Diet and Colitis

Diet and Colitis

What is Colitis?

Colitis is a disorder (often not well diagnosed) that affects the second intestinal portion of the large intestine, or the colon; it is a generic term that encompasses many different pathological forms but etiologically classified into two types: inflammatory colitis and / or autoimmune colitis.


  • Ulcerative colitis: inflammatory; manifests itself as bloody diarrhea
  • Crohn's colitis: inflammatory; strictures, small ulcers, fistulas, perianal lesions; less bloody than ulcerative colitis
  • Ischemic colitis: sudden onset vascular disease; pain from mucosal necrosis
  • Collagenous colitis: inflammatory; watery diarrhea, sub-epithelial collagen formation
  • Microscopic lymphocytic colitis: inflammatory; watery diarrhea, increase in intra-epithelial lymphocytes
  • Infectious colitis: caused by infectious pathogens present in the stool
  • Pseudo-membranous colitis: similar to ischemic colitis; fibro-purulent membranes and apical lesions are observed
  • Amoebic colitis: amoebas present in the stool; focal ulcers similar to ulcerative colitis
  • Gonococcal proctitis: "cocci" or "gram positive" pathogenic bacteria; rectal pain and grit with pus production.

Diet and symptoms

The symptoms of colitis are many and vary between the different pathological forms. They generally concern the digestive system and consequently the uro-genital system; frequent generic symptoms (flatulence, abdominal swelling, constipation and / or diarrhea, often alternating, abdominal cramps ...).

We remind you that often a specific diet is able to limit the onset of symptoms related to colitis, as the diet is often the primary cause of the onset of the disorder (see symptoms linked to permanent food intolerances [such as celiac disease] or transient [ such as lactose] during an intestinal infection).


  • Intestinal symptoms: pain, discomfort, borborygmas, abdominal distension, pain in the anus and perineum linked to alteration of the alve (frequency of evacuation) and changes in the fecal consistency with the presence of mucus.
  • Other symptoms of the digestive tract: halitosis, heartburn (burning in the throat) and unpleasant bitter taste related to the pressure of the intestine against the stomach, resulting in gastro-oesophageal reflux. Nausea, vomiting, early satiety and stomach pain.
  • Uro-gen symptoms in your country: urge to urinate, nocturia (urge to urinate at night), or a sense of incomplete and / or difficult bladder emptying.
  • General symptoms: headache, muscle and tendon pain, chronic fatigue and drowsiness, dizziness, neuro-dermatitis, anxiety, depression and hypochondria linked to general disorders. IMPORTANT loss of appetite and associated weight loss.


The colitis diet is a simple diet, which uses light foods and mild cooking methods, but above all FREE of any molecule irritating to the mucosa.
In the diet for colitis the following cooking methods are excluded:

  • Frying
  • PROLONGED cooking in a casserole (also called overcooking) or in the oven
  • Grilled cooking
  • Cooking on the plate
  • "Violent" cooking in a pan
  • Raw meat, fish and eggs

On the contrary, we recommend:

  • Boiling of vegetables and fish
  • Steaming vegetables and fish
  • "Sweet" and progressive, cold cooking in a pan (which BEGINS with the cold pan)
  • Microwave cooking (questionable)

The following foods and food groups are not recommended in the colitis diet:

  • Alcohol and coffee
  • Acidic and carbonated drinks
  • Stinging sauces and spices (pepper, paprika, curry, etc.)
  • Milk and dairy products (as they contain lactose)
  • Legumes WITH PEEL
  • Dried Fruit
  • Fruit containing small seeds or achenes
  • Industrial products containing sweeteners (sorbitol, aspartame, saccharin etc.)
  • Chocolate
  • Saturated fats, hydrogenated fats, oils obtained with thermal or chemical treatments (of seeds)

On the contrary, we recommend:

  • Raw and cooked vegetables but better if without seeds
  • Raw and cooked fruit but better if without seeds
  • PAST legumes but in moderate doses
  • Lean meat
  • Lean fish
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • In moderation: soft-boiled eggs and Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese

According to some naturists, the consumption of:

  • Blueberry leaf decoction
  • Blueberry fruits
  • Mallow or marshmallow decoction
  • Clay water - herbal clay dissolved in water
  • Fennel herbal tea

The diet for colitis MUST guarantee an intake of dietary fiber of about 30g per day, however, it would also be advisable to draw up a personalized dietary therapy, taking into consideration the susceptibility of the patient suffering from colitis. In the event of an uncertain diagnosis, it is advisable to start therapy with an "elementary" diet, that is, with few and possibly hypoallergenic foods (apple, veal, white fish, etc.) and to integrate others progressively by evaluating the response of the large intestine.


According to some experimental studies carried out in rats, a good treatment against ulcerative colitis is represented by the rectal administration of short-chain fatty acids (AGCC), in particular butyric acid. It seems that this kind of therapy improves inflammation and promotes the reconstruction of the gastric mucosa by stimulating the transglutaminase (enzyme) which reacts by assembling more collagen and fibronectin as components of the cellular matrix (D'Argenio, 1994-1996); butyrate treatment has also proved effective in preventing the most unpleasant complication of ulcerative colitis, that is colon cancer (D'Argenio and Mazzacca, 1999). However, remember that in the clinic of the last decade, clinical trials do not seem to fully confirm the desired results.

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