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Ulcerative Colitis Print

Colitis is an inflammatory disease of the colon or rectum. Ulcerative Colitis includes ulcers in the lining of the colon in addition to the inflammation.

Symptoms include:

  • Belly cramps and pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Uncontrollable urge for bowel movement
  • Feeling like your bowel movement wasn’t complete
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Inconsistent menstrual cycles


Although diet cannot cure colitis, your diet may help reduce some of the symptoms to a more manageable level. Thus, foods high in soluble fibre (found in beans, lentils, peas, etc.) are recommended.  On the other hand, avoid insoluble fibre (bran, nuts, seeds, sweetcorn) foods, as these may further irritate the colon, encourage bowel contractions and thus stimulate diarrhoea.

Adequate nutrition is very important for a colitis patient, especially if recovering from a flare up or having reduced food intake in order to lessen diarrhoea. Take care to include adequate protein, calories, vitamins A, C, D, B12, folate, calcium, iron and zinc. This translates into maintaining a varied diet without aggravating the condition. For vitamin A, eat liver once a week and orange fleshed fruits and vegetables for beta carotene (which the body converts to vitamin A). Salmon, sardines and mackerel are sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Liver, fish, and eggs provide B12, while dark green leafy vegetables provide folate and soluble fibre. Have dairy for calcium and seafood, especially oysters for zinc. Protein and dairy should not be consumed in excess.

Patients suffering from ulcerative colitis may also suffer from anaemia (a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood, or a lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen). Patients should therefore consume adequate amounts of dietary iron (red meat, liver) as well as vitamin C (fresh orange juice, papaya, mango etc.) which assists in the absorption of iron.


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