One way to know whether your gut is inflamed or not is to do a stool test. Inflammatory markers can sometimes be found with blood tests, but testing the stool for these markers is more accurate. Both lysozyme and calprotectin are markers of gut inflammation.
Intestinal inflammation occurs in both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s diseases. Both of these conditions are a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Ulcerative colitis only affects the colon. Crohn’s Disease can be active anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the rectum.
If you have inflammatory bowel disease, you should do food allergy testing. Identify any significant allergies and remove those foods from your diet. I suggest doing IgE and IgG serum-based food allergy testing.
If there are foods that you know cause a flare in your intestinal symptoms, then you also need to stay away from them. Alcohol, caffeine, heavy foods like fatty pork, take-out food, candy, and soda drinks, should all be avoided if you have inflamed intestines. I recommend avoiding eggs for at least a few weeks. I also tell my clients to stop eating dairy products and a variety of other foods, including bananas, oranges, peanuts, soy, and legumes.
Foods that you should be eating with IBD are cooling, soothing, anti-inflammatory foods. For example, oily, omega-3 rich fish species are good for an inflamed bowel. I also recommend including lighter meats like fish and chicken in your diet. If you’re a vegan, you can have tempeh, a cultured form of tofu. Although I generally say to avoid soy in the diet, tempeh is suitable for vegans with an inflamed bowel.
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Be careful with nuts, seeds, and certain grains if you have IBD.
Often people with IBD lose weight when the disease flares. You don’t want to lose too much weight and end up deconditioned with reduced muscle mass. Including carbs in your diet can give you energy and prevent excessive weight loss. Quinoa and brown rice are both suitable for people with IBD.
Other anti-inflammatory foods to include in our diet include blueberries, pomegranates, garlic, ginger, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, spinach, and kale.
Foods that are high in vitamin A are good for the mucous membrane lining the intestines. Sources of vitamin A include carrots and sweet potatoes. Foods that contain vitamin E, such a wheatgerm, are also good for an inflamed bowel. In general, it is a good idea to include foods high in fat-soluble vitamins in your diet if you have IBD. Fatty fish, flaxseed oil, and walnut all contain fat-soluble vitamins.
Drink green tea but avoid alcohol, coffee, and regular tea if your bowels are inflamed.