This is an email I opened in the ihaveuc inbox today:
From Sonya in Tennessee:
Adam, I am fairly new to your website but have really enjoyed it and found it helpful so far. Like you, I was diagnosed in 2008 and had problems for years prior. The reason I am writing to you is to see if you and your readers have [highlight]any tips on their go to foods when they are in a major flare and cannot eat much. [/highlight]I am in a bad flare and even with all the prednisone, I have no appetite and have to force myself to eat. Everything I eat is tearing up my stomach, let alone when I have my bloody bowel movements which makes me want to eat less to circumvent that awful pain. Sorry to bug you but any advice would be appreciated. – Sonya from Tennessee
- Check out the Colitis Flare Beat Down Video, this shows several meals I ate once to get out of a flare, with very clear examples of exactly what I was chowing on back then. here the link to that post – Colitis Flare Best Down Post
- The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) has a great introductory PDF file – click here you can read, I use much of the thinking behind the SCD in the meals I eat daily, and this might work well for you as it has for thousands of other UC’ers.
- There is a section of this site which has meals I’ve prepared, you can take a look at some of those for further ideas, but the two links above is where I would start your journey to feeling better and getting symptoms to go down. here is the full on food/meals section I mentioned: https://www.ihaveuc.com/category/colitis-stories/good-meals-for-ulcerative-colitis/
- Below is a cookbook which has been very popular for many years now on this site. It is available through the ihaveUC Amazon affiliate link here:
- Good foods, I would suggest most definitely to give Chicken Soup a try. Even if you went so simple to go buy some chicken and to boil it, add some salt and water and eat that, you would very possibly be able to notice some improvement after just a day or two. OK, yes, that alone for 6 straight meals would be very boring, and only drinking water along with that…yes super boring, but if you can see the improvement, I’m pretty sure you’d find it worth it too. If you want to add in some cooked carrots to the soup, go for it. I usually add in some zucchini, and maybe some other veggies, and I really have come to like it.
- Another idea, and I don’t know if you are a big breakfast person or not, but try some simple scrambled eggs in the morning, no MILK, just scrambled eggs. Or, you can try eating 3 hard boiled eggs. Stay away from adding in cheese, and any other dairy, and try to not eat any breads, you again might notice some positive changes after a few days.
- How about Good drinks… I would highly recommend sticking with water as much as you can. If you are drinking coffee, cut that out for now. My best runs of remission have been when I was OFF coffee. I’m back on it, and yeah its great and tasty and all…but anyways… If you want to try something new, how about Ginger Tea for a new drink? Here’s a story here on that: https://www.ihaveuc.com/ginger-tea/
So, besides recommended foods, I for sure would stay away from breads, grains, processed sugars, actually as many types of sugars as you can, no starches either during this flare up time, and stay with water for your liquids for now. Too many tuff things to digest can be found when you start wandering down the drink isles at the grocery stories, coke, pepsi…absolutely no in my opin..
I like to move towards meats, fish, poultry, and some cooked veggies when symptoms are present. Some people prefer to go light on spices during this time, other people don’t have issues with spices.
As for dairy, I would stay away from that as well when symptoms are present. Diary is often very tuff for UC’ers to process when symptoms are active.
Lastly, you can get alot of good benefits from probiotics. Maybe you are using some already, maybe not. I try to get them naturally from foods I eat. Foods such as sauerkraut. Here is a final link on that: Sauerkraut and probiotics
Wishing you the best,
I started site shortly after being diagnosed in October of 2008 with severe pancolitis (when my whole colon was inflamed).
For me, it was a very rough start with severe symptoms. Getting bounced from medication to medication was not easy or too helpful. But, I did meet another UC’er, changes several parts of my diet, and of course the rest is history.
Leave a comment, ask a question, take advantage of our past experiences here, use the search boxes, they are your friends to0:)
I’ve written 2 different ulcerative colitis ebooks, you can check them out here.
And, the Free eNewsletter, which has important updates can be joined here.
Hi Sonya, I have found that a liquid diet is helpful. Homemade broth made from meat with bones are best.No caffeine or carbonated drinks either.I also that fish oil and vitamin D3. Prednisone took about 2-3 weeks to start working for me. Good luck.
I am a vegetarian .During flares, addition of Greek yogurt and banana to my diet helps.However.it does not help some other friends who have UC
I would try what Adam has suggested.
Chicken soup/broth can be boring, but it is one of the easier things to digest at this time. At least for me.
I puréed butternut squash or acorn squash as well instead of carrots for a change.
I have thrown chicken legs/thighs (bone in) in a crock pot with about 8-10 large carrots (cut up into 1 inch pieces), large chunks of onion for flavor and 2 stalks of celery. Add 1-2 table spoons of Apple cider vinager. Cover with water and put on high for first few hours, then low. Leave it on for at least 12 hours. At the end, remove the large onion and celery pieces. Remove chicken pieces and debone. Add chicken back to the broth.
You can purée the carrots if you want, but I never did. By this point they are so soft.
I also ate ground beef and chicken a lot as well.
After weeks of eating a very simple diet, I just started to add bananas and other vegetables.
Best wishes for good health soon.
Alexa, can you taste the vinegar at all? I know ACV is good to bring the body’s acidity down, but it’s so hard for me to palate it. I use vinegar all the time for house cleaning and laundry…hard for me to fathom swallowing it.
Adam, you suggest not drinking milk…is organic lactose-free any difference for people like us? We buy it and although I don’t drink it too often, sometime I have it with cereal. And it always upsets my stomach. Maybe it’s the cereal–any info you can share about organic lactose-free milk?
