A common type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis can have a severe impact on everything from your health to your quality of life. The good news is that you can manage your condition, including lessening the severity of your colitis symptoms, by avoiding these trigger foods. In addition to doctor-prescribed medications like entyvio, stelara, and simponi, changes to your diet can help. Whether you have Crohn’s disease, colitis, or some other form of IBD, here are just a few foods to moderate or completely cut out of your diet:
1. Whole grain bread
Wheat products in general can be an iffy proposition when you have a sensitive stomach. Gluten can cause digestive problems of all kinds, including bowel irritation and inflammation. In addition to bread, you’ll probably want to avoid pasta, cereal, grains, and other wheat-based products.
Not only is alcohol a natural laxative, but certain types of drinks can be high in sulfur or sulfites. Beer, for example, is a high-sulfur beverage. So is wine. They can make you gassy, which can worsen your colitis.
3. Seeds and nuts
Seeds and nuts can trigger digestive problems that worsen the severity of Crohn’s. You’ll also want to limit things like popcorn that can aggravate even the healthiest of bowels.
4. Carbonated beverages
Studies have shown that carbonated drinks can increase the symptoms of Crohn’s and other inflammatory bowel conditions. It’s because of the added sugars. Even diet sodas with artificial sweeteners can irritate your bowel lining.
5. Dairy products
Dairy contains lactose, which can be triggering for a variety of health conditions, including colitis and lactose intolerance. You’ll want to avoid butter, milk, cheese, yogurt, and other parts of the dairy food pyramid.
6. Sugary foods
Sorry, IBD sufferers, but junk food, like candy and cookies, is only going to make you feel worse. The sugar content will cause flare-ups. Some research suggests that a sugary diet can even take you out of remission if you’d previously gotten your colitis symptoms under control.
The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation lists caffeine as one of their “ingredients to avoid.” Coffee isn’t the only way to ingest it, of course, but it’s one of the most common. Coffee or caffeine of any kind can risk worsening your colitis, so avoid Starbucks. Get your energy another way.
This is a fibrous vegetable, which means that it’s full of starch, which can be a digestive aid for some, but a diarrhea trigger for others. If you’re the latter, you’ll definitely want to avoid high-fiber foods while struggling with IBD.
As previously mentioned, any kind of dairy product can trigger colitis. However, butter isn’t the only culprit. Butter or margarine can cause gastrointestinal distress in your body, even when you’re only using a little bit as a cooking aid. If you can’t live without it, opt for a vegan substitute.