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Questions About Food to Eat When Having Flare Ups


I might have Ulcerative Colitis, I’m not sure yet.

I have not been diagnosed yet, but have a colonoscopy scheduled for Oct 26. Had long bouts of remission. In my 30’s diagnosed with Irritable Bowel, in my 40’s doctor thought it was ulcerative proctitis and prescribed Rowasa which cleared it up. Long remission and now in my 60’s have had recent flare up for 2 weeks or so. Have not had a colonoscopy only a sigmoidoscopy in my 40’s. Have long periods of remission.

My Story:

As mentioned, I’ve experienced long periods of remission. Have had blood appear in the last couple of weeks. Went to my family doctor and she referred me to a Gastroenterologist so I will have a colonoscopy. I am familiar with the SCD diet and try to follow it.  I have cut out all milk products as milk really bothers me.  Also, all sweets and anything that seems to bother me. I would like to know what people eat during flare ups. I’ve lost about 14 lbs so far and doctor wants me on a bland diet. I’m not sure what to eat and wanted suggestions on what to eat when having those awful flare ups. I’m not on any medications at this point. I’d like to know what is the longest time people have been in remission too. Thanks for your help. I am so happy there is this site to share information. Thanks Adam!


Rowasa seemed to help me but I might have had a mild case of ulcerative proctitis when I used it.

Submitted by “Sick and Tired” in the Colitis Venting Area


10 thoughts on “Questions About Food to Eat When Having Flare Ups”

  1. Hey There “Sick and Tired”,
    Thanks for joining our site. I’m terribly sorry that you are not feeling too good right now. Symptoms whether you’re diagnosed or not are not easy to learn to cope with and get past, BUT, you will make it through these times. That’s for sure.

    I wanted to try ans answer your question about foods to eat during colitis flares (or times where you’re having the bleeding, cramping symptoms etc…)from my perspective.

    For me what works well, and I’m actually just getting out of a relatively minor flare right now as we speak… I like to stick to vegetables that have been thoroughly cooked, and meats that have been cooked well as well. I go pretty heavy on chicken breasts cooked all sorts of way, and the same with hamburger meats and pork. I have pretty much cut out fruits other than ripe bananas (of which I’ve had 2-3 the past week or two) and I have entirely cut out any and all nuts. Also, I have taken down my honey intake which usually is at 3 pounds per week when I’m feeling great and symptom free.
    Overall, I think by reducing the sugars and carbohydrates, it has allowed my colon to pump out some much better looking stuff if you know what I mean.

    The reality though is that everyone’s system is different, so what works for one may/may not work for others. I think its pretty safe to say that cutting out alcohol, and also cutting out dairy products like milk, ice cream, and if possible sugary drinks like sodas and other high fructose corn syrup drinks should probably help you feel much better. It sounds like you’re worried about the weight loss, and that is very understandable. I myself was down 30% below my normal body weight when I was at my worst after being diagnosed with colitis, but like most things, it came back to normal. On a side note, I’m in the middle of editing a video that details all the food (every single bite) that I ate last week while I was documenting what got me out of the flare. I’ll have it edidted soon, hopefully this weekend, and I’ll post it here on the site.

    TAKE CARE, and I’m glad you enjoy the site and hopefully you are not feeling so alone with your symptoms after knowing that so many others are dealing with similar things.

    Oh, 1 final things, maybe our boy Peter NZ who is vegetarian might be able to chime in with some ideas if you or any others are eating that way. what do you say Peter?? any tips


  2. Hi

    Well, I’m not on SCD but I can tell you what I eat during a flare: chicken broth or vegetable broth, dry crackers such as melba toast, white bread (gluten-free), white rice, scrambled eggs.

    Not really that nutritious but foods that are easy to digest and have no to very little fiber in them. I wait until the flare has been over for one week before adding in vegetables and I start with canned (I know…) – the canned vegetables are very soft so they are easier to handle.

    Let us know how you make out.


