Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: ulcerative | colitis | foods | colon | fiber | lactose

What Foods Ease Colitis?

Friday, 25 May 2012 10:40 AM

Question: I have ulcerative colitis and so do several of my family members. Over the years, we have experimented with different diets to try to attain a remission. Do you know of any foods that can help with colitis?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Please remember to have periodic colonoscopy surveillance because of an increased risk of colon malignancy among patients with ulcerative colitis. At some point, a prophylactic colectomy (surgical removal of large bowel or colon) may be recommended to reduce your risk of malignancy, so be sure to stay under medical supervision. Diet will not cure this disorder, but we have effective medications now and there is no firm evidence that what you eat causes inflammatory bowel disease. But certain foods and beverages can aggravate your symptoms, especially during a flare-up in your condition.

You can try eliminating from your diet anything that seems to make your signs and symptoms worse. You can be lactose intolerant, in which case you should limit your dairy intake. Adding fiber may make diarrhea, pain and gas worse. If raw fruits and vegetables bother you, you could try steaming, baking or stewing them. You can avoid beans, cabbage and broccoli, raw fruit juices and fruits, popcorn, caffeine, and carbonated beverages that cause “gas." Try to drink plenty of fluids daily, water is best. Avoid caffeinated drinks. Eat five or six small meals a day. If you find you are losing weight rapidly, visit a dietitian who will suggest the best diet plan for you.

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