Probiotics and Diet

Does diet help your UC?
Definitely no - 15.4%
Probably not - 7.7%
Not sure - 0.0%
To some extent - 53.8%
It helps a great deal - 23.1%

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 12/15/2008 3:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I got my first Colitis flareup about four years ago, my second about three years ago. The first one came and went. It was short lived, and there wasn't that much blood. I thought I had hemorrhoids. The second one was bad. I was passing blood clots and my poo wasn't poo. It was bloody, brown water. I was on Prednisone and couldn't get off of it. I was so desperate that I tried fecal transplantation. It worked. My flareup immediately went into remission, and I tapered off of the Prednisone as fast as was safely possible. I was in remission for more than a year when I started getting bladder infections. I had to go back on antibiotics. I was on and off them for about a year when I got my third and current flareup. That was three months ago. I tried taking anti-inflammatory medicine (Colozal) for the first month (I had some left that hadn't expired from my last flareup). But the medication didn't work. The flareup kept getting worse. I did not want to go back to my doctor, because I knew he would put me back on Prednisone. So I gave up on the meds and started looking into more natural ways to combat my flareup. After changing my diet and taking Probiotics, my flareup has gradually improved over the past two months. It is now almost gone, and I hope to be in remission by X-mas. I thought I would share with you what I've been doing to combat my flareup. Of course, what works for me may not work for you, but it might at least help.

1) Eliminate any foods that make symptoms worse. For me, this is sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are the worst, then high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, and so on. I also can't eat most fruits, although I can eat bananas and possibly strawberries and pineapple.

2) Eliminate foods that increase inflammation. These include nightshades (tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, and eggplants), sugar, trans fats and other hydrogenated oils, white flour, gluten (wheat, rye, and barley), shellfish, lunch meats, hot dogs, sausages, fatty meats, dairy products, and eggs. If you must eat meat and dairy products, choose lean meats and low-fat dairy products.

3) Eliminate foods that make diarrhea worse. These include fatty, fried, greasy, or spicy foods, diary products, alcohol, coffee (even decaf), very hot or very cold beverages, and chocolate.

4) Eliminate foods that cause gas. These include sugar, fructose, lactose, sorbitol, beans, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, and whole grains. During my flareup, the gas gets caught in my colon; so it's really important for me to reduce gas. I stay clear of gas-producing foods, take Beano and Lactaid before meals, and do sit ups.

4) Eat foods that calm inflammation. The following foods are anti-inflammatory: salmon, canola or olive oil, walnuts, onions, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash, mangoes, papayas, seaweed, spinach, kale, chard, turnip greens, mustard greens, garlic, pineapple, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric. Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory compounds in nature. During a really bad flareup, mix some turmeric with brown rice. Of course, don't eat anything that makes your symptoms worse. I can't eat most berries, because they give me diarrhea.

5) Eat foods that reduce diarrhea. These foods, which make up the BRATTY diet, help firm stools: bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, green and herbal teas, and yogurt. I drink Celestial Seasonings' tension tamer caffeine free herbal tea. It contains peppermint, cinnamon, ginger, chamomile, licorice, and catnip. All of these herbs are anti-inflammatory.

6) Eat foods that reduce gas. Papaya and pineapple help reduce gas. Yogurt helps restore the natural balance of intestinal bacteria. Rice produces little to no gas.

7) Take probiotics, both orally and up the but. I mix one capsule of probiotics (Sustenex has been working well for me) with about two syringes of water before putting it up my but. The water is also calming. I do this first thing in the morning after I have a bowel movement and before I go to bed. Be careful not to buy prebiotics instead of probiotics. They aren't the same.

8) Take vitamins. I take Omega-3 (to reduce inflammation), calcium (because I'm not getting much diary), cranberry supplements (because I can't eat most berries and because I had the bladder infections last year), probiotics (to balance the intestinal bacteria), iron (because I lost a lot of blood), and a multi-vitamin.

Please note: I have no vested interest in Colozal, Celestial Seasonings, Sustenex, or anything else mentioned above.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 12/15/2008 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   

All the restrictions on your diet sound like what I have done for years for IBS.  I don't believe that if someone does not have IBS or digestive problems these foods do any harm to the colon - maybe even help.  Glad it works for you anyway.


