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Old 02-13-2009, 07:44 PM   #1
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Are there trigger foods -Ulcerative Colitis?

Hi,

I'd like to know if this can be confirmed, though it seems pretty evident to me, are there trigger foods, foods which can trigger a UC flare-up?

From the first flare up or incident of that disease, I was free of any symptoms for 8 years. I wasn't even taking medication. I had taken them at the start but dropped them after they seemed to make my intestine more irritable. And because I prefer to live medication-free, as much as possible. So, I was ok for a long time and the disorder never manifested 'spontaneously' (save for the first episode if any of this really happens spontaneously, without triggers).

The second time it took place, I had been ingesting chocolate at an unprecedented rate for me! I had discovered, inadvertently, certain products I liked, and I became- almost - a chocoholic.

However, after several weeks of ingesting chocolate, varieties of chocolate products, not just the same one (I feel that was worse), I started suffering a bit of diahrea, but it would go away with a day of not eating chocolate or other irritating food. But I would get back to it as soon as I felt better. After several more weeks of this, it's as if my intestine couldn't take it anymore, and then the diahrea would become persistent.

This has happened to me 3 times in the last 4 years, the same exact pattern.

I'd go to an emergency ward and when I'd tell the specialist who'd treat me that my flare-up was due to my poor eating habits, he dismissed that.

But if he had been in my place, it would have been evident. I may have an underlying condition, but it seems that it can be triggered by certain foods. And in my case by prolonged and rather considerable consumption of chocolate. I was eating at the rate of about 1 lbs of chocolate, 5 days a week. (5 X 1 lbs).
Not candy bars but chocolate that is mostly, really chocolate (with a few additional ingredients such as lecithin, etc, but otherwise nothing like your regular Mars bar!).
And it was milk chocolate most of the time.

Not only would I like to know if science does know anything about this, but also, are there 'natural' treatments, other than having to take mesalamine or others?

I already use pre and probiotic supplements (just started), will use Omega-3 tablets (these last two seem to be more and more recommended? I've heard of others also...) and feel that exercise and relaxation help a lot.

Thanks for any help!

Last edited by Mike8765; 02-13-2009 at 07:48 PM.

 
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:32 AM   #2
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Re: Are there trigger foods -Ulcerative Colitis?

As I was reading your post I was going to suggest that you take an omega 3 supplement but then read your last paragraph and you already are.

I would guess that the chocolate with its higher levels of omega 6 has pushed your digestion out of equilibrium.

Getting the balance right between your intakes of fatty acids can take abit of time though so be patient.

And please let us know if the increased omega 3 intake helps at all. It would be useful to know as I'm a bit of a chocolate smack head myself. Cheers, kennyboy

 
Old 02-14-2009, 12:21 PM   #3
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Re: Are there trigger foods -Ulcerative Colitis?

Seems like people with colitis and Crohns all have some foods that bother them everyone is different as to what foods those are. Find those foods that bother you and eat as small amounts as possible or avoid all together..
For me its onions and beef

 
Old 02-14-2009, 12:39 PM   #4
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Re: Are there trigger foods -Ulcerative Colitis?

Thanks both of you but do you know if the flare ups can be caused by foods?

I'm not talking about increased symptoms only. But going from seeming remission to the illness becoming active?

 
Old 02-15-2009, 07:09 AM   #5
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Re: Are there trigger foods -Ulcerative Colitis?

I don't suffer from this myself Mike but if you think about it logically it must be a fairly good guess that some foods will trigger a recurrence. It's cause and effect really and I think you have answered your own question in your first paragraph....yes it is obvious. But as the other poster has said, the trigger food is going to be different for different people.

The only thing that seems to bring on colitis in a lot of people is the use of antibiotics. They attack the good bacteria in the gut as well as whatever else you might have taken them for, have you been using any? Chocolate might be OK for you in lower quantities. Everything in moderation as they say.

 
Old 02-15-2009, 11:06 AM   #6
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Re: Are there trigger foods -Ulcerative Colitis?

No, I haven't taken antibiotics. Just a lot of chocolate.. !

I noticed I have no problem when I take it in small quantities. Or at least not large quantities frequently.

I was wondering since a gastro once told me that there was no such thing -food triggering the problem. He thought I was trying to deny I had a disorder. I told him no, I understand I have an underlying problem but I've only had the flare ups after eating excessive amounts of chocolate for months.

That was back in 2006, so maybe they know a bit better now...

thanks!

 
Old 02-19-2009, 10:21 PM   #7
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Re: Are there trigger foods -Ulcerative Colitis?

Hm, if you have UC I'd recommend toning down your chocolate consumption. Some of the basic foods to avoid are foods with alcohol, a whole load of fibre, caffeine, gass producing foods, greasy foods, spicy foods, and any foods that cause constipation (no need to agravate a sensitive colon either way!) Other lifestyle factors can also trigger it - stress is a big one, and that can be from anything!

UC, as far as my experience goes, is a fairly unreasonable illness. I wouldn't try to lay all the blame on a single food; like any illness it is more complicated than that. The best approach is probably to do a bit of research and then figure out what applies to you and give it a serious try.

 
Old 02-19-2009, 10:33 PM   #8
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Re: Are there trigger foods -Ulcerative Colitis?

For a disease like UC I don't think there are any absolutes about a cure. My case was pretty rotten, eventually got an illeostomy (best devision ever, but still a last resort) so not everyone will feet the same, but UC is an illness with no cure. Remission can be a relative name. Some people never have problems again - some people become increasingly worse. Sometimes meds can control it or maintain it in remission.

Some other suggestions for foods to consider avoiding if you're not feeling well: caffeine, alcohol, massive doses of fibre (they told me never to eat uncooked veggies - altho sometimes I did!), greasy foods, spicy foods, foods that cause constipation (best not bother an upset colon either way), and any foods that commonly cause gas.

And some suggestions for foods TO eat:
yohgurt, bananas, rice, oatmeal, sort of the medium fibre bland foods, soups, etc... Also drink lots of water, drinks with electrolytes, and a bit of salt content (sports drinks are good) because you can get really dehydrated really quick with UC.

So anyways, that's my advice.

 
Old 02-23-2009, 06:47 PM   #9
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Re: Are there trigger foods -Ulcerative Colitis?

Thanks dictionary! I know I have to tone my chocolate consumption. That I'm pretty sure of!

I'm just wondering what others might say about this. Because the last time I spoke with a gastroenterologist, he told me there was no evidence that foods could bring on ulcerative colitis (as in activating it, not causing it).

I'm going to go by my own experience.

Thanks!

 
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