Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory chronic disease of the colon and rectum where ulcers develop inside the lining of the large intestine. It is an inflammatory bowel disease along with Crohn’s Disease which causes a multitude of painful and unpleasant symptoms. Since dietary habits can contribute to ulcerative colitis symptoms, let’s look at the worst foods for those with ulcerative colitis.
Watch Out For Fiber
Whole grain cereals and breads are difficult to digest and lead to flare ups if you have UC. Avoid whole wheat breads and any kind of pastas from macaroni to noodles. Choose enriched white flour products. This will help to reduce bowel movements and cramps.
Nuts And Seeds
These foods are difficult to digest and aggravate the symptoms. Especially avoid walnuts, almonds, pecans, peanuts, cashews, and hazelnuts. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, and wild rice should all be avoided to eliminate gas, diarrhea, and bloating.
Lactose intolerance prevents us from digesting lactose, which is the sugar found in milk and dairy products. If the small intestine doesn’t have the digestive enzyme called lactase, it can cause severe abdominal pain and diarrhea. Dairy affects a large part of the population, but especially can trigger ulcerative colitis symptoms.
The unhealthy types of fats include trans fats and saturated fats like in red meat. Avoid processed foods and meats. Instead indulge in the Mediterranean diet with less red meat and omega 3 fatty acids like olive oil and fish. Ask your gastroenterologist what parts of the Mediterranean diet may work best for you.
Caffeine in tea, coffee, chocolate and energy drinks can speed up the colon causing more frequent trips to the bathroom.
All types of alcohol can trigger diarrhea in some patients with UC.
Vegetables that are high in fiber can cause symptoms like bloating, gas, and cramps. This is especially true of raw and stringy veggies, like onions, celery, broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts.
Spicy sauces, foods and pepper are symptom triggers for many with UC. Diarrhea and other symptoms can become worse.
All carbonated drinks contain carbonic acid which irritates the digestive tract. Avoid beer, non-alcoholic but carbonated sodas and drinks, many of which also have caffeine. Stick to water, herb tea, and fruit flavored waters.
The Big Picture
Certain foods trigger different symptoms in people with ulcerative colitis. It is important to note what foods you react to, so you become aware of which foods to avoid or eliminate altogether. Consult with your gastroenterologist to be sure you are getting the proper nutrients in your diet after eliminating the worst foods for ulcerative colitis.
Schedule an Appointment
If you suspect you may have ulcerative colitis or need help managing your ulcerative colitis, contact a board-certified gastroenterologist at KU Wichita Gastroenterology today! Call (316) 293-3455 to schedule an appointment at our office in Wichita, KS.