Dietary Habits in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis—Cause of Nutrient Deficiency?


Background: Up to 60% of patients with ulcerative colitis are seen with nutrient deficiency; however, no specific diet is recommended. The aim of this study was to obtain knowledge on whether restriction or addition of specific food items might contribute to malnutrition in these patients. Methods: A qualitative semi-structured interview study of outpatient clinic patients with ulcerative colitis aimed to investigate preferences for or avoidance of specific food items related to abdominal symptoms. Results: The study included 25 patients (12 M, 13 F), average age 46.7 years (SD 15.6). Duration of disease ranged from 1 to 35 years. Restriction of food items was mainly due to discomfort associated with bowel symptoms, e.g. diarrhoea caused by sugar, dairies, alcohol, spices, red meat, and bread. Restrictions were based mainly on personal experience rather than professional guidance or knowledge search. Addition of specific food items most often included vitamin supplements. Only 20% took supplementary calcium, although many restricted the consumption of dairies from their diet. Conclusion: Many patients with ulcerative colitis restrict consumption of dairy products from their diet. This may lead to calcium deficiency. No other dietary restrictions, which might explain specific nutrient deficiencies, were identified.

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Bach, U. , Jensen, H. , Rasmussen, H. , Fallingborg, J. and Holst, M. (2014) Dietary Habits in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis—Cause of Nutrient Deficiency?. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 1945-1950. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.520206.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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