Gluten-Free Alert: Can a Gluten-Free Diet Help Ulcerative Colitis?
A gluten-free diet has been associated with inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis. Some people even suggest that non-celiac gluten sensitivity leads the sufferers to get exposed more to ulcerative disease. Consuming foods that do not contain gluten is often chosen to minimize the risk. But, can a gluten-free diet help ulcerative colitis? Get the answer below!
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
You need to keep in mind that symptoms of ulcerative colitis are various, depending on the specific condition that you are suffering from. However, there are common symptoms that are often found in the disease. These include cramping, bloat, severe diarrhea, and abdominal pain. To diagnose ulcerative colitis, doctors will usually do an endoscopy or colonoscopy to find specific signs that show someone is having the disease.
There will be no blood test needed to diagnose ulcerative colitis. As for non-celiac gluten sensitivity, there will be no medical test accepted. The only way you can know if you are sensitive to gluten, you need to follow a strict gluten-free diet. If you feel much better after following the diet, it can be assumed that you are having non-celiac gluten sensitivity issues. However, some people argue that non-celiac sensitivity comes with similar symptoms with celiac disease.
But, unlike the non-celiac sensitivity, to know the celiac disease suffered by someone without conducting a blood test. One thing you need to keep in mind that someone who has the condition is always tested positive. To get a more accurate result, you can have a biopsy or endoscopy test to see the actual condition of your intestine.
Ulcerative Colitis and Gluten – What Is the Correlation?
Several studies show that non-celiac sensitivity has a strong relation with ulcerative colitis. A group of doctors in the United Kingdom and Italy even reveal that 28% of their patients that suffer from inflammatory bowel disease are also sensitive to gluten. It means that the symptoms found in the patients will get worse when consuming foods containing gluten. Not only that but some cases of non-celiac sensitivity reported by the patients themselves also show association with more severe Crohn’s disease. However, the gluten-free diet recommended to the patients show positive results.
Can the Diet Help Ulcerative Colitis?
So, can a gluten-free diet help ulcerative colitis? Well, doctors have seen in many cases that a gluten-free diet can be used to improve symptoms related to inflammatory bowel disease. A study conducted by the University of California on 1,647 volunteers with ulcerative colitis shows a significant improvement in their digestive symptoms after following this gluten-free diet. Not only that those respondents also reveal that the diet also helps them with fatigue issues.
The research by the University of California also shows that the non-gluten compounds found in the gluten grains might lead people with ulcerative colitis to suffer from intestinal inflammation. In this way, avoiding gluten-free products will reduce intestinal inflammation in people with ulcerative colitis. Hence, it can be concluded that a gluten-free diet can help people to deal with their ulcerative colitis disease.