Ulcerative Colitis Diet

ucdietEver since being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, I researched, studied, and learned a lot. A lot about the illness, the role of nutrition, the role of body maintenance, and the role of supplements.

Now looking back it feels like I went back to graduate school from the sheer volume I read and the insights I gained.

I now live completely different than I did before I had been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Completely does not even begin to describe it.

Knowledge is a difficult thing to share. The problem is, when you have been on a long journey, experienced a lot, and arrived at certain conclusions/insights, these conclusions/insights sound extreme for anyone who has not been on the journey. They may sound kooky and over the top. My conclusions would have sounded over the top to my old self.

I will share my conclusions/insights first and will provide a link to my reasoning with links to some of my research sources.

Beverages

What we typically drink makes us sick. Tap water is unhealthy and will actually hurt your colon. Soft drinks are often made with insufficiently filtered tap water plus they contain large amounts of sugar or even worse, corn syrup.

Unfortunately even bottled water is not all good. Some brands, like Dasani or Smart Water add stuff to it like magnesium sulfate and potassium chloride. Why add stuff? Why not just filter water and be done with it? Strangely enough both companies are owned by Coca Cola. I guess, they reasoned if they can’t poison us with soft drinks, they will do it with bottled water.

Here is my beverage list:

  • Water: My main water source is natural spring water. I live in Texas and have them delivered by Ozarka (5 gallon bottles). When I go out, I typically ask for sparkling bottled water like Perrier or San Pellegrino or bottled still water like Fuji. In each case without ice, since ice is typically made with tap water.
  • Soft Drink: I don’t drink them. I grew up in Europe where soft drinks are considered children drinks. So I guess, I never developed a habit of drinking it. If I were so inclined, I probably would make my own with my own water, buy a soft drink carbonizer, use stevia as sweetener, and add whatever flavor I want.
  • Tea & Coffee: I only drink tea and coffee made with my natural spring water. And coffee only sparingly and only after my UC was gone. For tea I usually buy Japanese or Korean green tea, and I stay away from Chinese green tea given that China is often in the news for contaminated food. For coffee, I recommend Dr. Mercola’s coffee. Whatever you try out, watch and listen to your body’s reactions to them. If you feel like it’s affecting you negatively, move on to the next brand.
  • Alcohol: For the longest time, I did not drink alcohol which was not easy for me. I used to like going out and partying. For the duration of my healing time and even afterwards though, my doctor recommended that I do not drink any alcohol. Now that I am healed, I drink alcohol again on occasion but usually limited to stuff that does not contain domestic tap water or other stuff like yeast. That rules out domestic beer and wine. I drink in moderation imported whiskey (mostly Scotch).

For the above reasons, I typically don’t eat soups outside, and limit eating anything that was cooked with tap water, like rice or mashed potatoes. I can eat them at home, where I use good water to cook it. Strangely enough, that makes fries and baked potatoes healthier than rice (at least at restaurants).

Living by these rules is not always easy for me, but after learning about all the bad stuff that is in our typical beverages, it feels like drinking poison every time someone offers that to me. Why would I want to do that?

Food

If you believe conventional doctors, food has no impact on ulcerative colitis. It is not the cause, nor are certain foods to be avoid or favored. In a nutshell, there is no relationship whatsoever, according to conventional doctors.

Think about that for a moment. My conventional doctors told me:

  1. We don’t know what causes ulcerative colitis.
  2. We can’t cure ulcerative colitis.
  3. But food has no relationship to ulcerative colitis whatsoever.

Now, if 1 and 2 above are true, how can number 3 be true?

After doing extensive research and discussing with my doctor who is open to alternative medicine, I discovered that food is not only important, it is the MOST important thing in healing ulcerative colitis. If I could do only one thing to heal my ulcerative colitis, it would be food. It is that important.

I am aware of two programs that heal ulcerative colitis through food. From what I read, people have been using both with success. The first one is the SCD Diet (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and the other is called the AF (Anti-Fungal) Diet. I was initially on the SCD Diet which improved my condition a lot and then switched to the AF Diet which got me over the finish line. But from what I read, people have been using both with success. For me, the AF diet worked a little bit better. But everyone is different.

Saying that food is important to healing ulcerative colitis, is the understatement of the century.

I read once in a car magazine a description about the luxury car Mercedes S Class. It simply stated “This is it.” Meaning, if you are in the market for a luxury car and have the money, Mercedes S Class is it. Case closed.

The same is true for food and healing ulcerative colitis. This is it!

Click here to learn more about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

Click here to learn more about the Anti-Fungal Diet

Maintenance

Body and emotional maintenance is critical. We are not machines even though many conventional doctors like to treat us like that. An injured colon is just that to them. No relationship to the rest of the body. Like a flat car tire. A flat tire is just that, a flat tire and is not related to anything else in the car.

That may all be well and fine for a car, but I am not a car.

Things are related. If I am morbidly obese I constantly put stress on my body through my extra weight, and will be more susceptible to illness. The same is true for stress. If I am constantly under high stress I wear down my immune system, and will be more susceptible to illness. Things are related. Sometimes childhood trauma can work in the background. I grew up in an abusive family, and was essentially emotionally illiterate. As part of my healing I worked through my issues through therapy (shrink), EFT [link to EFT], and by reading psychological books that helped me work through my childhood trauma issues. I also did some meditation, but not as much as I wanted to. It is not easy.

I found exercise to be very helpful. If I want to help my body heal, I need to stay at least somewhere in the fit range. I have a treadmill at home for interval training, and do weights for my muscle training. My schedule is to exercise 3 times a week, but at least 2 times a week. I usually don’t do more, since I have not met anyone yet who can maintain over many years an exercise schedule in excess of 3 times a week. I have seen too many people who exercised 5 to 7 times a week, just to give up after a few months because it was too much.

Supplements

I take a lot of vitamins and related supplements. I believe our bodies have an amazing ability to self-heal, but if I deprive my body of the ammunition it needs to fight my illnesses, how can I expect it be successful in healing me?

Implementing the above (beverages, food, maintenance) coupled with supplements should give my body everything it needs to be successful. Imagine you are in charge of the military and you ask your military to accomplish a certain mission. One thing you definitely want to make sure, is that your military has all the resources it needs to be successful. Otherwise you make it so much harder for them to win. Our bodies are not that much different. I want to give my body every resource it needs to heal me and keep me healthy.

Supplements are great IF they supplement a healthy diet (see beverage & food section above) and are complemented by maintenance (see above). Taking supplements without the above will not help, or help only very little in healing ulcerative colitis.

That being said, every person is different, and I strongly suggest that you discuss it with your doctor before you take any supplements.

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