What to Eat with Colitis
Colitis or Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a common disease which can result in discomfort for most of its patients, who experience symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence or dehydration. Diet is an essential factor in treating colitis. Not only can it help us to recover but it also means we can avoid having to deal with any of its symptoms. For this reason, at OneHowTo we explain what to eat with colitis.
There are several types of colitis which vary in causes and duration. However in all cases, aside from regular medication, your diet is critical. The types of colitis include:
- Ulcerative colitis causes ulcers in the colon and rectum and may also affect the intestines.
- Infectious colitis is caused an infection and is usually temporary.
- Amoebic colitis is caused by an amoeba parasitic infection.
- Colitis cystica profunda causes polyps to appear on the lower part of the colon.
- Pseudomembranous colitis occurs when the large intestine is infected with clostridium difficile bacteria and it spreads to the colon.
- Ischemic colitis is due to blockage in a colon artery stopping the area from getting enough oxygen.
- Idiopathic colitis has no known causes.
To avoid diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence and general discomfort, we have to watch what we eat. As for protein and dairy, for a colitis diet we must:
- Include lean meats like chicken, turkey or fish and make sure that they are always well-cooked whether they are grilled, oven-cooked, steamed or boiled.
- Avoid red meat.
- Avoid sausage meats due to their high fat content.
- Reduce your dairy intake and if possible cut it out completely. Milk, yogurt, cheese and butter are not recommended if you have colitis. Use plant milk instead (soy, almond or rice).
It's good to eat vegetables provided they are not flatulent. Vegetables such as carrots, courgettes or potatoes can be included as part of our diet, however avoid:
- Pulses such as chickpeas, lentils or beans, which increase flatulence and further inflame the lining of the colon.
- Flatulent vegetables such as onions, broccoli, sprouts, cabbage or garlic.
- Raw vegetables take longer to digest and therefore cause the symptoms to flare up.
If you have colitis you can eat carbohydrates but always in simple preparations: white rice, pasta with light sauces, bread, cereal, low-calorie biscuits, etc.
As for fruits, apple, papaya and bananas are great options. You can eat all the fruit you want but it is better to remove the skin, since this is high in fiber and can increase diarrhea.
For a colitis diet avoid all kinds of dried fruits, nuts, seeds and popcorn. These foods generate flatulence, increase inflammation of the lining of the colon and cause abdominal pain.
It is recommended to cut down on your intake of soft drinks and stimulants like coffee, tea or alcohol. Chocolate is not wise if you have colitis.
To improve your colitis condition, don't have seasoned foods either, especially spicy ones. Cut junk food, fried and greasy foods out of your diet.
Follow your doctor's advice in case you need to take any specific medication, and follow these recommendations. In this way you can ease your colitis and feel much better.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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