68 yr. old granny
New diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008
 Colonoscopy 10/28 showed only 2 cm. left to heal in rectum - going to try Proctofoam first.
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD
Inderol for hypertension,Xanax,Lipitor, multivitamin, calcium w/D, Tylenol
Close to remission -spoke too soon!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 12/15/2008 1:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I definitely agree with what you lay out here

sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, fried, greasy, diary products, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, sugar, fructose, lactose

Time and time again we always hear how it always makes inflamation and IBD worse. Those who say that diet makes no effect and that they dont wish to to change their food patterns - thats their opinion, but I won't waste time arguing - it makes an effect for me.
Off of 5-ASA (6 years) and no symptoms since probiotics started.

Probiotics 16 strains (vsl#3 + Natural Factors ultimate multi probiotic + Trophic Acidophilus Plus) - 1.1 trillion per day. Pre-biotics 1x a day. No sugar.
L-glutamine, elm powder, vit b & folic acid, 5 g vitamin C, vit D, vit E, Calcium+Magnesium

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 12/15/2008 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I disagree with number 5. If you're avoiding gluten, you're probably not going to be having toast - unless you choose a GF bread. I also think yogurt should be approached cautiously because so many have problems with dairy. Better to take a non-dairy probiotic supplement.
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. Long-term remission with only minor blips.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 12/15/2008 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
A very useful tool for finding out what in your diet causes distress is keeping a food journal. Write down everything you eat through out the day, and also how you felt (GI symptoms) during the day, and the next 24 hours. Having a written record will help you to be able to pin point more accurately what food works for you. I also keep track of my meds and supplements, which helps me figure what supplements help, and which ones I'm wasting money on. Since UC is such a personalized disease, what works for one won't always work for others, but a food journal will help you out more than you'd believe. Just thought I'd throw my two cents in.
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ UC in May '06, had symptoms since '99
Meds & supplements: VSL#3, Lialda, Allegra, multi-vitamin, Wellbutrin XL, Prednisone, fluoxetine, flaxseed oil, magnesium, and vit B-12.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 12/15/2008 10:34 PM (GMT -6)   
The specific carbohydrate diet has cured my disease. I'm off all meds, and feel fantastic for the first time in 9 years! I have my life back.
Pharmacy Student, Class of 2009.  Diagnosed 8/99.  Suffered for almost 10 years.  I am currently on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and am nearing remission.  I feel fantastic!    I have lost so many years to this disease.  I decided to become a pharmacist to understand these drugs, and to help fellow sufferers of IBD.  My goal is to open up a pharmacy and take care of my patients(particularly explaining what the drugs do to you), compound special medications, and have a great practice. HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THE SCD DIET? IT HAS PUT ME IN REMISSION AND I PLAN ON GETTING OFF THE ASACOL SOON TOO!  (In remission since 2/15/08)
Meds 3200 mg Asacol, 2.5 mg Prednisone.  Doc wanted to put me on 6-mp or Remicade, but I refused to take the medications!  For me, diet works...

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/16/2008 12:20 AM (GMT -6)   
There are some really good gluten free breads out there, my sister usually grabs me some from costco, which I only eat on occassion, but it's sugar, glucose and all kinds of bad-stuff free.

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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 12/16/2008 12:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi kops2da,

Yes, some of the foods on the list, especially the high-fiber ones, are good for the colon under normal conditions. I try to eat as balanced as possible. When I don't have a flare up, I can eat everything except artificial sweeteners and fructose.

Hi princesa,

You are right about number 5. Some people are gluten-sensitive and can't have toast. I can eat bread with butter and cinnamon. I can't eat applesauce though, which is also a BRATTY food. My body doesn't handle fructose well even when I don't have a flare up. I guess I should have commented about that too.

That's a good point you made about yogurt. I don't know how yogurt affects me. I don't like it; so I take probiotic supplements instead.

Hi beartooth,

I also keep a food diary. One of the things that has surprised me is that the foods that are anti-inflammatory are really helping me. It's so nice to be able to eat again and know that what I just ate will help me and not make things worse.
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