severe symptoms as IBS. They often experience chronic bloody diarrhea, fatigue, severe abdominal cramping, loss of appetite, and weight loss. People with Crohn’s disease can create intense inflammation and ulcers anywhere in their GI tract, beginning with their mouth and end at the anus. Someone with ulcerative colitis is only going to experience nausea and inflammation in their colon, the last five feet of the intestinal tract. Symptoms of IBD can render a victim feeling hopeless, but individuals with IBD can place their disease into remission.

I have controlled my Ulcerative Colitis with Plant Based Eating

Nutrition for Ulcerative Colitis

Nutrition for healing UC

To reduce the redness in the gut, cure the ulcers, and prevent daily diarrhea and cramping, begin gluten- and – dairy-free diet for at least six months. Researchers found In a 2014 study, that about 65 percent of study participants with IBD who’d attempted a gluten-free diet experienced fewer GI symptoms. 

Supplements may help: Preventing inflammatory foods is an essential step in healing, but two important supplements may help quicken the procedure.

Bifido (Bifidobacterium longum):   Research indicates that an imbalance in gut flora plays a significant role in the development and continuation of IBD symptoms. Reintroducing good bacteria (probiotics) such as bifido helps the body digest food and reduces inflammation.

Metagenics Glutagenics: Glutamine can help heal the digestive tract, but for individuals with a great deal of inflammation, Glutagenics may be more effective. This item contains not only glutamine but also ginger root and aloe vera leaf, two extracts which have been shown to heal the digestive tract. 

Diet therapy for ulcerative colitis

What’s an ulcerative colitis diet?

An individual with ulcerative colitis may find they will need to alter their diet to help manage their symptoms. There’s no single diet or meal plan that fits everybody with ulcerative colitis, and diets are individualized for each patient. Based on symptoms, distinct types of diets may be recommended, for example:

– A high-calorie diet

– A low-fiber diet (low-residue diet)

– A low-salt diet

– A low FODMAP diet

– A gluten-free diet

– A lactose-free diet

– A low-carb diet

Attention to nourishment is essential for patients with ulcerative colitis, as the indications of nausea and bleeding may result in dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and lack of nourishment. It might be necessary to choose nutritional supplements if your symptoms don’t let you consume a nutritionally balanced diet. Speak with your health-care professional about what supplements to take. Many people with ulcerative colitis find it easiest to eat smaller, more frequent meals than a few large ones. This may also help boost the nourishment absorbed from the foods you eat.

Foods to Avoid:

Avoiding foods that cause ulcerative colitis symptoms is one way to help manage symptoms through diet. Dietary choices don’t cause ulcerative colitis, but certain foods can cause and aggravate symptoms. Learning how to identify trigger foods can decrease the frequency and severity of ulcerative colitis symptoms. Not all individuals with ulcerative colitis have the same causes, but a record of a few of the most common includes:

– Alcohol can trigger the intestine, triggering diarrhea. Some folks tolerate alcohol better than others.

– Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks, is a stimulant and may accelerate the transit time in the colon, resulting in more frequent trips to the restroom.

– Carbonated drinks, including beer and sodas, contain carbonation that may irritate the digestive tract and cause gasoline. Many contain sugar, caffeine, or artificial sweeteners, which may also be ulcerative colitis triggers.

– Dairy products should be avoided if you’re lactose intolerant, since they may cause symptoms similar to ulcerative colitis. – Not everybody with ulcerative colitis is flaxseed.

– Dried beans, peas, and beans are high in fiber and may increase bowel movements, abdominal cramping, and gas. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, try these foods in small quantities, or pureed to find out if they don’t trigger symptoms.

– Dried fruits, berries, fruits with seeds, or pulp are other foods high in fiber, which could trigger ulcerative colitis symptoms.

– Foods that contain sulfur or sulfate can cause excess gas generation. Sulfate can be found in many foods, such as beer, wine, some juices, dates, dried apples and apricots, dairy milk, eggs, cheese, almonds, cruciferous vegetables, raisins, prunes, wheat pasta, bread, peanuts, red meat, and some supplements.

– High fiber foods, such as whole-grains, can raise bowel movements, abdominal cramping, and gas.

– Meats, particularly fatty acids, can cause ulcerative colitis symptoms. Excess fat might not be adequately absorbed during a flare to make symptoms worse. Red meat high in sulfate can cause gas.

– Nuts and crunchy nut butter, and seeds that aren’t ground up can cause worsening bloating, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. Even miniature fruit seeds (like those in strawberries or jams) may trigger symptoms during a flare.

– Popcorn is just another high fiber, bulky food that’s not entirely digested by the small intestine and may trigger nausea and bowel movement urgency.

