Q:

Does a low-fiber diet really help to alleviate colitis and other digestive problems?

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Quick Answer

A low-fiber diet may help with digestive problems, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, notes the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus. In particular, they may be useful for reducing troubling symptoms associated with these digestive issues, such as diarrhea, abdominal gas and bloating.

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Full Answer

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are different types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), states the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. In Crohn's disease, there is an inflammation of the small intestine that can cause narrowing of this organ. With ulcerative colitis, the inflammation develops in the colon. In both cases, there can be abdominal pain, inflammation and the other previously mentioned symptoms. When there is a flare-up of these inflammatory diseases, a low-fiber diet can ease the symptoms by decreasing bowel movements and solid residue in stool.

A low-fiber diet entails reducing fiber foods, such as raw fruits or vegetables with their skin, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grain products. Patients can only eat up to 15 grams of fiber foods per day while on this diet, notes MedlinePlus. This is a temporary diet used until inflammation and other symptoms are relieved. Foods permitted on this diet are milk and its byproducts, creamy foods, white pasta, bananas, white rice, fish and butter, according to the University of Michigan Health System.

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