Ulcerative Colitis Diet (cont.)

How Can I Remember the Foods That Trigger my Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms?

Consider using a food diary that you keep every day. Use a small spiral notebook, and write down all "suspect" foods and beverages that seem to aggravate your ulcerative colitis symptoms.

Being aware of these offending foods and beverages and eliminating them from your diet may help to reduce your GI symptoms. With more control over ulcerative colitis symptoms, you may have more energy. You may also feel more like socializing with friends, exercising, and living a more active life once the fear of cramping or sudden diarrhea is gone.

What Else Is Important With an Ulcerative Colitis Diet?

It's common to lose weight with ulcerative colitis. Many people with ulcerative colitis have nutrient deficiencies when they're first diagnosed. Others develop signs of malnutrition, particularly when they've had severe bouts of diarrhea for weeks to months and lose essential nutrients. In addition, with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, your GI tract cannot always absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat. That leaves you anemic and feeling weak.

People with ulcerative colitis may also have low levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid. This can lead to other health problems. That's why it's important to watch your overall health and see your GI doctor frequently to make sure you stay well. Your doctor will assess your overall health and GI symptoms. Sometimes your doctor may run some lab tests and make diet and lifestyle recommendations, if necessary, as well as check your medications.

Along with eating the right foods for ulcerative colitis, be sure to include adequate nutritional supplements if you're unable to eat a balanced diet. For example, if you must avoid dairy products because of lactose intolerance, then talk to your doctor about getting adequate calcium through other foods such as vegetables, sardines with bones, or soy foods. Or get your calcium through supplementation with over-the-counter calcium tablets. In addition, ask your doctor to recommend a daily multivitamin and folic acid supplement.

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