Understanding Your Diet and Your Ulcerative Colitis: A Matter of Trial & Error

I have learned that diets and Ulcerative Colitis are frustrating. I have learned that diets and Ulcerative Colitis are as different as DNA; what works for one person does not work for another person; it is a matter of trial and error.

Certainly there are some basic rules, one does not eat tacos with the hottest available sauce; one does not eat meals that are greasy or gassy and in addition eat until they are so full they can’t walk but then in the word’s of Jim Croce “You Don’t Tug on Superman’s Cape and You Don’t Spit in the Wind”; those rules are obvious mistakes.

I have found that fluid is good because it fills gently and also keeps bowel function even and regular. I have found that many small meals are better than big ones because it gives the digestive system a better chance of coping with digestion.

If I have to take regular medication, it is always better to take it after eating.

The foods that I have had the most luck with are baked and boiled such as fish and potatoes. The less butter I use the better and if I eat fried foods I am asking for trouble. I have found that some treats like shrimp cocktail and ice cream are surprisingly easy on my intestines so I use that as my substitute for being denied some of my great loves like French Fries.

The problem with reporting on this topic is that what works for me may not work at all for someone else. Someone, for example, may have an allergy to milk or dairy products.

One cannot discuss diet without understanding that mood and emotions play a major role in this illness. In fact, the more I have studied chronic illness, the more I have found that one’s emotional state is all-important in your overall health, which, brings up exercise. Exercise aids not only with emotional well-being but digestion.

It has been hard for me to give up is pizza with “the works”; French Fries and Chicago Hot Dogs. When I do sneak a treat, I usually try to take an antacid or coating before “cheating”; it never works, I always suffer.

When I do watch what I eat, I usually feel at my best. It is important to understand, however, that a person with Ulcerative Colitis can do everything right and still have many, many problems; that is what is so discouraging about the illness; you can do everything right and still have a relapse or “flare”.

I have found that as far as food goes it is best to be reasonable and admit to yourself that your life is going to be different but at the same time understand that you are not a machine; you are going to have some problems anyway so it is necessary to treat yourself once in awhile.

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