Since ulcerative colitis can lead to reduced appetite, weight loss, and poor absorption of vitamins and minerals, maintaining a healthy diet and good nutrition are vital aspects of managing the disease. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may need to restrict certain aspects of your diet. Talk to your gastroenterologist or nutritionist about customizing a diet to your specific nutritional needs.
Just like everyone else, people with ulcerative colitis need enough protein, calories, vitamins (A, D, C, B-12, and folic acid), minerals (calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium), and other nutrients to stay healthy. However, in particular, people with ulcerative colitis may have increased nutritional requirements to make up for the calories and nutrients they lose.
To ensure that your nutrient intake is sufficient, it’s best to eat a balance of foods from the four food groups:
Meat (or alternative sources of protein)
Cereal and grains
Fruits and vegetables
Your gastroenterologist or nutritionist may also recommend adding a multivitamin or other dietary supplement, such as calcium to protect against nutritional deficiencies, iron to counter the affects of anemia, and to round out your diet. It is important to note that because supplements contain no calories, they should not take the place of food. Also be sure to consult with your gastroenterologist before you begin taking any supplements.