Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease that affects the colon and rectum. If a person has ulcerative colitis, sores develop inside the colon. These are called ulcers.
It is not known what exactly causes ulcerative colitis, but researchers believe that it may be caused by a problem with the immune system. There are several things that may trigger a flare and worsen the condition. Foods are one of them. Certain foods may not be suitable for some people.
Read about causes of ulcerative colitis.
Researchers are learning about the role of diet and gut bacteria in causing the disease ulcerative colitis. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America accept that fiber is helpful for your colon. Fiber should only be reduced if you experience acute problems such as flare-ups.
When you experience flare-ups, a low-fiber diet may be considered to help you recover quickly. But if your doctor has not recommended a low-fiber diet to manage the disease symptoms, you should follow a high-fiber diet only.
Foods that contain a lot of fiber are generally difficult for people with UC to digest. Whole grain flour is rich in fiber.
Avoid these foods made from whole grain during flare ups particularly:
The fiber in nuts and seeds can be difficult to digest. They can aggravate the symptoms. You should avoid eating them:
Beans, peas, and lentils, etc are high in protein and fiber. They can also cause gas related problems. If you are experiencing flare-ups, it is better to avoid these items:
Fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber should be avoided particularly when the symptoms are aggravated. Fruits and vegetables that you may want to remove from the list are:
If you suspect dairy products are causing problems, it may be a symptom trigger for you. It is better to avoid all types of dairy products for a few weeks when symptoms are flared up. Some foods to avoid are such as:
Gluten is a type of protein that is found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is present in common foods such as breads and pasta. It is also added separately to prepare certain types of foods such as sauces, soups etc.
If you suspect that gluten triggers your symptoms, you should avoid it and all foods that contain gluten for at least one month.
Check out for other items that can be problematic if you have UC. These may include: