Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease - Nutritional Guide to Improve Your Condition

Nutrition plays an important role while trying to treat ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease. By eating the right food and in the right quantities, one can take stock of condition and avoid the situation from getting out of control.

Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis also called inflammatory bowel disease or IBD can have certain adverse effects on your diet and nutrition. The common food related problems faced in IBD are inability to digest and absorb food eaten and the medicines taken by you may result in inability to eat. In order to combat this irritable bowel syndrome and improve your food intake, you may need to include more minerals and vitamins in your diet. However, the nutritional recommendations for both these diseases vary and also depend on each individual patient. It becomes necessary to discuss your case with the doctor to get the right nutrition guide.

There is no specific diet recommended for IBD. Information available only talks about restricting and controlling your food intake and trying to get a balanced, wholesome and nutritious diet. This helps in proper functioning of the digestive system and enhances your overall health. Since ulcerative colitis causes inflammation of the colon and large intestine often resulting in bloody diarrhoea, usually a low residue diet is suggested to ease you of abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Try to reduce your intake of concentrated sweets such as candy and juices as this pulls water into the intestine which may lead to watery stools. It is advisable to cut down on alcohol consumption. Since omega-3 fatty acids have an anti inflammatory effect, including more of this in your diet can be beneficial. Ulcerative colitis patients benefit from taking smaller meals at more frequent intervals. This not only gives relief to irritable bowel syndrome but also give you better nutrition in day. In acute cases where it is difficult to consume solid foods and in case of poor appetite, certain nutritional supplements are normally proposed.

In case of Crohn's Disease, since it results in strictures and fistulas, it is vital to avoid seeds, nuts, kernels etc. In order to avoid diarrhoea which is common in Crohn's Disease, it is better to reduce your intake of fresh fruits, prunes, beverages containing caffeine and vegetables that increases your stool output. Instead intake of cold foods may help in reducing diarrhoea. For those who are lactose intolerant, it is important to follow a lactose free diet as it can bring some relief to irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhoea and also reduce flatulence, bloating and cramping. Follow a low fat diet if your stools are oily or smell terrible. Eat smaller meals at frequent intervals and take supplementary nutrients if required.

By knowing what to include in your diet and what to avoid, you can considerably improve your lifestyle and condition while suffering from ulcerative colitis and crohn's disease. This also helps in easing you from irritable bowel syndrome and help in keeping the other symptoms under check.

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