Dr. Rubin believes a well-balanced diet is important for everyone, including people with UC. "There are many reasons why you should strive for a well-balanced, healthy diet," he says.
"I've worked with patients with UC for years, and I’m asked consistently about the role of diet and nutrition. Here's what we know: previous studies have failed to demonstrate that diet directly causes the development of UC."
"However, a balanced diet is still an important aspect of your overall disease management. And because every patient's disease is unique to them, any dietary changes should be discussed with your doctor and nutritionist to make sure that they are right for you."
The importance of balanced nutrition
There are a number of reasons why working with your health care team to ensure you are getting balanced nutrition is so important:
- Active UC disease can result in anemia (due to blood loss) and, depending on the severity of the disease, may also result in having too few nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
- If patients experience UC symptoms after eating certain food, they may avoid eating those foods entirely. This has resulted in some patients limiting their dietary intake further, which can result in weight loss and malnutrition
- When you are sick, your body may need more energy (calories) than when you are well, and this increased need, if not met, may further contribute to weight loss and poor nutrition for some people
Work with your health care team to fine tune your diet
Many Web sites promote diets for inflammatory bowel disease. However, these diet recommendations have not been sufficiently studied or proven to specifically work for patients with UC. Before you make any dietary changes, share the information you find with your doctor to see if he or she thinks they are right for you.