Unfortunately, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America notes that there are no specific foods that contribute directly to the symptomatology of ulcerative colitis for every individual diagnosed with the disease.1 Since ulcerative colitis is restricted to the colon, where little nutrient absorption occurs, there is less of a risk for malnutrition than for those with crohn’s disease (since this disease might well affect the stomach or small intestine where nutrient absorption occurs.)
Yet many beneficial studies have still been done on the effects of particular foods for those suffering from Ulcerative Colitis. A brief overview of these follows, but it is important to note that the a good way to decide whether a certain substance affects the symptomatology of an individual patient is through an elimination diet whereby the individual can experience the effects for themselves. Ultimately, whether a particular substance negatively affects the patient really depends on the individual’s personal constitution.
It is well known that switching from a diet high in refined carbohydrates and processed sugars to one with whole foods low in glycemic index promotes health and vitality and can sometimes even reverses the effects of many chronic diseases. It never hurts to switch to a diet of whole foods in an attempt to combat the symptoms of chronic ailments.
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is often recommended for those diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, but can at times bring relief to some Ulcerative Colitis suffers.
Another new up-and-coming recommendation for trial dietary changes is a low sulfur diet
Though it is true that patients with Crohn’s Disease are more likely to have food sensitivities than those with Ulcerative Colitis (due to the fact that the inflammation can be in other parts of the digestive tract than only the colon), it is still helpful to rule out any personal sensitivities and try any treatments that might alleviate the symptoms.
“Hypersensitivity to indigenous gut flora, is significant for the integrative therapies because of the influence of diet and dietary supplements on nutritional status, intestinal permeability, and the composition of the intestinal micro flora."2 Suggested supplements and botanicals in descending order of proven effectiveness for ulcerative colitis include Folic Acid, Fiber, Calcium, Fish oils, N-Acetylglucosamine, Chromium, Vitamin B (6 and 12), Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin D, Aloe Vera gel, Boswellia, and S. boulardii.2 The use of prebiotics and probiotics to restore a natural gut flora can be beneficial as dysbiosis (an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the colon) can be common for those with IBD.Treatments include:
Effect of Elimination Diet on Ulcerative Colitis
A food elimination diet can help to rule out any food allergies or sensitivities that might exacerbate a person's symptoms. This can be done with the help of a nutritionist, health coach,...
Read more about Ulcerative Colitis and Elimination Diet.
Effect of Simple Carbohydrate Diet on Ulcerative Colitis
The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is often recommended for those diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, but can at times bring relief to some Ulcerative Colitis suffers. The SCD allows the consumption of...
Read more about Ulcerative Colitis and Simple Carbohydrate Diet.
Effect of Low Sulfur Diet on Ulcerative Colitis
A low sulfur diet entails consuming no high protein foods which heighten the body's sulfur content. David Rakel, author of the thorough text Integrative Medicine, points out that the most recent...
Read more about Ulcerative Colitis and Low Sulfur Diet.
Effect of Lactose Elimination on Ulcerative Colitis
Some studies report that patients suffering from IBD have increased rates of lactase non-persistence (LNP). Many patients voluntarily choose to remove dairy foods from their diets after being...
Read more about Ulcerative Colitis and Lactose Elimination.
- Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. (2009) Diet and Nutrition. Retrieved April 1, 2010 from http://www.ccfa.org/info/diet?LMI=4.2
- Rakel, D. (2007). Integrative medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier. (541-9)
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