Food during a flare up

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Max3732
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 4/11/2009 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Its been about 4 years since I've had a flare up and just visited my doctor last week to go over my colonoscopy results which he said were fantastic with almost no signs of inflammation. The last few days I've started having symptoms again and its been so long I'm not quite sure what to do.

From reading online it looks like just about every type of food in the world is a problem and a lot of places say things not to eat, but what I'd like to know is what exactly should I eat? I've had flares before that lasted only a few says so I'm hoping to beat this one. I know that water and things like grilled chicken, rice, and salmon are ok, but what else besides them? Is there a list somewhere of foods to eat while in a flare up rather than just lists of foods to avoid?

quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30993
   Posted 4/11/2009 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi..welcome to the forum!

Try not to make it too much about food and remember your doctor said "almost" no inflammation"..which means there is some.

What exacty are your symptoms that you're having?

What meds are you on at this time?

What meds have you been on in the past?


Try and eat as balanced as possible. Make sure you get in enough protein.

You could consider to add a fibre supplement and I strongly suggest you take probiotics.

quincy

quincy
*Heather* Status: mild flare enemas tapered to every 2nd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 x2 daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed; started Omega 3 
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


Max3732
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 4/11/2009 8:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the nice welcome.

This is not exactly what I was expecting to worry about during easter time. Its just a little surprising to get this flare up almost immediately after getting a clean bill of health. The colonoscopy was a few months ago though so I guess a lot can change.

Symptoms:

My stool started becoming more liquid and I started going more frequently. Then I found some blood and the frequency has increased to numerous times every day as well as some mucus.

Meds:

6MP, and coumadin (due to a clot). I also started taking chloroquine a few weeks ago because I traveled to a country where the CDC warned about malaria. That's the biggest change I've made in years. I'm thinking that maybe this is what's caused the flare up.

When I first got my UC about 10 years ago I was on a number of different meds but have only been on 6MP for the past 8 years. I was on Asacol (sp?), and also used an enemy about 8 years ago during a flare up.

I am also taking fish and flaxseed oil as supplements.

As far as food, what's a good source of protein? I've been lifting weights and eating a lot of natural peanut butter for protein but I read online that its a problem during a flare up. I had eggs, chicken and salmon today and will have lamb tomorrow. I've been drinking a lot of water and eating yogurt and bananas.

Christine1946
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 4/11/2009 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   
     Your diet sounds pretty safe.  Quincy mentioned fiber supplements, but fiber really does a number on me when I am flaring.  I have to stay on a low residue diet during those times.  Make sure your vegetables are thoroughly cooked, not al dente.  I usually eat Rice Krispies with Silk for breakfast (cannot tolerate milk when flaring either), chicken or turkey for lunch on white bread and salmon for dinner with a baked sweet potato and green beans.  You can get a low residue diet online.
     I am also on 6MP for over five years now.  However, the doctor has me on Colazal too.
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/08...now see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30993
   Posted 4/12/2009 2:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi...it seems you might then be in line for a stool sample testing process...have it done just in case you've picked up something else in your travels.

If so, at least you'll know what you're dealing with.....and besides, having an invader in the gut could very well trigger your UC , so best to deal with everything rather than assuming it's only UC. At least you will be treated.

6MP isn't enough if you're flaring, and I would still suggest other support meds such as 5ASA oral (asacol) and rectal enema since you used them in the past.

How long do you have to be on the chloroquinine? It can cause diarrhea, cramping, etc......but.....you have had increasing symptoms such as would follow a UC flare.

I would also suggest you lighten your weight lifting as to not push your body beyond its ability to heal.

I think for protein...meat sources and eggs....the rest such as peanut butter...depends on if it's too much oil for your system or not. Very subjective. But I wouldn't "rely" on it as a major food source...a snack, yes.

You don't mention carbs at all....I don't suggest cutting them out, but others do. Whatever healthy carbs one would consider to eat...again subjective...is necessary fuel for any exercise and for one's brain function....

You definitely need probiotics...

The fibre supplements vary from what each person can use. I use both the Metamucil smooth (not the sugar-free kind) and the capsules.

Don't use artificial sweeteners......

Oh, forgot to add that sometimes a c-scope clean-out and the scope itself can exacerbate inflammation, and since you had "some"....you may have been on the way to a flare at that point.

