I was recently diagnosed with ulcerative colitis & have often wondered about maintaining proper nutritional levels if my GI system isn’t functioning adequately. Thanks to Health Labs for sponsoring this post about the importance of testing for nutritional deficiencies.
My ulcerative colitis journey started out with a bang earlier this year when I wound up in the emergency room after my colonoscopy. No one has been able to pinpoint exactly why this happened, but the doctors seem to agree that dehydration played a part. I personally believe that the months of gut dysfunction also contributed to nutritional deficiencies that may have played a part in this unfortunate incident.
How People With IBD Can Become Malnourished
IBD patients are vunlerable to becoming malnourished for a number of reasons.
*They frequently struggle with loss of appetite due to nausea or abdominal pain.
*IBD is typically associated with digestive difficulties and malabsorption of important vitamins and minerals.
*IBD may increase the caloric needs of the body during flare ups.
What Should You Eat With IBD?
Opinions abound on this subject. My gastro told me that diet doesn’t matter but my family practioner strongly disagreed. My own research led me to implementing the SCD Diet. Options to consider include a gluten free diet, vegan diet, the Paleo diet, Mediterranean diet, and the Gaps diet.
A good nutritional balance can be achieved with a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Here’s what should be considered:
*What are your symptoms?
*Are you currently in remission or experiencing a flare?
*Do you have any nutritional deficiencies?
How to Eat During an IBD Flare Up
No matter which nutritional protocol you’ve decided to pursue, there are some basics that every IBD patient should follow.
It’s important to eat smaller meals. The full plate you used to love is now past history. With smaller meals, you may need to eat more frequently. Whenever possible, try to eat in a relaxed atmosphere. Proceed with caution with foods that contain insoluble fiber such as seeds, nuts, beans, raw fruits and vegetables.
Foods to Avoid with IBD
*Whatever your known trigger foods are
*Fatty, fried foods.
*High fiber foods including raw fruits and vegetables
*Nuts, seeds and beans
*Foods containing lactose
Foods to Choose
*Home cooked chicken broth
*Unsweetened fruit juice
*Bland, soft foods
*Fully cooked potatoes and vegetables
*Vitamin & mineral supplements with doctor’s approval
After my incident, I realized the importance of adequate hydration, especially living in Florida. While I’ve never been able to keep up with 64 oz of water a day, I do try to have a drink going at all times. Several times a day, I’ll add an electrolyte supplement. I don’t personally drink, but I do still enjoy caffeine and need to be reminded that coffee doesn’t count toward my fluid intake!
The natural way to see if you’re getting enough fluid is simply to check the color of your urine. If it’s too dark, then it’s time to drink up!
Keep a Food Journal
It’s a great idea to keep a food journal to keep track of your symptoms and food reactions. It will help you to identify foods that might trigger your symptoms. And it will help to show you if your diet is nutritionally dense. It will also be helpful to take along on doctor’s visits.
Testing for Vitamin Deficiencies
Even if you’re doing all the right things, you may still have nutritional deficiencies that you aren’t aware of. HealthLabs offers fast, affordable and private vitamin & nutritional testing.
The most popular is the Comprehensive Vitamin Panel, but there are also individual tests as follows:
- Vitamin B12 & Folic Acid Test
- Folic Acid Test
- Carotene (Beta Carotene) Test
- Vitamin B1 Test
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Test
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Test
- Vitamin B5 Test
- Vitamin B6 Test
- Vitamin B12 Test
- Vitamin C Test
- Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy (Calcidiol) Blood Levels
- Vitamin E Test
- Vitamin K1 Test
HealthLabs also offers a wide range of testing for general health, hormone testing, kidney & liver health, military, pregnancy & prenatal, sports and many more.
To get started simply order your test online or by phone, visit a local lab & get your lab results in 1-3 days.