Recommended Diet for Lymphocytic Colitis

Oatmeal with bananas
A bowl of banana oatmeal. (Image: minadezhda/iStock/Getty Images)

Lymphocytic colitis occurs when all or part of your large or small intestines becomes inflamed. Symptoms include fecal incontinence, abdominal pain, watery diarrhea, weight loss and nausea. After performing a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy to properly diagnose you with this condition, your doctor will recommend that you to alter your diet in addition to treating you with anti-inflammatory drugs and anti-diarrhea medications.

Foods to Avoid

Your lymphocytic colitis diet begins with the elimination of foods medical professionals believe worsen diarrhea, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. These foods include dairy products, high-fat foods, such as baked goods or whole eggs and caffeine. Refrain from eating foods that could irritate your stomach, such as fried foods or spicy foods. Additionally, restrict your consumption of high-fiber foods, such as beans, vegetables and nuts. These foods are hard to digest and could worsen your condition. Finally, do not drink alcohol, because it can dehydrate you and worsen lymphocytic colitis symptoms.

Foods to Eat

The University of Michigan's Health System suggests that you augment your diet with foods high in certain nutrients lost with excessive diarrhea. However, ask your doctor to test you for mineral and vitamin deficiencies before you increase your intake of these vitamin- and mineral-rich foods. If your doctor finds you potassium-deficient, elevate your consumption of potassium-rich foods such as green, leafy vegetables and cereals. If you are magnesium-deficient, eat more nuts and cereals.

Consume soft, easy-to-digest foods, such as bananas, applesauce and rice, and drink plenty of fluids, such as water, watered-down fruit juice and broth to help you remain asymptomatic, according to MayoClinic.com. Finally, ask your doctor if you should drink over-the-counter nutritional supplement drinks to help you achieve your suggested daily caloric intake.

Considerations

Although medical professionals do not know what causes lymphocytic colitis, certain medications appear to initiate its onset. These medications include ibuprofen, aspirin, anti-depressant medications and prescription and over-the-counter antacids. Therefore, speak to your doctor about other types of drugs available to replace these medications from your at-home treatment regimen.

Warning

Speak with your doctor about how the recommended lymphocytic colitis diet fits into your prescribed treatment plan before you begin the program. Your doctor might suggest that you hire a registered dietitian with expertise in this condition to help you create a dietary plan and recipe ingredient replacement list to help you better manage your lymphocytic colitis symptoms.

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