If you are searching for information about an effective ulcerative colitis diet, you may find yourself very confused. There is no diet for ulcerative colitis that is agreed upon by all healthcare professionals. Most eating plans that are advertised as an ulcerative colitis diet were designed by those who suffer from the disease or those who love them. One man who sells a cookbook for his ulcerative colitis diet plan says that he was told by a doctor of “oriental medicine” (his words, not mine) that he should eat no meat, no fish, no egg yolks, no fruits and no nuts. While another diet for ulcerative colitis control, developed by a doctor and a biochemist recommends meat, fish, eggs, fruits and nuts. It may be wise and most effective to design your own ulcerative colitis diet, taking into account any known food allergies or sensitivities.
A symptoms and food diary may be helpful to use as you are designing your diet for ulcerative colitis control. Try to note not only what you ate, but what you drank. While there is little agreement about what foods should be included in an ulcerative colitis diet, there are certain products (like caffeine, alcohol, high fiber cereals, some fruits and some fruit juices) that are known to have a laxative effect, cause cramping and diarrhea, even in people who do not have an inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis. Diet is important. A healthy diet is important for overall good health and sense of well being. For those who suffer from ulcerative colitis, diet is particularly important.
Chronic diarrhea may lead to malnutrition, weight loss, weakness and dehydration. For these reasons a diet for ulcerative colitis control should be well-balanced, with adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and good fats. Including vitamin supplements, particularly D, B12 and iron is recommended.
Simple sugars and artificial sweeteners cause flare ups in some people. No matter what your food preferences, it is important when designing your ulcerative colitis diet to be honest with yourself. It may be hard to give up sodas, coffee, candy and muffins, but your goal should be to control your symptoms. Ulcerative colitis is considered a chronic disease that has a tendency to go into remission and then flare up again over time. Mild to moderate symptoms may be controlled with an ulcerative colitis diet, supplements, herbs and medications, but severe ulcerative colitis can only be cured with surgery. Since cases rarely begin as severe, keeping your symptoms under control decreases the likelihood that surgery will be necessary.
One thing to consider when designing your ulcerative colitis diet is stress and anxiety. While stress and anxiety are not believed to cause ulcerative colitis, it is believed that they can aggravate the condition. Many people who suffer from ulcerative colitis also suffer from anxiety. It may be that the condition causes people to be more anxious, never knowing when they may have to find a bathroom, always worrying about a flare up, etc. Symptoms of anxiety include rapid pulse, trembling, shaking, sweating and nausea or abdominal distress. If you experience symptoms of anxiety, in addition to symptoms of ulcerative colitis, diet considerations are similar, but there are other suggestions. These include eating smaller meals more frequently, chewing thoroughly and eating slowly.
Salt and preservatives are known to put additional stress on the body. These should be excluded or at least restricted from a healthy ulcerative colitis diet, particularly when symptoms of stress and anxiety are present. When designing your diet for ulcerative colitis control, try to include less pre-packaged foods which are full of salt and preservatives.
One more consideration for an ulcerative colitis diet is meat selection. Most companies that raise poultry, cattle and pigs for human consumption include hormones in the animal’s diets. While there is no conclusive evidence that these hormones are harmful to humans, many people believe that they can put additional stress on the human body, because they increase stress on the animal’s bodies. When you are selecting meat and fish for your ulcerative colitis diet, try to select products that do not contain hormones. For example, wild salmon, free range chicken and other organic products are better choices for a diet for ulcerative colitis control than pork and beef.
The lack of agreement about an effective ulcerative colitis diet probably stems from the fact that people have different food sensitivities and allergies. For example, a person who is lactose intolerant can not follow a diet that contains numerous milk products. One who is allergic to legumes can not follow a diet that relies heavily on legumes for protein. If you do not know if you are allergic to any foods, it may be wise to visit an allergy specialist. Sometimes food allergies develop over time, so foods that you were able to eat at one time with no adverse reactions may, at a later date, cause symptoms to flare up.
All of this may seem overwhelming and even depressing, but you may be encouraged to know that many people have found an ulcerative colitis diet that works well for them. For other suggestions about diet for ulcerative colitis control, from people just like you, you may want to visit a colitis support group. There are several on the web and your doctor may be able to recommend groups in your area. For more information about ulcerative colitis and other digestive problems, visit www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.