Hope you feel better soon,
quincy
*Heather* Status: mild flare enemas tapered to every 2nd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 x2 daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed; started Omega 3 
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 4/12/2009 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I just had the same problem: after a good while of no flares I got one last month that caused some ulceration in the sigmoid, yuck. It was spurting bloody mucus ca. 3-5 times daily & seemed hostile to food in general. I was racking my foggy brain to recall what foods agreed during past flares. (Basically low residue.) Going back to farina (made with lactose-free milk), pureed yellow squash, scrambled egg, plain couscous or pastina, skinless roast chicken or turkey, plain broiled fish, low-fiber toast, boiled white rice in small amounts enabled me to stay alive (I'm being ironic here) while reducing D about 90%. Pillsbury farina has the added advantage of 50% of the minimum daily iron requirement, which I'm sure helped me to feel better over a couple weeks. It really seemed like my intestines could not process regular meals for about 3 weeks, but low residue has definitely helped me to reduce symptoms and heal the inflammation. Good luck treating yours! / Old Hat (30 yrs with left-sided UC; presently recovering from flare in sigmoid colon)

mudua
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 459
   Posted 4/12/2009 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
It's best to fast during a flare. The last thing an inflamed colon needs is food irritants. Someone I work with who also has UC told me to do a 'muslim fast' i.e absention of food from sunrise to sunset and the results were fantastic

quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30993
   Posted 4/12/2009 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
It's not recommended to fast during a flare. Poo is food digested...some foods never digest and act as fillers and bulkers for the stool..not intended to digest.

One can change food intake somewhat so that one is getting nutrients to help heal the body.

If one isn't able to have any improvement from meds and is in a dire state...only then is it suggested to fast.

Besides, the colon gets really lazy.....and many people equate no bms for improvement, which isn't true.

quincy
*Heather* Status: mild flare enemas tapered to every 2nd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 x2 daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(Natural Factors Protec, Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls, Natural Factors Ultimate). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed; started Omega 3 
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 4/12/2009 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd suggest tender lean meats, eggs (not fried), nut butters, soft cooked veggies and fruits that have been peeled. Natural applesauces and well-ripened bananas. Veggie soups with lean chicken breast added are good. You can even puree veggies and soups to make digestion easier.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine. Probiotics, l-glutamine, vitamin D and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Mostly grain-free and dairy-free diet. Long-term remission with only minor blips.
 
 


Brinda
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 4/12/2009 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I just logged on to ask this exact same question. I was diagnosed last week, and looked on-line at what to eat. All I could find was what not to eat, which was almost everything. I felt very frustrated! So after reading this, it sounds like for lunch I can have a turkey sandwich (white bread) and for dinner I can have lean meats and cooked veggies. What about breakfast? Any good suggestions? I love cereal, oatmeal, and english muffins, which sounds like those are not good.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
31 year old female, diagnosed w/ left sided UC on 4/6/09
7 month old son
1 Rowasa enema nightly - Symptoms gone
Also taking Synthroid and Lexapro
 
Noticing a lot of people with UC are on depression meds and thyroid meds.  Connection??


Malkavian
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1439
   Posted 4/12/2009 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I usually find a low residue diet helps. Lean meats (chicken, fish), poached and hardboiled eggs, rice, pasta, applesauce, bananas, toast, very well cooked veggies, cooked fruits, and canned fruits are all okay. Don't eat any veggie skins, though. Also, it's recommended to reduce or eliminate dairy. Also, try to stay away from fried foods. Liquid nutrient supplements (boost, ensure) and juice smoothies are good too, especially if solids really bother you. If you do try juice smoothies, though check the label for fiber-some of them have it.

Also, Brinda-for breakfast try toast with jelly (make sure it does not have seeds, grape is pretty safe) and smart balance, or cream of rice cereal. English muffins are probably okay if they're made from refined flour. Have a banana on the side. Alternatively, you could have a nutrient shake. Oatmeal would be too hard on the gut, and most cereals are made from whole grains nowadays. It almost makes the healthy food craze irritating, I can no longer get some nice refined cold cereal to eat when I'm flaring, and I miss my cinnamon toast crunch so much!
21, female, diagnosed 3/6/2009
Mild ulcerative colitis from rectum to mid transverse colon
Currently in remission
Currently taking Asacol (3x/day) and Calcium/D supplements


Max3732
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 4/14/2009 6:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all your help everyone. Yesterday was as bad as its been with a lot of blood. The fact that I'm on coumadin means that I bleed a lot more than normal. The urgency is the most frustrating thing because one minute I feel fine and then I just have to run to the bathroom.

