Question for those who notice food causes symptoms

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 5/11/2008 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,
I have had a very hard time finding meds that works 100%.  I am close, but not there.  When I am in remission, it usually only lasts about two months.  It's been that way for most of the 7 years that I have had ulcerative proctitis.  I have tried steroids with no help, and I couldn't take the side-effects even if they did help.
So, I am going to start keeping a food diary.  My question is, when do you all typically notice a worsening in symptoms after eating an irritating food?  How long does it take after removing the food for the symptoms to go away/lessen.
I still have a little blood and mucus in my BM's - twice a day.  I have never had diarrhea, so I can't go on that.  I can only go on the amount of the blood and mucus.
I am taking 3 Lialda a day and one Canasa a day.  I am going to a new GI over the summer.  Since my symptoms are so mild, they don't impact my life, it's been hard for me to get on board with taking immunosuppresive drugs.  However, the emotional strain of this disease CONSUMED my twenties.  I have just turned thirty (yuck), and I am DETERMINED that it won't be that way from here on out, so it the immunosuppresive drugs is what it takes, then I guess I will give in.  I mean, I know that I will have flares from time to time, but if it would mean more than two months of remission at a time, then I would try it.
However, I am going to try the food diary since I have a few months before I get in to see the new GI.
Anyway, thanks for thoughts and comments!

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 5/11/2008 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I think it would vary from person to person since one might be more affected than another by a particular food(s) that they find give them issues with their's trial and error for most and there are those whom don't notice any differences regardless what they eat/drink....alot of times people concentrate on foods only and don't think about the things they might be drinking as well...sodas with having such a high content of sugar and caffeine not to mention all the other junk/chemicals in them (even diet sodas with sugar subsitiutes can cause IBD symptoms to be exacerbated) can cause real issues as well.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 5/11/2008 2:33 PM (GMT -6)   
If I look at my UC through a daily window, I would say that in my case food plays a big role on how my BM's react.  If I eat fast food, fatty food, mexican food, or pasta I have bloating, major diarrhea, and gassy mucousy bloody symptoms for a few days.  Sometimes a McDonalds burger will give me a bout with diarrhea in about 10 hours after eating, then no more reprocussions.
Sometimes I can eat Taco Bell with no problems...  Sometimes if I eat a nice healthy grilled salmon fillet I get diarrhea.  I havent quite nailed it down yet.  Viewing my UC in a monthly window doesnt really lean me toward any pattern of foods that I can eat with assurance.....however I know some are worse than others.  

Salad is something that is not consistent with me.  Sometimes when I have a salad with dinner it seems to help the food digest - depending on what I eat.  Sometimes the salad causes irritation with my UC.
I dont get it.  I think I need to also factor in a daily stress level from 1-10....  If I can somehow graph my daily stress level with diet, I may eventually get some data I can use....but I am no scientist....
33 yr old male. UC for 14 years. 5mg pred (tapering off), 12 pills Asacol per day, Dicyclomine (for cramps), 0.5 - 1mg Atavan per day (anxiety), Fish oil pills, Culturelle probiotics. Recent Endonasal brain surgery to remove non-cancerous hormone producing tumor on pituitary gland (And I am still more afraid of my UC!!)

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 5/11/2008 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
The things I've seen most people talk about are greasy or high fiber foods. A lot of people with UC are lactose-intolerant to some extent. Caffeine and carbonated beverages are often mentioned.

When I'm in a bad flare, it make absolutely no difference what I eat because I'm bleeding, in pain and living on the toilet no matter whether I eat nothing or Big Macs. When in remission, I can eat anything in moderation, but I still limit my fatty and fibrous foods. In between, when I'm in a flare but not really bad, I stay away from high-fat foods, spicy foods, salads, raw or lightly cooked fruits and veggies and beans completely.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroid therapy.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 5/11/2008 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Personally I think the food diary is a good idea. I have been keeping one since the middle of March. I have been in a flare since the beginning of March and so I have lots of time to just jot down what I eat and on the side I write down how I feel and how many, if any, bm's I had that day. Looking back thru it now.. I have narrowed at least one food item down.. any time I eat pork I get bloated and have abdominal pains and the next day I feel gross. So.. staying away from pork for awhile to see what happens. Really.. it only takes a minute to jot things down.. I leave the scribbler on my kitchen table so its easy to remember to write it down when I get something to eat.

It can't hurt right ??
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed May 2004
Sulfasalazine 500MG 4 times per day
Daily Vitamin for Women and Folic Acid

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 255
   Posted 5/12/2008 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Some foods definately make my symptoms worse, but I can't say that the foods cause a flare. I went for years thinking that I was lactose intolerant, but now drink milk, eat cheese & yogurt and am ok. Pepperoni & steak are no-no's for me. I order the chicken fillet if I go to McD's and am ok.
Tressa 34 (F)
Not sure of my dx- currently UC, but with skip lesions. Bloodwork is inconclusive for UC & Crohn's. Colonoscopy shows ulceration in terminal ileum and descending colon
 Colazal 3X3/day
Lialda upped to 4/day,
Colazal 3X3/day
Canasa & Rowasa at night starting 5/12/08 for 2 wks

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 5/12/2008 5:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Certain foods were always off the menu, and the food diary is a good idea. I believe everybodys trigger foods are different, and I hope you can find yours. It is terrible that UC consumes us the way it does. Personally I have been better much off since starting on the Haldi/curcumin drinks. Are you going to try immunosuppresants for sure?

diagnosed 1998
now off prednisone and colazal
drink 1 Haldi daily

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 5/12/2008 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Sugar is evil for me, very, very evil devil
Dx'D in 1990. Remission 1991 - 1/2005
Both flares were in extremely stressful times in my life
Colonoscopy 10/2005 80% of Colon diseased, or as I like to say "Intestinely challenged"
*****9/2007 dumped my GI who I refer to as "Satan" New GI, new med TOTAL remission with in 2 weeks.
Colazal 9 capsules a day*****

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 5/12/2008 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I chose to modify my diet over going the immunosuppresant route and have never regretted it. In my experience, there are some foods you know almost immediately (within hours, overnight) are a bad idea because they give you increased pain, gas and other symptoms. If you have leaky gut issues, you'll start to experience allergic type reactions, too, such as clogged sinuses, runny nose. On the other hand, there are some foods that are a constant low level source of irritation and inflammation and it may take quite a while for you to figure out what they are and eliminate them. I'd recommend you check out The New Eating Right for a Bad Gut. The author reviews all different types of foods and identifies the ones that are usually safe or are often a problem for IBDers. Of course, everyone has individual reactions, but these guidelines are at least a place to begin your own experimenting. There's also alot of info on omega-3s for reducing inflammation.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal.

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30704
   Posted 5/13/2008 12:40 AM (GMT -6)   
There's a lot to say for common sense and well-balanced eating.
A food diary is a good idea....but remember (educate) how long it takes for food to go through the digestive tract...
Keep the left hand side of the book with any intake, including meds/supplements)...keep the right hand facing side for symptoms, including times, bms, etc.  You may have to look back the day before to see food/symptom connections. 

Other than that...I'm sitting on my hands.


*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....zymactive 3 - 5x daily
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux) Effexor XR 75mg;  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Post Edited (quincy) : 5/12/2008 11:43:15 PM (GMT-6)

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