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- What is ulcerative colitis?
- What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
- What causes ulcerative colitis?
- What is an ulcerative colitis diet?
- 19 trigger foods to avoid with an ulcerative colitis diet plan
- What foods help manage and soothe ulcerative colitis flares?
- How can I track foods that cause flare-ups and trigger symptoms of my ulcerative colitis?
- What other things trigger ulcerative colitis symptoms and flare-ups?
- Which specialties of health-care professionals prescribe an ulcerative colitis diet?
Quick GuideUlcerative Colitis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
What is an ulcerative colitis diet?
A person with ulcerative colitis may find they need to modify their diet to help manage their symptoms. There is not a single diet or meal plan that fits everyone with ulcerative colitis, and diets are individualized for each patient. Depending on symptoms different types of diets may be recommended, such as:
- A high-calorie diet: Many people with ulcerative colitis lose weight and can develop signs of malnutrition. A high calorie diet may prevent these problems.
- A lactose-free diet: People with ulcerative colitis may also have lactose intolerance.
- A low-fat diet: Ulcerative colitis may interfere with fat absorption and eating fatty foods may trigger symptoms. This is often recommended during an ulcerative colitis flare.
- A low-fiber diet (low-residue diet): This can help reduce the frequency of bowel movements and abdominal cramps.
- A low-salt diet: This diet is used when patients are on corticosteroid therapy to help reduce water retention.
- A low FODMAP diet: FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccha-rides and Polyols, which are types of sugars found in certain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols. This diet is used in people who have intolerance to FODMAPS.
- A gluten-free diet: People with ulcerative colitis may also be sensitive to gluten.
Attention to nutrition is important for patients with ulcerative colitis, as the symptoms of diarrhea and bleeding can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and loss of nutrients. It may be necessary to take nutritional supplements if your symptoms do not allow you to eat a nutritionally balanced diet. Talk to your health-care professional about what supplements to take. Many people with ulcerative colitis find it easiest to eat smaller, more frequent meals rather than a few large ones. This can also help increase the nutrition absorbed from the foods you eat.