I've had lamb, grilled chicken, salmon, rice, gggs with english muffins or toast with smart balance or jelly. As far as probiatics I've also been having a lot of yogurt. I've also drinking plenty of water and also got some gatorade. My doctor suggested not taking the coloquine now and I have an appointment tomorrow where I'm going to have my blood checked.

Today was a lot better but I'm still bleeding. Have any of you tried baby food? Its supposed to be easy to digest so even though its a little embarrassing I thought about giving it a try.

Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 4/14/2009 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, I eat the Earth's Best Organic (Stage 3) when my gut acts really tricky. That's one way to be sure of avoiding excess salt/pepper in prepared food! Their "spring vegetables with pasta" makes a nice spread on toast or mini-pitas. / Old Hat (30 yrs with left-sided UC ... [etc.])

nymomof3
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 4/15/2009 3:44 PM (GMT -6)   
max it is so funny cause what happened to you was exactly happened to me..i went for a colonoscopy was told my colon was clear and 2 weeks later wound up in hospital for 5 days...so listen to your body and if you dont like what your dr is telling you find another one..cause my doctor didnt want to listen to me cause he had said the colonoscopy was clear...good luck

subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 4/15/2009 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Keep a food diary to see whether or not food has an affect on your bowel movements. Pay particular attention to yeast, wheat, gluten, lactose, and fructose. For most people, white rice is usually safe to eat, and it helps provide bulk. Supplement with anti-inflammatory foods/ingredients such as turmeric--one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory compounds in nature. Turmeric can easily be added to rice. Read all ingredients. Many foods contain high fructose corn syrup.

Anti-inflammatory: turmeric, ginger, garlic, onions, cinnamon, green/herb teas, oily fish, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, lean poultry, green leafy vegetables, berries, fresh pineapple, soybeans, tofu, soy milk.

Pro-inflammatory: fatty meats, processed meats, dairy, eggs, sugars, artificial sweeteners, nightshades (tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplant, peppers).
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Colitis Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission
Don't expect your doctor to cure your health problems. Your health is your responsibility.

Lexapro (for stress), Probiotics and Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Avoid HFCS, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners
When flaring: eat anti-inflammatory foods, avoid pro-inflammatory foods
Previous treatments: Fecal transplantation (worked), Prednisone (stopped working), Colazal (stopped working), Asacol (stopped working)


Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5190
   Posted 4/15/2009 10:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Not everyone with UC has to give up dairy. I do very well with lactose-free milk, natural yogurt, & low salt, low fat cheese. Egg is usually well-tolerated by UCers who need to follow a low residue diet for a while. Seeds, on the other hand, can be very irritating to many people with intestinal problems, not just IBDers. Cinnamon is pumped into many U.S. foods now, often in quantities that assault one's palate. Basically when flaring, we need to practice good nutrition while trying to minimize ingestion of irritants. The gut almost reverts to infancy, when very simple pureed foods get introduced slowly to the baby & the parent has to gauge what is tolerated. / Old Hat (30 yrs with left-sided UC; presently recovering from flare in sigmoid colon) nymomof3-- I wonder if your flare-up was caused by the c-scope; that's always a possibility though it sounds like your doc doesn't want to acknowledge it.

princesa
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 4/16/2009 8:44 AM (GMT -6)   
You might find the book The New Eating Right for a Bad Gut helpful. It gives alot of general guidelines for foods the majority of IBDers consider safe and those they find problematic. There's also excellent info on reducing inflammation with omega-3s.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine. Probiotics, l-glutamine, vitamin D and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Mostly grain-free and dairy-free diet. Long-term remission with only minor blips.
 
 


Got2Believe
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 436
   Posted 4/16/2009 9:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Along with that book that princesa suggested you need to read Breaking the Vicious Cycle. You may be pursuaded not to believe it or you may not even want to follow it but you should at least understand it. Good luck, it sounds like you eat healthy already. My general advice about diet, regardless of UC, is to eat foods that will aid your body and not work against it.
                                                                                         
28/M/TX single parent of gorgeous 3yo girl (revised 12/12/08)
Severe Colitis (pancolitis) since January 9, 2005
currently:  Mildly Flaring 
RX/day: none! Tapered off Prednisone 9/20/08. Lost job and insurance 10/2007 and stopped taking asacol and Imuran cold turkey
OTC: enzymes everyday, turmeric, seldom use probiotics, vitamins & other natural treatments
Diet: SCD helps tremendously, but am not strictly on it.
Other: Prayer, food combos, good posture, chewing more, etc.

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