Survey of Diet Related Triggers for Colitis Flare-up

Flare-up Dietary Triggers

Dietary triggers to flare-ups

The survey on this page gives a list of dietary triggers that caused flare-ups to start, not food that added extra symptoms to an existing flare.

Interesting information

Though it can be interesting to see which foods cause UCers symptoms and flare-ups, the wide variety of answers in the survey proves just how individual the triggers are.

For those UCers who believe that their diet plays a role in their symptoms (I'm one of them), the survey may be useful in highlighting foods that we hadn't thought of as a trigger before. Apart from that, only trial and error by individual Colitis sufferers will prove which foods can cause problems - if at all (for many UCers, diet has nothing to do with what triggers their flare-ups).

So, please treat the survey as interesting information, and not as a guide to what you should cut out of your diet! Every single case of Colitis is different, which probably makes the survey about as useful as a chocolate teapot - which incidentally, didn't come up in the survey!

Popular answers

I found it interesting that the categories at the top include processed sugar, alcohol and dairy. I think it's fair to say that outside of UC, they can be the cause of illness. In reference to Colitis, for many UCers they can and do cause symptoms.

It's not exactly front page news that as a general guide for health, too much processed sugar is bad for us. For my overall health, I now try to stick to foods that contain vitamins and minerals, which I believe also compliments the state of my Colitis. I rarely eat processed sugar because there are no vitamins or minerals in it; in fact we waste valuable vitamins and minerals processing the sugar through our system.

I made a page about alcohol and colitis a while back because for some of us, it can be a big part of our lives (special occasions etc.) and just like food there are many different types of alcohol, some of which on paper at least, may cause less symptoms than others for UCers.

Dairy is another food type that I have eliminated from my diet, I don't think it ever caused a flare-up but it would add symptoms to a flare e.g. extra mucus. It doesn't surprise me that some UCers find it causes flares. Fortunately it's still possible to have a varied diet without it.

Right, that's enough waffle I hear you say!! Okay, let's get on with the survey results....

Survey Results

Note: 87 answers were given but some UCers gave more than one answer, which means there were less than 87 UCers.

The category 'other' refers to various one-off answers, however it's possible that some would fall into the same category as the multiple answers e.g. one UCer gave 'starches' as a trigger, but starch can be in many foods. Because there is no way of knowing which particular food contained the starch, it gets it's own category.

I've listed all the one-off answers from the 'other' category underneath the chart.

Colitis Flare Trigger Survey

List of items in the category 'other':

  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Berries with seeds
  • Coca cola
  • Corn
  • Fruit
  • Fatty meats
  • Grains
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Indian curry - from street stalls
  • Junk food
  • Meat
  • Nightshade vegetables (tomato, potato, peppers etc.)
  • Nuts / seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Potato
  • Red meat
  • Rice
  • Salad
  • Soy
  • Spices
  • Starches
  • Watermelon
  • Wheat
  • Wine
  • Xmas dinner