Here we flare again!!

Use this forum to share your experiences of changes to lifestyle and diet. Have you found anything that helped your colitis ? Have you tried low residue diets or increasing your water intake ?
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Here we flare again!!

Post by Mommyamy »

Hi everyone

Hope your all feeling good today?!

I've spent the last couple of weeks maybe months now ignoring my body but the last few days I've been feeling like I'm about to start a big flare. Really annoyed at myself because even though I know what can happen I still keep eating rubbish food and drinking alcohol. So today I have woke up with stiff leg joints, itchy eyes, 8 trips to the toilet already and from yesterday I'm having to run to the toilet after I eat which obviously is not good. I'm giving myself a massive kick up the butt and have to sort this out. I've got two little girls so can't be ill because it's not fair on them especially when I'm doing it to myself.

So today is a new me but I wondered what people did to stop a flare in its tracks? I've only ever had 3 flares and each one put me in hospital and I can't go there again. I know roughly what I shouldn't be eating but have to start listening to my body more.

When you guys can feel a flare starting what kind of things do you do to stop it getting worse? Any advice would be great please

Thanks Amy xx

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Re: Here we flare again!!

Post by pastelito »

Hi Amy,

Good on you for taking a new approach to managing your condition. You can do this!

Speak to your IBD nurse (if you have one) or phone your consultant's secretary ASAP. It sounds like you are flaring already (4+ bowel movements/day = flare, according to my IBD nurse) and it's important to get your colitis under control as soon as you can. You may need to alter the medication you're taking. In any event, you need medical help, so phone the hospital now.

I am a strong believer in diet as a way to help maintain remission, but it will not stop a flare that has already started. Maintaining an 'easy on the gut' diet can be tricky and quite boring, but will be much gentler on an ulcerated colon. It will also, hopefully, help you to recover from your flare and minimise the chance of hospital visits.

Each person's experience of Ulcerative Colitis is different, so I can only tell you about what I've been through. However, I've spent a lot of time thinking about diet so I hope this is helpful. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 8 years ago and followed a low fibre diet for about 6/7 of those years. Now that I've been in steady remission for a couple of years, I've started to try new foods and it's working well so far. Following a restricted diet for so long was hard, but it helped my colon heal and I think that was worthwhile. My diet is also strictly gluten- and lactose-free. This is because milk makes me vomit and cutting out gluten stopped my colon from bleeding. This was 6 months after initial diagnosis when I was at my wit's end. Being gluten- and lactose-free has made a huge difference to me. It might be worth considering; some people find it really helpful, others don't.

When you were hospitalised, did they put you on a 'low residue diet'/'low fibre diet'? This is common for IBD patients who are flaring. This particular diet is gentler on your gut: This is where you eat only soluble fibre. Soluble fibre is easy to digest. Insoluble fibre is hard to digest. When you're flaring, insoluble fibre sticks to the ulcerated parts of your colon. After a couple of weeks, it eventually passes through your system, ripping off skin as it goes. This causes more bleeding.

Soluble fibre = anything that would go through a sieve, e.g. juice, flesh of apple/pear/plum/banana/mango/similar (without skin), peeled potato, peeled carrot, peeled parsnip, tomato purée/pasatta.
Insoluble fibre = anything that would not go through a sieve, e.g. vegetable peel, fruit skin, seeds, bran

We all know that hospital food is not great. And a hospital low fibre diet is worse. However, a low fibre diet doesn't have to be that awful once you're out of hospital. Here's a rough guide to a low-fibre diet with a few meal suggestions. I don't drink, so I can't give you advice about alcohol. Perhaps you could ask your doctor about that.

Things you can eat on a low-fibre diet
peeled fruit and root vegetables (I could also tolerate wilted spinach)
sieved tomatoes/passata
seedless jam
smooth peanut butter
rice, pasta, (peeled) potatoes, millet
bread (gluten-containing or gluten-free)
dairy products (if tolerated, in moderation)
smoothies (smooth, with no bits)

Things to avoid
vegetable peels
high-fibre veg (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, leeks)
fruit skin
fruits with pith and/or seeds (e.g. oranges, kiwi fruits, berries, tomatoes)
nuts and seeds
spices and herbs

A few meal suggestions
- Soup (peeled vegetables/frozen peas + stock + water, boil, blend, eat!)
- meat/fish + potatoes/rice/pasta + veg
- Cuban Rice ... cubano.htm (a personal favourite!)
- avocado on toast
- peanut butter and (seedless) jam sandwich

This is a lot to take in and I hope you find it helpful. Good luck and please get in touch with the hospital as soon as you can.

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Re: Here we flare again!!

Post by UCnikkis »

Hi, Due to completely changing my diet, I have been in remission and med free for 2 years now. I eat a gluten free, low dairy diet. It took me a while to get there having to follow the SCD diet strictly for at least 6 weeks but it worked and I finally have my life back after 4 years of bad symptoms/horrible med side effects. Anyway, when I did flare I would eat a lot of eggs, 3 egg omelette for breakfast, no lunch and then just a piece of chicken for dinner and maybe some mash potato if I was really hungry. I found eating fewer times a day helped lessen the toilet trips and eggs seem to bind you up. Once I started to get better, I would gradually introduce other foods into my diet. Hope this helps x

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