  3. OrdinaryWorldWhereRU

    During a extremely bad flair I had to do chicken breast meat from a beer can chicken. It is very moist and tender which was requirement at the time. I also did what was essentially potato water and worked my way up to mashed potato consistency. I will eat very, very well cooked canned carrots and french style green beans. Once I was more stable I added sandwiches made with regular white bread and extremely lean fresh deli meats. Now when I was on such a limited diet it was under doctor’s orders to stick with a low residue diet until he said otherwise. I added chicken nuggets once I got daring and those worked fine. I also did hamburger patties but not overcooked so they were also tender. White rice was allowed but I don’t like it very much. My doctor has always said it is trial and error and each person is different. I wish he had a better answer but it really is reality. He tells me some people cannot have gluten at all and I can’t seem to be able to safely remove it. I ate the same food 6 times a day in an effort to regain some of the weight I lost and it took quite a while even while I was on prednisone at the time. I hope this helps.

  4. I’m another vegetarian coming out of a flare (hopefully.) It helped me to cut out most solid foods, and also stick as close as I could to SCD guidelines (I don’t do well with some things on SCD; but there are other things not on SCD that I eat in moderation.) At first was getting a bit woozy, but then found that if I made sure to eat/drink Ensure with muscle boost, unsweetened peanut butter, and bananas I’d generally feel ok. Other things I’ve been eating: oatmeal (not too hot), coconut milk yogurt, blueberries, honey, occasional protein or cereal bars, Eggo waffles once a day at most. Occasional protein smoothies with blueberries, bananas, or strawberries seem fine for me, though I understand some people have problems with soy. I definitely avoid artificial sweeteners and dairy when flaring (limit at other times as much as possible), and try to avoid sugar. This is not really a well-balanced diet, so I make sure to take my vitamins.

    That said, I don’t eat much in general and have even less appetite when flaring; a hungrier person might need a broader palette!

  5. Hi,
    Well I’ve been gluten free for a while now and that really seems to work for me. Interestingly I too am beginning to think that milk doesn’t agree with me. I do notice bloating and wind after a morning bowl of cereal.
    I have sucessfully used the juice diet when I’ve been in a flare (I just juice anything for a week) but this is often combined with Prednisone. I wonder if your bowel isn’t working properly and you eat meat if it might start to rot in there? If pooping all the time though it should get flushed out. Soft foods are a good idea.
    I reckon you are overdue for a colonoscopy.
    All the best,


  6. Thank you to Adam and the others who answered my question of what to eat during a flare up. I appreciate your responses. Yes, I know it is different for everyone and I’m experimenting right now to see what foods bother me. I am a vegetarian so meat is out. I’m so happy to have this website.

    1. Hey Sick and Tired, Hang in there, the site and all the people who use it will be here for you, that’s for sure. good luck with the experimenting, keep me posted on how things turn out and if you figure out some foods that work for you. take care, adam

  7. Hi Adam,

    I went out for lunch with my daughter today at a vegetarian restaurant. I ordered a salad and asked for the dressing on the side. Salad had strawberries, pecans, greens, figs in it. So far, it hasn’t bothered me. Breakfast for me is usually one of Adam’s smoothies or egg white cooked with olive oil and a slice of gluten-free bread. Sometimes I add fresh asparagus or spinach to the egg. I’m finding that the gluten-free bread doesn’t bother me either. I guess you just have to try different things and by trial and error you find what works best. I’m drinking a lot of water and have cut out the sodas and coffee. Just tea for me these days. Again, thanks for your all your help, Adam. Love the smoothies!

    1. That’s great. I hope the rest of your weekend goes well. I totally agree with you, finding a good mix of food that works for you can definitely be an individual thing, so if you’re finding something that’s working, that is super awesome!!!

  8. I’m not on the SCD Diet. My doctor had me on a low-residue, sugar-free, lactose-free diet. It really seemed to help me a lot. For me, I had to cook all the veggies on the low-residue diet. Also, I had to avoid the greatest thing on earth — honey. :( Now that I’m back on a regular diet, I still keep pretty close to this (I just eat more veggies now wasn’t on the low-residue diet). I also snack on a lot of fruit. Try this! It works AMAZINGLY well for me.

    Also, eat a lot of soft foods. It’s easier to digest.

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