I wanted to start this post to set the record straight on the seemingly popular Gluten-Free diet. I feel that some may be confused or led to believe that this is a cure-all dietary aid for UC. I hope this provides good information for all who read it and clears up some questions concerning UC and food allergies. I will try to make the jargon as user-friendly as possible.
Some individuals suffer from gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance is called celiac disease. It damages the sm. intestine leading to malabsorbtion of food. It is often misdiagnosed as IBS due to the similar symptoms it produces. If one does not have a gluten intolerance, the gluten-free diet will have little to no effect.
Celiac disease is genetic.
Gluten intolerance can also be developed. Episodes of severe diarrhea can scrape off layers from the mucosal lining of the gut wall. This lining contains enzymes that digest fruit, dairy, and wheat. The lack of ability to make these digestive enzymes can cause a form of "acquired" intolerance to gluten, lactose-based products, and fructose (fruit sugar). When these foods are consumed, and not broken down and absorbed, it passes thru the sm. intestine into the colon. Bacteria and yeast in the colon ferment these nutrients, multiply, and sometimes overpopulate the bowel with an infection of gas-producing organisms. Sometimes this bowel infection is enough to activate a dormant food allergy.
Getting an allergy test and omitting wheat, dairy, fruit from your diet is the best way to find out if something is not agreeing with you. Return one item at a time to isolate its impact on digestion. One can usually return to eating these foods from an acquired intolerance after the symptoms subside. If you find a dietary item that doesn't agree with you, remove it.
This is yet another reason for keeping a food diary. It is unrealistic to expect a person to remember their individual meal components weeks after they eat it. It is easier to check a diary for an 'uncomfort' food rather than wreck your brain trying to recall a food item that may not have agreed with your digestion.
Hope this helps.
Diagnosed w/ Ulcerative Colitis in 1995
32 years old
Living med free
Currently in remission