Etiology: Inflammation of the colon. The mucous membranes of the colon become inflamed, and small, pouch-like areas are formed. This condition may be acute or chronic. It often strikes young and early middle-aged adults. There are several types of colitis, and they range from mild to serious. Enteritis and ileitis are types of inflammation of the small intestines often associated with colitis. Severe colitis is called ulcerative colitis. With this condition, the colon is both inflamed and lined with ulcers.
Colitis is a particularly painful and temporarily disabling condition.
CAUSES: Some of the causes of colitis are poor eating habits, stress, and an allergy to certain foods. A food sensitivity test is advised.
Diet is probably the most significant factor in the remission of colitis.
SYMPTOMS: Cramps in the abdominal area, diarrhea, and an almost continual need to eliminate. Often there is blood in the stool.
Passage of offensive watery stools with mucus and pus. Abdominal pain, tenderness, or colic. Intermittent or irregular fever. Hemorrhage and perforation may occur.
The most important thing to do is keep a daily record of what has been eaten. Thus being able to note which foods have aggravated or improved the condition. Sensitivity to certain foods, such as yeast products, wheat products, or dairy products may be discovered this way. By checking the daily record, note which food caused a flare-up or made you feel great.
Eat a high-fiber diet. Oat bran, brown rice, barley and other whole grains, lentils, and related products such as rice cakes should be included.
Eat a low-fat diet. Fats and oils exacerbate the diarrhea that comes with colitis. Keep fats and oils out of the diet, and stay away from high-fat milk and cheeses. Spicy foods and coffee will also irritate colitis.
Eat broiled or baked foods, not foods that are fried or sautéed. Avoid sauces made from butter.
Find nonfat dairy foods or lactose-free milk.
Try low-fat cheese or soy-based cheese. Try soy milk instead of dairy milk.
Obtain protein from turkey or chicken without skin. Eat baked or broiled seafood, not fried or sautéed.
Drink spring water, club soda, or seltzer water to make up for the fluid lost with diarrhea. Aloe vera juice is very good, especially for ulcerative colitis (and regular ulcers, too). It is a natural juice made from the aloe vera plant.
If you want to eat fruit, do not eat it on an empty stomach; eat fruit at the end of a meal. Fruit juice should be diluted with spring water or club soda and taken during or after a meal.
Eat lots of vegetables. If you cannot tolerate raw vegetables, steam them.
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