Follow our recommended food diet for ulcerative colitis patients with what not to eat to avoid the disease in your body.
Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the lining of the large intestine (colon). It is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that causes swelling, ulceration and loss of function of the colon (large intestine) and rectum. It usually affects the lower section of the colon and the rectum. Bloody diarrhoea and lower abdominal pain are the most common signs. It can begin at any age but most commonly occurs in young adults between the ages of 15 and 25 years. The condition also has an increased incidence between the ages of 50 and 70 years. It rarely affects children. Women are more commonly affected than men. This disease has some similarity to Crohn’s disease, a related disorder.
A condition that causes inflammation of the intestine such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease is known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is different from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). ulcerative colitis causes the colon (large intestine) to become inflamed and in severe cases, ulcers may form on the lining of the colon. Ulcers are painful sores. The ulcers sometimes bleed and produce pus and mucus. The difference between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease is that Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, but ulcerative colitis affects only the colon (large intestine). While Crohn’s disease can affect all layers of the bowel walls, ulcerative colitis only affects the lining of the colon. Ulcerative colitis is the result of an abnormal response of the body’s immune system.
Causes of ulcerative colitis
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown, but there are some factors that are thought to be involved which include:
- Genetic: people who have a first-degree relative (i.e sister, brother, child parents) with ulcerative colitis are more likely to develop the disease . It is more prevalent in certain ethnic groups and it is likely to have a genetic cause.
- Environmental: hygiene, air pollution and cigarette smoke may be contributory factors.
- Immune system: it is believed that the body responds to a viral or bacterial infection by causing inflammation linked to ulcerative colitis. When the infection has gone, the immune system continues responding which carries on causing inflammation.
- High intake of linoleic acid: one-third of all ulcerative colitis are linked to a high intake of linoleic acid. This acid is found in red meat, several cooking oils and some margarine.
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Symptoms of ulcerative colitis
The most common symptoms include:
- bloody diarrhoea
- pain in the lower abdomen
Other symptoms include:
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
- bloating of the abdomen
- elevated temperature
- tenesmus (constant emptying of the bowel)
Recommended food diet for ulcerative colitis
- 2 cups of milk or yoghurt per day
- fruit juices with no pulp (not including acidic fruits)
- raw lettuce
- refined white bread
Foods to Avoid If You Have Ulcerative Colitis
- deli meats
- dried fruits
While this food diet for ulcerative colitis patients will help one fight the diseases faster, it doesn’t in any way replace the need to see a qualified doctor for medical advice.