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Ulcerative colitis primarily affects women and is recognised as being more common in those in their 20s and 30s, affecting approximately one in a thousand people. This form of inflammatory bowel disease causes the lining of the bowel to become both inflamed and ulcerated, resulting in painful symptoms.

Ulcerative Colitis – Key Symptoms and Triggers

In The Essential Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Herbal Supplements, Brewer highlights common symptoms of ulcerative colitis to include the following:

  • blood-stained diarrhoea
  • diarrhoea containing pus and mucus
  • fever
  • abdominal pain
  • feeling very unwell

One of the main approaches to the treatment of ulcerative colitis includes making simple changes to one’s diet and avoiding alcohol. Research studies have identified that serious triggers for ulcerative colitis involve foods which are high in sulphites and/or caffeine.

Ulcerative Colitis Treatment – Foods to Avoid

In addition to avoiding alcohol, there are many foods which have been recognised to be linked to active ulcerative colitis. Brewer recommends that those suffering from regular attacks or bouts of ulcerative colitis, should try to avoid intake of the following different foods:

  • sausages
  • preserved meats
  • fruit squash
  • coffee
  • prawns
  • scampi
  • shellfish
  • dried fruits and vegetables
  • processed fruit pies and fruit cakes
  • foods containing sulphites
  • foods containing sulphur-rich seaweed

It is important to get into the habit of regularly checking food labels for food additives, with E220 to E229 having been identified as containing sulphites known to trigger episodes of ulcerative colitis. Alternatives to caffeinated drinks, include herbal teas, such as chamomile or peppermint tea.

Ulcerative Colitis – Safe Foods and Drinks

Having looked at the various foods identified as triggering bouts of ulcerative colitis, it is worth noting down foods and drinks which have been proven to be safe for sufferers. Brewer recognises safe foods and drinks, as follows:

  • pork
  • bacon
  • beef
  • beef products
  • fish
  • raw fruit such as apples, pears, bananas, citrus fruits, melon
  • milk
  • yogurt
  • cheese
  • home-made soup (avoid tinned/dried soup)
  • breakfast cereals
  • lettuce, tomatoes
  • potatoes
  • peas, beans

For those who enjoy a pint or two, although beer and lager are recognised triggers for ulcerative colitis, German beer is safe, due to the fact that it does not contain sulphite. However, both red and white wine is best avoided, as these are also identified to trigger the condition.

As highlighted above, ulcerative colitis causes symptoms such as blood-stained diarrhoea and may be managed through the avoidance of certain foods and drinks. Anything containing high levels of sulphites should be cut out of the diet and alcohol (apart from German beer) is best avoided.

For treatment and help managing your ulcerative colitis symptoms, contact us to make an appointment right away.