Dietary factors can actually be very important in ulcerative colitis. During a flare, meaning when disease is particularly active, we suggest that patients go on a low residue diet, meaning that the patients eat things that are not very rough on the colon. So we have them avoid things like nuts or seeds or a lot of raw vegetables. When disease is more controlled, the diet is more liberal. In general, patients with ulcerative colitis also have a higher rate of irritable bowel syndrome, and sometimes avoiding dairy products and gluten can also eat to some improvement in symptoms. There is ongoing research about various diets to see their efficacy and ulcerative colitis and remission of ulcerative colitis. But these are in the process of being studied. There are specific dietitians that may have a understanding of inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis. So if dietary modifications are needed, it is often wise to see a dietician.
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