Oftentimes, many of us take for granted a healthy and well-functioning digestive system until we are faced with a disruption, such as a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Ulcerative Colitis.
While IBS can be frustrating, Ulcerative Colitis–an autoimmune condition– can wreak havoc in the body. This condition causes long-lasting inflammation and sores in the digestive tract, potentially leading to a range of complications that extend beyond the digestive system.
Although there is no known cure for the disease, there are natural treatments that can greatly reduce signs and symptoms of the disease and result in long-term remission.
A healing diet is the foundation to treating Ulcerative Colitis naturally.
Due to the fact that certain foods trigger an aggressive immune response and inflammation in the digestive tract, it’s important to identify them and subsequently remove them from your diet.
If you suffer from Ulcerative Colitis, here are four foods and beverages that you would benefit from ruling out of your diet…
Studies have found that alcohol and related by-products make Ulcerative Colitis worse by aggravating inflammatory responses in the gut.
Another study conducted by the same researchers found that one week of alcohol consumption decreased protective molecules in the gut and increased bowel permeability–both of which are indicators of worsening Ulcerative Colitis.
Next time you’re out at a bar, opt for a delicious mocktail–your digestive system will thank you.
Coffee, tea, and other foods cause you to lose water in your body because they contain caffeine and act as diuretics.
People with Ulcerative Colitis already deal with issues such as diarrhea and are often dehydrated as a result. Caffeine may not only trigger diarrhea, but also make existing diarrhea worse.
Therefore, it’s important to monitor your caffeine intake–maybe those two cups of coffee a day aren’t worth the extra burst of energy.
#3: Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbs–or sugars–can cause you to have an abnormally high pH level (meaning it’s too acidic) in the lower bowel.
This, in turn, leads to a disruption in the normal bacterial flora in the colon and can cause the frustrating chronic diarrhea that many people with Ulcerative Colitis experience.
Additionally, sugar helps feed certain forms of bacteria and yeast-like fungi like Candida, which can get out of hand and cause systemic infections within the body.
#4: Spicy Food
Even for people who don’t suffer from Ulcerative Colitis, a spicy meal can be a source of digestive upset. It has an especially aggressive effect on people with Ulcerative Colitis.
If you want to add a bit of spice to your meals, I recommend only using mild spices to avoid disturbing the digestive tract.
It’s especially important to stick to plain foods, like applesauce, oatmeal, or baked chicken, during a flare-up to decrease symptoms and allow the colon to heal.
In other words–don’t add insult to injury.
It can be hard to learn that you can no longer eat or drink certain foods or beverages that were once your staples, but avoiding painful and problematic symptoms will be worth it in the end.
Changing your diet and eating healthier can be a challenge for many. Learn about five steps we recommend people take if they want to create sustainable and positive change in the ways they eat.