Ulcerative colitis is a condition in which a person develops sores inside their colon. These sores lead to inflammation and extreme pain, which makes passing stools difficult to bear. While the core cause of this illness is yet to be determined, recent studies have shown one cause to be a misdirected immune reaction. There are some symptoms to look out for and some foods that are known triggers so keep them off one’s plate!
Ulcerative colitis is characterized by a specific set of symptoms: rectal bleeding, frequent urgency to defecate, not being able to defecate despite feeling the urgency, diarrhea, stools with blood or pus, fever, abdominal pain and cramping, fatigue, rectal pain, weight loss. While some of these symptoms may seem generic, be sure to get a check-up by a professional to avoid any serious complications.
2. Trigger Foods
These foods are known to aggravate ulcerative colitis:
- Fibrous Fruits and Vegetables
While fiber is usually good for the system, when one suffers from ulcerative colitis, frequent bowel movements can be painful. One may consume fruit juices without pulp to avoid the extra fiber and can consume vegetable purees instead of whole cooked vegetables. However, be careful to remove all seeds from the veggies, and remove the skin too to avoid extra fiber. Prune juice should be avoided too as it contains extra fiber and it is not advised.
- Whole Grain
This again is a good source of fiber and hence should be avoided. Items like whole grain pasta, noodles, cereals, breads should not be included in meals when suffering from this condition. Instead items made out of plain white flour are encouraged for consumption. Cereals like puffed rice or corn flakes or cream of wheat are good options. Patients must speak to their doctor to consider the available options.
- Whole-grain Starches
Say no to items like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, oats, wild rice, bulgur wheat, spelt, barley, millet, wheat-berries and such. Usually, if people do not go for whole grains, they choose whole grain scratches but in the case of ulcerative colitis, that can be another trigger. Consumption of any of these items can cause irritation and flare up in the colonic region, making recovery difficult.
- Nuts and Seeds
Avoiding all kinds of nuts and seeds is another step to recovering from this bowel condition. A low-fiber meal plan can be difficult but is necessary in managing symptoms of ulcerative colitis and this includes not just whole nuts and seeds but also restricting oneself from any and all kinds of flours made out of them. Since the fiber found in these ingredients is difficult to digest, it also makes it difficult to excrete in such a condition. Find an alternative snack to popular nuts and seeds like pine nuts, hazelnut, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, cashews, pecan, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, peanuts, wild rice, millet.