What Foods Should People With Ulcerative Colitis Avoid?


Quick Answer

Depending on specific symptoms, people with ulcerative colitis should avoid foods high in fiber, fat, caffeine or dairy products, according to Mayo Clinic. Physicians may also suggest avoiding large meals, spicy foods and alcohol. Patients are advised to drink extra fluids and take multivitamins to make sure they incorporate essential nutrients in their diets.

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Full Answer

People with ulcerative colitis may have difficulty digesting certain food types, leading to discomfort in the abdomen or bowels, Mayo Clinic notes. They may need to reduce fiber intake by consuming fewer raw fruits and vegetables, especially cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Nuts, seeds and whole grains are other high-fiber foods that can exacerbate symptoms. Conditions such as Crohn's disease and lactose intolerance interfere with the body's ability to break down fat and lactose, so doctors may recommend limiting oily fried foods and dairy products, including milk and butter.

As part of the gastrointestinal tract, the large intestine normally helps the body absorb digested nutrients and convert them to waste. Ulcerative colitis, or inflammatory bowel disease, is a chronic condition that causes swelling and lesions on the lining of the large intestine, the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse states. Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include diarrhea, bleeding, nausea, fatigue, changes in appetite, fever, anemia, abdominal cramps and urgent bowel movements. While the exact cause is unknown, the disease is commonly triggered by an autoimmune response in the large intestine.

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