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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What can I eat to manage my newly diagnosed ulcerative colitis?


    My name is Jovanka (known as Jane) and have been diagnosed with Ulcertative Colitis in the last week.

    I had a colonoscopy and it was found that it was located through my whole large bowel.

    I am currently on antibiotics, steroids (40mg) per day and another anti-inflammatory, called salofalk (I think that is how you spell it).

    I am frightened by my bleeding symptoms and am about to go back to work tommorow. I have two beautiful daughters (5 & 15) and a husband who need me.

    Could you please advise how my symptoms can improve and what it is that I can eat to assist or ease the symptoms. Currently I have been advised to avoid lactose and am therefore subsituting with soy based products.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Jovanka Vuksic

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Haley

    I just had another stint in hospital - almost two weeks. The prednisone (50 mg) was not stopping the bleeding but what actually brought me back to the hospital was I had chest pains over two nights (obviously thought I was having a heart attack or something) and it was pericarditis, which is an inflammation on the chest wall. I then found out that this goes hand in hand with the ulcerative colitis. It would have been nice to know this. I also developed pneumonia and even had a little blood clot in my lung (which thankfully cleared by itself). I was pumped with 400mg of steroids daily while in hospital (they first did it for 24 hours and then changed it to oral 60 mg. But after discovering my pneumonia etc, they changed it back to the IV steroids 400 mg (4 times daily 100mg). I am currently on 70mg steroids orally until I see my gastro doc on Thursday. What I cant believe is that I was a perfectly healthy person - working full time and going to the gym 3 times a week and to be suddenly brought down so hard, I could not believe. I guess it can happen to anyone unfortunately, no one is immune from anything. Depending on what my stools are like between now and when I see the doc, will depend on if he changes me to the infliximab (IV treatment - I call it chemo, but its not). The problem with this treatment is it brings your immune system down even further and as you can imagine all the other complications that this may bring. But above all I am hoping for a change in the better. I feel for you as you have a four month old. All children need their mums. I hope you are feeling better - let me know how you are so we can compare notes. I still have diarrhea at the moment and have lost around 7 kgs all up since being diagnosed, but my biggest drop was since last Thursday, which was about 3.5kg. I cant work out if I am still bleeding as the diarrhea is like orange coloured, so I guess there must be some blood still there but not as obvious. Take care and I look forward to hearing from you.

  • 4


    Sandra Barrett

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Jovanka,

    iwas as diagnosed with UC 21 years ago now, I was a new mum 2 a 3 month old baby girl, I was devasted to find out I had UC, but all these years later, I'm a lot better than I was, I watch what I eat, I have dairy but only when I'm not having a flare up, I eat only fish and chicken as I find red meat is hard to digest, grain breads affect me as well. It was all a matter of trial and error though. You will soon find out what triggers your flare ups, my biggest piece of advice is to avoid stress as I find this is the biggest trigger, see you doctor regularly and have regular blood tests, you can live a normal life. I'm nearly 50 now and have a colonoscopy every few years and still ok so good luck and enjoy life.


  • 1


    gwendoline marshall

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Haley, I also have the same condition, it was first diagnosed in 1969.

    It's a condition you learn to live with 

    It is managed by my specialist with drugs that are very effective.

    I was 26 years of age and had three young children at the time, the youngest being only 15 months old.

    Listen to your doctors, keep fit, eat well and take great care of yourself first. 

    Don't panic or worry as I have now lived with ulcer colitis for over 45 years. 

    I have regular check-ups and always keep on track with my medications. 

    Above all keep a positive attitude. 

    Good luck, keep smiling. 

    I hope this helps in some small way.  


  • 1


    For more than 25 years, Crohn’s & Colitis Australia™ (formerly the Australian Crohn’s and Colitis Association) has been making life more liveable for more than … View Profile

    Hello Jane

    Steroids are fast acting and very effective so within a few days most people see an improvement in their symptoms (e.g. bleeding, any abdominal pain & diarrhoea will lessen and then settle), however it may take longer in some individuals particularly if the colitis is extensive and involves the whole large bowel.  It’s also usually at its worst when first diagnosed, but with treatment and ongoing supervision by your gastroenterologist, you will hopefully, like most people with ulcerative colitis, respond very well to the medication.     You do not need to avoid lactose unless you are lactose intolerant – a breath test can be done to check for that (ask your GP). 

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