Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the umbrella term for health conditions involving inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. IBD is primarily categorized into ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease, which affect one’s moods and involve symptoms like nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, and rectal bleeding. In addition, a person’s food habits and treatment course are crucial in controlling IBD symptoms. Here is some information on UC and Crohn’s disease and foods individuals with these conditions must avoid.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an IBD involving inflammation in the colon and rectum. Ulcers develop in the rectum and the large intestine’s inner lining, causing severe pain and discomfort. Individuals with UC may experience symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, and an inability to defecate despite feeling the urge.
Crohn’s disease is an IBD characterized by gastrointestinal tract inflammation. It typically begins with the small intestine, progressing to the large intestinal lining. The affected areas usually appear as patches in the latter condition. Moreover, while UC only affects the large intestine’s innermost lining, Crohn’s can occur in any part of the tract.
Foods to avoid
Changing one’s nutritional habits is crucial in managing IBDs like UC and Crohn’s disease. It is because certain food items tend to trigger flare-ups among people diagnosed with these conditions. Here are some foods one should avoid if diagnosed with these conditions.
A cup of raspberries contains 8 grams of fiber, a no-no for individuals with UC and Crohn’s. Replacing high-fiber fruits like raspberries with low-fiber alternatives, such as cantaloupes, watermelons, peaches, and fresh fruit juices without pulp, will help ease symptoms.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain high levels of insoluble fiber, which is difficult to digest. It helps to avoid such veggies and replace them with more easily digestible alternatives like asparagus tips, cucumber, and cooked spinach.
Whole grains can irritate the gastrointestinal tract among individuals suffering from UC and Crohn’s disease. It helps to replace whole grains like buckwheat, brown rice, rolled oats, and wild rice varieties with white rice and instant oatmeal in limited quantities.
Beans contain oligosaccharides and fermentable fibers that are not easily digested and contribute to bloating and gas. Therefore one must avoid eating these during UC or Crohn’s disease.
Processed and red meats are difficult for the body to break down and can worsen UC and Crohn’s symptoms. Therefore, replacing processed meat with lean meat sources like skinless chicken, turkey, and pork chops is advised.
Besides changes to the nutritional regime, therapists usually suggest probiotics and anti-inflammatory foods for recovery from IBD. Acupuncture, certain herbal prescriptions, and fish oil are also believed to relieve symptoms of these health conditions.