Published: 10/21/2015 - Updated: 04/01/2017
Inflammation of the colon mucosa is known as colitis, and it can be accompanied by intense pain when symptoms are active. In addition to pain, there are frequently other symptoms such as abdominal swelling, diarrhea, and constipation.
Fortunately, making dietary changes and undertaking a few natural treatments can help reduce these symptoms, and the frequency with which they present. This thereby helps to control the disease.
Although some foods are recommendable, while others are not, not all people react the same to each food. That’s why we recommend keeping a food diary to identify and more easily relate with foods that could unleash colitis symptoms. Observation and relation are key for knowing which foods to avoid.
Reduce dairy consumption: Lactose could be a difficult sugar to digest, which is why a lot of people with colitis frequently experience improvements when they limit their consumption of them. You also need to consider the possibility of being lactose intolerant if your symptoms are common after consuming dairy products.
Reduce the amount of fiber in your diet: Although fiber is very good for improving digestion, whenever you are experiencing active colitis symptoms, it’s best to reduce your consumption of it. Avoid consuming raw vegetables, and reduce foods that are rich in fiber, like whole grains, broccoli, cauliflower, and others.
Reduce your fat consumption: You must avoid excessive amounts of fat, especially saturated fats from animals, cream, fatty foods like lunch meats, fatty cuts of meat, and cream based sauces. We recommend consuming plant-based oils, like olive oil preferably, yet in moderation.
Avoid irritants: Alcohol, caffeine, heavily seasoned foods, and spicy foods could cause a colitis outbreak, which is why it’s best to avoid them.
Drink enough liquids: Sufficient hydration is very important for good digestion. Fresh water is more recommendable than alcoholic beverages and caffeinated beverages. You should also avoid soft drinks.
Pay attention to your stress levels
In the past, people believed that stress could cause colitis. Recent studies have shown, however, that while stress can bring about an outbreak, and activate or worsen symptoms, it does not actually cause colitis. Regardless, we still advise that you reduce your stress levels.
There are techniques, like breathing exercises and even meditation that can help you to feel more relaxed, and less susceptible to the effects of stress.
Anti-stress massage and yoga can also be good alternatives for fighting stress.
Exercise provides a lot of benefits, but when talking about colitis, regular exercise could help prevent problems or consequences of this disease in the future. This could include weight control, improving intestinal movement, promoting rest, improving body oxygenation, and it also helps reduce stress.
A few recommendable exercises include walking, swimming, or any sort of sport that you enjoy doing without adding even more stress.
This spice is especially well-known as one of the primary ingredients in curry. Turmeric is often times used to flavor recipes, however this spice also has popular medicinal uses. It is believed to improve colitis symptoms thanks to a compound known as curcumin. This spice should not be used in excess, and it’s also not a good idea to use it while pregnant.
Include Probiotic Supplements
Probiotics are live bacteria cultures that exert a positive effect on the intestines. They are beneficial bacteria. Some foods are considered probiotic, like yogurt, cheese, and preserves. Including them in your diet is a good idea, and it’s even better to include a probiotic supplements.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Our current diet generally does not provide enough omega-3 fatty acids. These are known to have natural anti-inflammatory properties that can really help inflammatory diseases like colitis. The primary natural sources of this type of fatty acid are oily fish, like tuna, anchovies, and mackerel, and also certain vegetables like linseed, chia seeds, walnuts, etc. We should also mention that it can be consumed as a supplement.
This involves inserting thin needles to stimulate acupuncture points that create a therapeutic effect. One study showed that acupuncture can reduce pain, as it stimulates the production of substances that have natural analgesic effects.
Acupuncture sessions can also help control stress, but you may need several sessions in order to see improved results.