Top Supplements For Ulcerative Colitis

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Top Ulcerative Colitis Supplements

It is essential to eat healthily in order to feel well. Making nutritional choices isn't always easy when you're suffering from stomach cramps and discomfort as a result of an ulcerative colitis flare-up.

If you limit your food intake to avoid flare-ups, your diet may be deficient in some nutrients. Loss of appetite, diarrhea, and problems with vitamin absorption can all lead to shortages during a flare-up. Furthermore, several popular ulcerative colitis treatments, according to Amar Naik, MD, an assistant professor and gastroenterology at Loyola Medicine in Maywood, Illinois, might decrease your vitamin and mineral levels. Because of these variables, many patients with ulcerative colitis are looking for a silver bullet to make up the gap.

Nutritional supplements can help you feel better and manage your symptoms, according to Kristi King, RDN, a senior dietitian at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. However, before modifying your diet or adopting herbal cures for ulcerative colitis, you should consult with your doctor or a dietitian. She emphasizes that when combined with standard treatment, nutritional control and herb usage are more likely to be beneficial for ulcerative colitis.

4 Big Nutritional Deficiencies to Watch Out For

According to Razvan Arsenescu, MD, PhD, codirector of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Center at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown, New Jersey, vitamin D insufficiency is very frequent in persons with ulcerative colitis. According to a research published in March 2021 in Revista Médica de Chile, 75% of patients with inflammatory bowel disease had low or poor vitamin D levels. According to Dr. Arsenescu, inflammation may hinder you from absorbing vitamin D from your meals. Skipping dairy products, such as vitamin D–fortified milk, to avoid diarrhea might also make you hungry. The problem is that you need D to maintain bone health and digest calcium.

Furthermore, vitamin D may benefit your mental health, according to a study published in Nutrients in October 2021. Across all of the trials examined, reviewers discovered that vitamin D supplementation improved mood while decreasing anxiety and sadness. Learn more!

2. Calcium

If your lactose intolerant or using a drug that interferes with calcium absorption, such as corticosteroids, your calcium level may be low, according to King. You may need to take calcium supplements to ensure you achieve your daily requirements, she says. Talk to your doctor about calcium, which is also crucial for bone health. Learn more!

3. B Vitamins

According to the National Institutes of Health, B vitamins aid in the production of energy from meals. Vitamin B12, in particular, is essential for cell health as well as the production of DNA and other genetic material. However, if you've had surgery on your small bowel, you may be lacking in B12; if so, you may require monthly injections to rectify this shortfall. According to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, you may require folate, or folic acid, if you're on sulfasalazine, which can prevent you from adequately absorbing this important B vitamin. A lack of folate might make you feel weak and weary. Folate supplements, as well as fortified cereals, can help you reach your needs, according to King. Learn more!

4. Iron

Heavy bleeding from ulcerative colitis might result in iron loss, according to Dr. Naik. Iron is required for red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body. An iron shortage can cause fatigue as well as other symptoms such as heart palpitations. Test for iron deficiency and, if necessary, follow your doctor's instructions for treating both ulcerative colitis and iron shortage. Learn more!

Ulcerative Colitis Nutritional Supplements to Consider

According to the most recent professional guidelines for the management of ulcerative colitis, there are no definitive answers regarding alternative therapy. For the time being, just a few stand out as having some potential:

  • Fatty Acids Omega-3 They may aid in the reduction of inflammation associated with ulcerative colitis, although the amount of omega-3s required is unknown. I tell them that increasing omega-3 fatty acids from fish or canola oil isn't going to damage them, King explains. Omega-3 supplements are also available.
  • Curcumin “This spice has the potential to be anti-inflammatory and is quite well tolerated,” Naik adds. Curcumin, a component of tumeric, has been linked to a threefold increase in the risk of cancer benefit from mesalamine therapy in a study published in the Annals of Gastroenterology in January 2020. Despite the scant evidence, curcumin has anti-inflammatory qualities that may be beneficial to some people. Turmeric may be used in soups, stews, poultry meals, rice, veggies, or roasted potatoes.
  • Probiotics have been viewed skeptically by clinical guidelines for ulcerative colitis since their benefit has not been demonstrated and not all strains offered in a supermarket are the same. However, advances in technology and our understanding of gut bacteria have paved the path for customized probiotic supplements that may be used in addition to standard treatment. A research published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine in October 2021 discovered that the unique composition of a medication called FEEDColon helped patients sustain remission.
  • Other Herbs Researchers are always looking for viable herbal substitutes. A research published in the American Journal of Translational Research in December 2018 discovered that the menthol in peppermint helped mend ulcers and decrease both oxidative stress and inflammation in mice. Other small trials have suggested that a herbal treatment containing myrrh, chamomile extract, and coffee charcoal may help reduce recurrence in people with inactive ulcerative colitis. Much more study, however, is required to corroborate these conclusions.

Should I Talk to My Doctor About Supplements?

It's critical to approach your nutrition and supplements as a team, according to Naik. Before taking any supplement, see your doctor and ask, "How do I know whether it's working?" "Will it interact with my ulcerative colitis medications?" And keep in mind that, while some herbs and minerals may make you feel better, they will not prevent flares or cure your condition, according to Naik.

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