– Sugar alcohols (for example, sorbitol and mannitol) are found in sugar-free gum and candy, some fruit juices (apples, pears, peaches, and prunes), ice creams, and some fruits and may lead to nausea, bloating, and gas in some people.

– Chocolate comprises caffeine and sugar, both of which can irritate the digestive tract and cause cramping and more regular bowel movements.

– Raw vegetables are high in fiber and are tough to digest, causing gas, bloating, and stomach cramps. This is especially true for stringy vegetables like celery, broccoli, cabbage, onions, and Brussels sprouts. Lots of people with ulcerative colitis also find it tough to digest corn and mushrooms since they’re tough to digest.

– Refined sugar can pull more water to the gut and cause diarrhea.

– Spicy foods, hot peppers, and pepper may lead to diarrhea in many people. Persons with ulcerative colitis having a flare should avoid hot foods that can trigger or aggravate symptoms.

– Gluten, found in barley, wheat, rye, and some oats, can cause symptoms similar to ulcerative colitis in those who have gluten sensitivity.

Foods to Eat:

What foods can one eat that might help relieve flares? Foods that can help to soothe ulcerative colitis flares include:

– Salmon and albacore tuna helps reduce inflammation in a flare and might enable you to remain in remission. This reduction is because they contain omega-3 fatty acids. Other resources of omega-3s include mackerel, herring, sardines, flaxseed oil, floor flaxseed, and walnuts. Some people may not be able to eat whole nuts and flaxseeds during a flare, but they might be tolerated if ground up.

– Lean meats and poultry are recommended following the consequences of esophageal since proteins are usually lost. Increasing your protein intake helps replenish the nutrients lost during a flare.

– Eggs can be a good source of protein and are frequently well-tolerated even during flares. Some eggs have been fortified with omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation.

– Other great sources of non-animal proteins include legumes and whole grains.

– Instant oatmeal has refined grains and is often simpler than steel-cut or traditional oatmeal as it’s a bit less fiber.

– Squash is a healthy choice that’s usually well-tolerated through an ulcerative colitis flare. It is full of fiber, vitamin C, and beta carotene. Any selection of squash (butternut, zucchini, spaghetti, acorn, winter, and summer) are best tolerated cooked. Raw skillet may aggravate ulcerative colitis symptoms during a flare.

– Juice and smoothies can be taken by a few during a flare and will help you maintain decent nutrition. Carrot juice has vitamin A and antioxidants, and several individuals with ulcerative colitis find it easy to tolerate.

– Plantains, which are an assortment of banana, can help aid digestion.- Soy-based protein instead of animal protein

– Probiotics, usually found in sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, and miso, are good bacteria that could assist in the digestion process. Pick yogurts that are low in added sugars, as sugar may aggravate ulcerative colitis symptoms.

– Avocados are an outstanding source of protein and healthful fats. They are calorie-dense, but since they are about 70% water, they may be digested.

– Unsweetened apple sauce is dull and could be tolerated after an ulcerative colitis flare, though some could find it hard to endure during a flare-up.

Monitoring UC flareups

People with ulcerative colitis can keep a food journal to keep track of what they consume. Notice what you drink and eat, and how you feel afterward, noting any symptoms that arise. Begin to record any foods that you suspect may trigger or aggravate your ulcerative colitis symptoms. A food journal also helps you discover if you’re receiving adequate nourishment and can help your physician or dietician determine the ideal diet for you to prevent flares.

Reducing ulcerative colitis flareups

Other things to manage ulcerative colitis symptoms and flare-ups

Besides foods that trigger ulcerative colitis flare-ups, particular environmental risk factors may also trigger flares.

– Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications or NSAIDs can lead to colitis or worsen the problem. NSAIDs increase the incidence of bloody diarrhea, weight loss, iron deficiency anemia, and abdominal pain.

Anxiety doesn’t result in ulcerative colitis, but it may worsen your symptoms. Stress management can be crucial in managing your ulcerative colitis symptoms.

– Not taking drugs or improper dosing of drugs that are used to treat ulcerative colitis can cause a flare. Medications for ulcerative colitis has to be taken regularly, even once you feel good. Take medications as prescribed. Don’t skip doses, cut doses, or raise doses.

– Antibiotics can cause diarrhea in some individuals. In case you have an infection, tell your doctor to find out the perfect antibiotic for you. You may also have a probiotic together with the antibiotic to help prevent diarrhea.

– Where you live may predispose one to a greater prevalence of ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis can be found more commonly in developed countries, urban areas, and northern climates. The highest rates for ulcerative colitis are reported from the USA, Denmark, and Iceland.


The objective of treatment for individuals with either Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis is remission. For many people, this can seem hopeless as they combat the stomach cramping, daily nausea, and fatigue. Still, with a well-balanced meal program and a few essential supplements, these symptoms can be lessened or even eliminated.