And I suppose that chicken soup you all are talking about has no noodles in it, huh? I make an awesome chicken noodle soup with homemade, rolled out noodles. I thought the onions upset me, but maybe it’s the flour in the noodles?
I would say to start with 1 tablespoon of ACV. I didn’t notice it when I added 2 though. But I know exactly what you mean. I over did it a couple of weeks a go and that batch was very vinegary.
I find that even lactose free dairy can be upsetting to my guts as well.
Every person with UC is different. What works for one, won’t work for the other. That had been my experience.
For example, quite a few people have has success with ginger tea or consuming it raw, where as I have not. although, I continue to add fresh ginger to my tea, because I enjoy the taste. The same with turmeric supplements.
Uc can be so frustrating that way!
However, I strongly believe that a base in the SCD is a great place to start.
A common mistake people make, and I am guilty if it myself, is adding nuts back into my diet too soon. My guts had a reaction quite quickly. So just beware! Some people stay away from nuts all together.
Try using coconut milk instead of dairy milk. Since I switched, I have a much happier gut.
I’m in the tail end ( I hope!) of a 4 month flare and so I can empathize with your situation. I am willing to try anything to avoid getting worse or having to switch to a biologic medication.
Hope this helps!
I find scrambled eggs to be a great meal at any time – probably have it for breakfast pretty much every other day. Drinking green tea (peppermint is best for me) helps – and chicken soup, or roasted chicken (nothing added) is great too. I steer well clear of bread, or bread products – bread is a real problem food for me. Sometimes I’ll weaken, but I always regret it! I’ve started to take skimmed milk in tea and with cereal, and I think that helps, too.
I tried the probiotic powders in water, but they made me feel bloated and didn’t seem to help at all, even though I was convinced they would. I like ginger, but ginger tea gives me nightmares, so that’s a no-no for me…
I have UC 20 something years I have had flare ups but the one I have now is almost a year. None ofthe melds have helped will be starting remicade on Friday. I can’t take the pain and bleeding and not being able to go out. I always ate healthy veg, salads and protein. Miss this very much. Don’t know what to eat any more. Breakfast it’s a piece of bread with jelly lunch is bread with either fish or chicken. Dinner is chicken or fish and boiled sweet potatoes. I am so tired and down. Just had enough. Willing to try anything to have a normal life.
Hi Judy, I would highly recommend taking bread out of your diet, along with the sugary jelly. Also, the sweet potatoes may be hard to digest because they are a complex carb. Wouldn’t be surprised if those things were the culprit. I would definitely say look into the SCD diet a bit more, as it’s helped me (and many others on here, including our trusty guide, Adam!). There’s a lot of information about it just on this site! The fish and meat is probably a good thing to stick to though ;)
I had been given the FODMAP diet. It could really help. As for me , wheat is the biggest culprit. Then too much sweet anything. Real sugar or sweeteners. Dairy is 3 Rd on list. Within 3 mos was markedly better. Best of luck. Have had coconut water highly recommended but cannot really get used to the taste.
What kind of chicken does everyone buy? The truly organic stuff seems to be around $12 a pound, very expensive. The regular grocery store variety is much cheaper but also more processed and maybe should be avoided. Anyone have any issues with chicken during a flare?
I was doing fine on the SCD diet, eating mainly beef and fish but when I added chicken for dinner, I seemed to go into a minor flare. It is probably not related since I also had a massive amount of stress that week. I also could have been starting the 3 month flare that people sometimes can get on SCD. Do people get out of the three month flare naturally or do they have to go back on prednisone?
I’ve been traveling this week, so haven’t had a chance to reply sooner.
I buy organic chicken when I can from a local farmer, but it’s not always available. Otherwise I buy chicken from the store.
I haven’t noticed a difference in how I feel between them.
I am on prednisone 20 mg (week 2 of 3) and will be tapering down 2.5 mg every 3 weeks.
I am coming out of a difficult and long flare (Started in November 2015). I believe with out the prednisone I would not have gotten out of this flare.
I also started to exercise regularly again to help manage stress. I feel this has helped quite a bit.
I’m starting to feel better after a rough flare by eating a low residue soft diet. I get nausea in the morning so I eat a small piece of raw ginger upon waking up. I keep it ready on hand to take a piece asap in am.
Breakfast: hard boiled egg (if have appetite only)
Lunch: a shake approx a cup plain kefir + a banana + tbsp almond butter mix in magic bullet (can add ice)
Snack: another hard boiled egg or banana
Dinner: white rice with kerrigold butter/sea salt
A few hours after dinner I make a slippery elm gruel (hot) and drink as a tea to soothe
I hard boiled my eggs on Sun so I would have them ready for the week (they last for a week in the fridge) and I keep bananas on hand… So if I’m starving for a snack I’m not tempted to eat junk food.
I take Vit D, ginger root, quercetin, curcurim, & pancreatic supplements. I’m going to add warm lemon water in the morning now that I have fresh lemons ;-)
Hi everyone. I am new to the site but very much enjoying reading all the posts and helpful suggestions. I have found organic meat and eggs have made a huge difference for me. It is definitely more expensive but worth it to feel half normal again. A friend told me about Costco organic hamburg and chicken and eggs I have had good luck with that. It is prepackaged by other manufacturers – not at home to give the names but it might be worth a try. A lot cheaper than a butcher shop as well.
Hi everyone. I am Ivy, 32 from Philippines. I was recently diagnosed with UC not knowing I already have this when I was still 16y/o. I just started with pred and it seems to work. My diet for almost 3 months already is only ensure milk. Now I’m starting to eat some rice but it seems my UC flares up. I enjoyed reading your post. It helps me alot. GOD BLESS everyone.