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Apr 18

Foods that heal colon inflammation: Before and during flares – Medical News Today

Colon and intestine inflammation can cause pain and discomfort. In some cases, a person may be able to manage their symptoms and reduce the inflammation by adding specific foods to their diet.

The primary cause of intestinal and colon inflammation is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

IBD is an umbrella term that covers Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. Both conditions cause inflammation in the gut.

According to the Crohns & Colitis Foundation, the same diet will not work for everyone with IBD. However, some foods may help reduce inflammation more than others.

Ultimately, a person should work with their doctor to determine which foods work best for them and which ones may cause inflammation and symptoms to worsen.

In this article, we provide suggestions for foods that may help a person reduce inflammation in their intestine or colon.

It is advisable for people with IBD to take the following measures with regard to their diet during a flare-up:

A person should choose white breads and rice over whole grain. Foods with less than 2 grams of fiber per serving are most suitable.

A person should cook their vegetables well. They can use fresh or frozen vegetables, including:

A person can eat canned or soft fruits, such as:

Peeling fruits and vegetables where possible will help decrease their fiber content.

In a 2018 review of studies, researchers found that following diets rich in fruits and vegetables helps reduce inflammatory biomarkers.

A person should ensure they are eating enough protein during a flare.

Sources of protein include:

When symptoms worsen, a person with IBD should aim to drink 8 cups of fluids per day. However, they should avoid:

A person should choose oils over solid fats when cooking. Their intake should be fewer than 8 tablespoons per day.

Using olive oil instead of other oils or fats may help with inflammation.

A 2019 study reports that extra virgin olive oil may help reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, and immune response in people living with IBD.

University Hospitals states that a person should slowly reintroduce foods after an inflammatory flare. To do this, they can add one or two items of new food every few days.

If a food begins to cause symptoms, they should avoid it.

The following foods may be suitable for a person who has just had a flare-up of Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis:

If a person has recovered from a flare of intestinal or colonic inflammation, they could eat the following foods to help keep inflammation lowered:

A person can start to eat foods that are higher in fiber when gastrointestinal symptoms have improved and it is less likely to worsen symptoms.

According to a 2017 study, avoiding fiber long term may lead to a greater risk of flares in people with Crohns disease.

Therefore, a person should ensure they are consuming fiber between flares. Dietary fiber could be in the form of whole grains, such as brown bread or brown rice.

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are present in foods such as salmon, can help reduce inflammation.

A 2016 review of studies states that although using omega-3 fatty acids is not a treatment for IBD, they definitely help ease inflammation.

However, researchers note there is a need for additional research to determine how much of the nutrient is an effective dose.

A 2018 review reports that omega-3 fatty acids may benefit people with ulcerative colitis rather than those with Crohns disease.

The study goes on to suggest that omega-6 fatty acids may also help a person with ulcerative colitis who is between flares. That said, it also calls for additional research to confirm this.

According to the Crohns & Colitis Foundation, common sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:

A person should opt for foods that have undergone minimal processing. The fewer ingredients a product contains, the better.

A person can start to reintroduce dairy or lactose products provided that they do not worsen symptoms.

If a person has lactose intolerance, they should avoid dairy. Alternatively, they could eat low lactose or lactose-free products.

A person should continue to prioritize oils such as olive oil or canola oil over solid fats, such as butter.

However, at this stage, they will likely tolerate added fats better.

Among other sources, a person can consume protein in the form of:

A person should always make sure they are drinking enough fluids throughout the day.

It is advisable to drink water instead of fruit juices, soft drinks, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages, such as coffee or tea.

Dietary recommendations for people with Crohns disease differ somewhat from those for people with ulcerative colitis.

The following table contains information derived from a 2020 study. It can help a person determine whether they should increase or decrease their intake of certain foods depending on their diagnosis.

People with either Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis should decrease their intake of the following foods:

The exact cause of the inflammation will help a doctor determine the best treatments and lifestyle changes a person can adopt to reduce inflammation in the gut.

The Crohns & Colitis Foundation notes that some other changes a person can make include:

Colon and intestine inflammation is often a result of IBD.

Several foods may help reduce inflammation in the gut during, after, and between flares.

A person should work with a doctor to determine the underlying cause of the inflammation and seek treatment to help prevent potential complications.

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Foods that heal colon inflammation: Before and during flares - Medical News Today

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