Is There a Colitis Diet?
- A clear fluid diet may be the best way to treat the diarrhea associated with colitis. Clear fluids are absorbed in the stomach and no waste products are delivered to the colon, allowing it to rest. Clear fluids without carbonation (bubbles) include anything that one can see through, and also includes popsicles and Jell-O.
- Depending up on the cause of colitis, there may be some foods that can be tolerated and others that make the symptoms worse or produce “flares.” Keep a food diary to help identify and eliminate trigger foods, and identify and eat more foods that soothe or calm the colon.
- Individuals with certain food intolerance may need to avoid whole groups of foods. Those with lactose intolerance should not eat foods containing dairy products including milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream. Those with celiac disease need to avoid gluten containing foods.
- Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease) may want to limit exposure to fatty, greasy and fried foods, high fiber foods (seeds, nuts, corn), and dairy products.
- Hydration: Adequate hydration is important because an individual can lose a significant amount of fluid with each diarrheal bowel movement. Aside from the daily fluid requirements, this excess loss needs to be replaced, otherwise dehydration will occur and potentially worsen the symptoms of abdominal pain and cramping.
- IV fluids: Intravenous (IV) fluid may be required, especially if the patient cannot drink enough fluids by mouth. For some illnesses like ischemic colitis, in which blood flow to the bowel is already compromised, adequate hydration is a key element in treatment. Electrolyte replacement may be required in some patients who have significant dehydration.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/15/2017
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