Intestinal Bleeding Diet vs. Elemental (Bowel Rest) Diet – which diet is best for your symptoms? Hi everyone! Linsy here, and I’m back to answer another great question sent in by one of our LTYG readers. This week’s question is from a reader who has been dealing with intestinal bleeding, and it reads:

“Hello, Jini. I am from India. I have been suffering from ulcerative colitis for 3 years. Can you please suggest to me what food I should eat during flare-ups and during the healing phase? Since yesterday I am bleeding more frequently and heavily, even though I am on a fast since yesterday. Can you please tell me what should I do to stop bleeding?”

Many people with IBD experience bleeding, including myself, so I really wanted to delve further into this topic for anyone else who may be experiencing bleeding.

Jini’s response was:

Hi – let me direct you to my home remedy page for ulcerative colitis. There you will find the 8 key steps that nearly everyone with inflammatory bowel disease needs to implement in order to heal their gut. There’s also a free, downloadable Colitis quick-start guide with tons more info. You’d also benefit from reading my home remedy page for intestinal bleeding.

My book, Listen to Your Gut, also features a section on foods to help with intestinal bleeding.

Chapter 3 of Jini’s book, Listen to Your Gut, offers several diet plans based on certain symptoms – one of which being her Stop Intestinal Bleeding Diet, which can be found on page 230. She also offers a Reduce Diarrhea Diet, and a Reduce Gas and Bloating Diet plan.

I personally read her book in a matter of days when I was bedridden sick! I was so hungry for answers, and her book was just such a gift for me. I’ll share a snippet from her book to whet your appetite:

“This diet (stop intestinal bleeding) is for you to use if you’re experiencing intermittent intestinal bleeding or a type and volume of bleeding that you’ve had before several times and that you know is no cause for immediate or undue alarm.

If, however, you’re experiencing bleeding that would classify as hemorrhaging or your weight and hemoglobin are dropping rapidly, then you need to follow the steps outlined in the Bowel Rest Elemental Diet.”

Intestinal Bleeding DietSo, depending on the severity of your symptoms, there are two diet recommendations.

The Stop Intestinal Bleeding Diet

This diet incorporates whole foods, which can sometimes exacerbate bleeding. So, as Jini recommends, use this diet for intermittent intestinal bleeding or low-volume bleeding only.

I’ve personally used this diet during the times where I had light but consistent bleeding or intermittent bleeding here and there, and it was extremely helpful to me.

Elemental (Bowel Rest) Diet

If you are hemorrhaging, you’ve had blood loss for an extended period of time, or you’re having extreme weight loss and/or a hemoglobin drop, the bowel rest elemental diet would be more fitting. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes whole foods can exacerbate bleeding, and we don’t want that!

The bowel rest elemental diet allows for exactly what it says – bowel rest – so you can give your body some time to heal without continuously re-tearing or injuring yourself while digesting food or going to the bathroom.

For myself, I did have some hemorrhaging, but it was more time-extended blood loss. I was bleeding a full year or more! So by that point, there was no way I could tolerate a lot of whole foods. My system was barely operating, and I needed that energy to HEAL…not work on digesting food 24-7.

Go Back to Basics

At this time you need to go back to basics, as I say when it comes to food.

Jini has mentioned quite a few times in her books and videos to remember when you were a baby – all you had was liquid or soft meals! So when things are wounded, take it back to foods that were soft enough when you were a baby to ensure anything passing through your system will not interrupt the healing process.

If you’re looking for some food ideas, I highly recommend watching my video, What to Do During a Crohns, Colitis Flare – HACK # 6, where I go into what foods and diets have been helpful to me while flaring. Soothing Foods to Eat While Healing the Gut is another good video to watch.

The Health Benefits of Broth

Another great healing agent is bone broth. When I was having a lot of issues and felt I needed a break from the shakes, sometimes I just drank bone broth! Of course, consult a doctor on all these tips, but if you are having a hard time tolerating everything else (and you can tolerate bone broth) perhaps you may want to try that for a few days. This is something I personally do, on occasion.

The health benefits of homemade bone broth are endless, and it also helps to stimulate the appetite between Absorb Plus shakes, which is why Jini recommends drinking them in her book, The IBD Remission Diet. If you just consume sweet tastes all the time, you’ll hit satiety quite quickly and just not be able to face the thought of yet another shake!

You can download Jini’s Broth Recipe ebook for free here. These recipes are just more tools you can add to your toolkit that would be very gentle on an ulcerated and wounded colon.

Additional Resources

It really helped me, so I definitely recommend watching Jini’s 8 Key Steps to Healing IBD to get all the steps you need to execute a plan.

In addition, I would highly recommend that you purchase Jini’s book, Listen to Your Gut, and read the pages I recommended earlier in the Stop Intestinal Bleeding Diet section of her book. In the book, you will find more details such as how long to remain on the diet and what to look out for.

If you are currently dealing with intestinal bleeding, I really hope all of this information was helpful to you. Drop a comment if you have any questions, and until next time – happy healing, and always listen to your gut!