UC and Pregnancy: Eating Well to Gain the Right Amount of Weight
Ulcerative Colitis and Pregnancy Nutrition continued...
Fruits and vegetables. If they bother you, try fruit or
vegetable juice instead. Just make sure it's 100% juice, with no added
"Sugar is not a good thing for patients with IBD," Mikolaitis tells WebMD.
Bacteria seem to be partial to disaccharides, a kind of sugar that includes
table sugar. "And we think bacteria play a big role in the flare-ups of the
disease," she says.
Drink pasteurized juice so you don't get E. coli or another
food-borne illness, which may be dangerous for your baby.
Fish. Your doctor may have recommended that you eat more fish because
it is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are thought to reduce inflammation,
which can be beneficial for an inflammatory disease like ulcerative
But you need to make sure you don't eat fish that are high in mercury during
pregnancy. Stick to low-mercury fish such as salmon, canned light tuna,
pollock, catfish, and shrimp. Avoid high-mercury varieties such as king
mackerel, tilefish, shark, swordfish, and albacore ("white") tuna.
Finally, make sure you are drinking enough water. Having active ulcerative
colitis during pregnancy could mean more diarrhea. This can lead to dehydration
if you don’t replace the fluid you lose.
Supplementing Your Ulcerative Colitis Pregnancy Diet
Whether you are trying to conceive or are already pregnant, your diet is
going to need a little boost from a vitamin supplement.
"All women considering conception should be started on a prenatal vitamin,
and our patients are no different," says Uma Mahadevan, MD, director of
clinical research at the Center for Colitis and Crohn's Disease and associate
professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
A daily prenatal vitamin can also help replace nutrients you lose through
Ask your doctor whether you need additional supplements if you're not
getting enough of certain nutrients. Vitamin D, calcium, potassium, and
magnesium deficiencies are all common in people with IBD.
You may also need extra folic acid, because UC and some medications you may
take for it make it harder for your body to absorb folic acid.