Did you know about the unwanted connection between weight loss and ulcerative colitis? If you have been diagnosed with this condition, be sure to read on to learn about how to prevent weight loss that can occur as a side effect.
What Are the Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease, and it causes ulcers and inflammation in the digestive tract—more specifically, in the rectum and large intestine.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, rectal pain and bleeding, fever, fatigue, and diarrhea, but appetite loss can also occur. And, what a lot of people don’t realize is that weight loss can also occur when you have this condition.
What Causes Weight Loss with Ulcerative Colitis?
According to InflammatoryBowelDisease.net, when you have an inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis, one of the side effects that you need to watch for is unwanted weight loss. This might be the result of malnutrition, which can occur when your body is incapable of absorbing enough of the nutrients that it needs to thrive. And, it might occur because your body is unable to absorb enough calories as well.
Losing weight might also be the result of:
- Intestinal bleeding
- Food aversion
- Poor appetite (in fact, roughly 1 in every 10 individuals with ulcerative colitis will experience appetite loss)
What Can You Do to Prevent Weight Loss from Ulcerative Colitis?
When it comes to preventing unwanted loss of weight while dealing with colitis, there are some things to keep in mind.
- First off, if you are experiencing a flare, it is a good idea to avoid eating foods that are high in fiber because doing so may lead to more diarrhea and bloating, and, therefore, more weight loss.
- Make sure your diet is packed with foods that are dense in nutrients, such as whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts, fruits, and veggies. These can help ensure your body will be able to absorb as many nutrients as possible.
- Make a smoothie with nutritious, natural ingredients to get calories into your system. Be sure to drink it slowly, rather than gulping it down like any other beverage, so you can jumpstart digestion.
- If you are dealing with a reduction in appetite, or if you are finding that you feel full right away, just aim to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, rather than three large meals.
- Try to eat more calories throughout the day. You can add more calories to a meal by adding extra ingredients, but make sure they’re healthy and natural, such as guacamole, hummus, a dressing, or nut butter.
Talk to Your Doctor for Additional Advice
If you are finding that you are losing too much weight because of a digestive disorder like colitis, be sure to consult with your physician for some expert guidance on how to maintain a healthy weight while reducing symptoms and flare-ups.