Ischemic colitis is a disease of the large intestine. In most cases, the condition is mild and resolves on its own. An ischemic colitis diet helps in managing the symptoms, while the patient is recovering.
Certain factors may keep enough blood from reaching a part of the large intestine. This causes the affected part to suffer inflammation thus, giving rise to several unpleasant symptoms. This condition of the digestive system is termed as ischemic colitis. In some cases, the compromised blood supply may even cause permanent damage to the colon. People over 50, are known to me more susceptible to develop this condition. The good news is, most patients recover from it within several days, with supportive care. But since the condition has all reasons to turn severe, patients are recommended to get medical help as soon as they start experiencing abnormal symptoms. An ischemic colitis diet is one that is tailored for the affected person. It helps in improving digestive health, and reduce inflammation. The rest of the article briefs you on what this diet is all about. And this would be followed by a section on the important causes and symptoms of the condition.
Diet That Helps Treat Ischemic Colitis
It must be noted that this kind of diet must comprise foods that are soft, and easy to digest. Even better are those which are bland. Eating such foods would take some load off the digestive system thus, hastening the healing process.
✔ Bananas tower the list of the most desirable foods for people with ischemic colitis. They are not only easily digestible, but they also boost the body with high levels of potassium. Potassium is important as it replaces the electrolytes lost from the body because of diarrhea, a common symptom of ischemic colitis. Not to mention, these fruits are also rich in Vitamin C and dietary fiber among other nutrients.
✔ Drink a glass of buttermilk everyday. It is more digestible than whole milk and is low on fat. Potassium, Vitamin B12, calcium, riboflavin and phosphorus are its prime constituents.
✔ Applesauce is also beneficial. It is not only good to the tongue, but also high in antioxidants such as catechin, phlorizin and chlorogenic acid; thus making it an ideal treatment for any kind of digestive disorder. Its high fiber content and anti-inflammatory properties make it a ‘must add’ food in a diet to manage ischemic colitis.
✔ Medical experts vouch for the benefits of including protein rich foods such as white fish and tofu in the diet. Unlike most animal proteins, they are easily processed by the digestive system.
✔ Coconut water has always been a time-tested treatment for most digestive disorders like ischemic colitis.
✔ Other Easily Digestible Foods
- Apple (without skin)
- Chicken (steamed)
- Ripe pears
- Scrambled egg
- Soda crackers
- White rice
It is equally important for people with ischemic colitis to be aware of foods they must avoid while recovering from the ailment. Such foods include those which are not easily digestible, are inflammatory, and cause gas. Common examples may include:
- Alcohol or caffeine-based drinks
- Citrus juices
- Collard greens
- Fried food
- Full-fat dairy products
- Ice cream
- Mashed potatoes
- Mustard seeds
- Raw vegetables
- Spicy food
- Whole grains
Causal Agents and Indicants of Ischemic Colitis
Ischemic colitis could be an outcome of several diseases. Some of them include colon cancer, hypercoagulable state, diabetes mellitus, hernia, and vasculitis. In some cases, it may be a side effect of radiation treatment. Administration of medications such as pseudoephedrine, antipsychotic drugs, blood pressure pills, migraine medications, estrogen replacement medications and heart drug digoxin could also cause the same.
Common symptoms that occur because of the inflammation may include abdominal pain, tenderness and cramping. The onset of these symptoms may be sudden or they may occur gradually. Affected people may also notice blood in their feces, and at times they may pass blood without stool. Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting which may be accompanied by a mild fever, could also occur.
Mild cases are resolved with medications such as those to control high blood pressure, and antibiotics to prevent any infection. Hospitalization is required in case the patient has dehydration. However, if the condition prolongs, and does not improve, then the patient may have to undergo a surgery to remove the affected part of the colon. And to conclude, an ischemic colitis diet also stresses the importance of drinking to 8 – 9 glasses of water everyday. Instead of gulping down your food, chew them properly and slowly. And instead of having three large meals a day, have 5 – 6 smaller and nutritious meals.