My Life: Managing Ulcerative Colitis With Drugs
At the time, I was receiving Remicade infusions for the managing of the Ulcerative Colitis condition that I had been dealing with for over 10 years. Ulcerative Colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease characterized by abdominal cramping and bloody diarrhea. Remicade is not a treatment it only manages the symptoms therefore, it does not address the root problem.
To give you some history, I had been dealing with digestive issues since 1999 when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. To manage and hide symptoms throughout those years, I went through the typical pyramid of conventional medications, beginning with Asacol, Colazol and Prednisone. Finally, Remicade was prescribed in 2006 when a major flare-up landed me in the ER. In the hospital, I was first given the highest dosage of IV Prednisone possible in attempts to stop the bleeding and cramping. When that wasnt successful, they told me the only other option besides surgery was Remicade, an intravenous drug that suppresses the immune system. It had just recently been approved for Ulcerative Colitis when previously it was only approved for Crohns Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Remicade managed my symptoms, bleeding, and abdominal pain. However, I soon realized that I wanted out of the managing symptoms cycle. You may be wondering why would I want to risk flaring, risk spending more time in a hospital, risk more pain and bleeding, and risk facing many health uncertainties.
Gaps Heals Ulcerative Colitis
So, I prepared for GAPS. Fortunately, I was living the traditional food lifestyle already, so the transition wasnt as shocking as I can imagine it could be. However, there were still many procedures, routines, and foods which the GAPS diet highly stresses and I needed time to consistently incorporate them into my life. After a few months of preparing, I started the GAPS Introduction phase on March 1st, 2011. There, my GAPS journey began.
As I look back at this year on GAPS, the food aspect was of course challenging. Obstacles, trials and of days of utter frustrations with food were always present. It wasnt easy. I remember staring often into my refrigerator thinking I have nothing to eat! even though I just spent HOURS preparing food ahead for several days. Sometimes, especially in the beginning, I just got tired of stock and ferments. I specifically remember a time when I had a minor breakdown over acorn squash! I couldnt find jars full of acorn squash that I had roasted over the weekend. I prepared them ahead of time so that I would have some ready for meals during my busy work week. Oh, that was a fun morning, when I realized that I would just need to cook and prepare even MORE food that I already had in the previous days.
While I once managed symptoms with the icy cold Remicade infusions, I was now finding true health through the warmth of the deeply nourishing homemade stocks.
Diet Recommendations For Ulcerative Colitis Flare
- Follow a low residue diet to relieve abdominal pain and diarrhea.
- Avoid foods that may increase stool output such as fresh fruits and vegetables, prunes and caffeinated beverages.
- Try incorporating more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. These fats may have an anti-inflammatory effect. They are found in fish, including salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines.
- Patients often find that smaller, more frequent meals are better tolerated. This eating pattern can help increase the amount of nutrition you receive in a day.
- Consider taking nutritional supplements if appetite is poor and solid foods are not tolerated well .
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How Is Ulcerative Colitis Treated
Theres no cure for ulcerative colitis, but treatments can calm the inflammation, help you feel better and get you back to your daily activities. Treatment also depends on the severity and the individual, so treatment depends on each persons needs. Usually, healthcare providers manage the disease with medications. If your tests reveal infections that are causing problems, your healthcare provider will treat those underlying conditions and see if that helps.
The goal of medication is to induce and maintain remission, and to improve the quality of life for people with ulcerative colitis. Healthcare providers use several types of medications to calm inflammation in your large intestine. Reducing the swelling and irritation lets the tissue heal. It can also relieve your symptoms so you have less pain and less diarrhea. For children, teenagers and adults, your provider may recommend:
Children and young teenagers are prescribed the same medications. In addition to medications, some doctors also recommend that children take vitamins to get the nutrients they need for health and growth that they may not have gotten through food due to the effects of the disease on the bowel. Ask your healthcare provider for specific advice about the need for vitamin supplementation for your child.
You might need surgery that removes your colon and rectum to:
- Avoid medication side effects.
- Prevent or treat colon cancer .
- Eliminate life-threatening complications such as bleeding.
The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol How Food Affects The Immune System
Eating with regard to the immune system came into its own within the Paleo community from around 2010-2015.
There were so many who came into the early Paleo world with some kind of autoimmune disease.
There are certain foods that overstimulate the immune system for people with IBD and autoimmune disease in general.
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Energy And General Health
If youre following a restricted or relatively bland diet to help cope with a flare of ulcerative colitis symptoms, or youre on a liquid-only diet as your body heals from surgery, you may be getting fewer calories and nutrition. As a result, you might not have as much energy as you typically do.
Its important that you try your best to eat enough each day to meet your bodys nutrition and energy needs. Not only to help manage ulcerative colitis but to maintain your overall health.
Complications from IBD, such as infections, may be more likely if your body is weakened from malnourishment, vitamin deficiencies, and dehydration.
Preventing nutritional deficiencies may help prevent flares: In 2017, research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center indicated that people with ulcerative colitis who are in remission may be more likely to experience a relapse of symptoms if they are deficient in vitamin D.
It Can Be Challenging To Differentiate Between Crohn’s And Uc
Our summary of the two conditions is below. You can also read a more detailed explanation about the differences between Colitis and Crohn’s Disease here.
Our summary of the two conditions is below. You can also read a more detailed explanation about the differences between Colitis and Crohn’s Disease here.
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Fermented Foods Can Help Balance Gut Bacteria
Fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut contain active probiotics, considered good bacteria, which can be helpful for some people with digestive problems, according to the Brigham and Womens Health Crohns and Colitis Center. Probiotic foods add good bacteria to the digestive tract, which can improve the health of the whole body, says Kelly Kennedy, RDN, staff nutritionist with Everyday Health.
According to Frontiers of Microbiology, live probiotics in the gut can help regulate the immune system, too. Since UC is an autoimmune disease, people living with the condition may benefit from extra immune support.
Fermented foods are great by themselves kombucha tea, for example or as a garnish to any healthy dish, like kimchi over rice.
Eating In Periods Of Remission
If youre in remission and your symptoms are light or even gone, give yourself the best chance at maintain that state by continuing to eat a nutritious and diverse diet. Consider the food you eat as the most powerful of medicines!
With all ulcerative colitis diets, we need to be sure work new foods in very slowly. Stay hydrated. Talk to your nutritionist, dietitian or healthcare professional before making any drastic changes to your diet, and of course, remember to keep up with your food journal.
These are examples of foods that may help you stay healthy, hydrated and in remission:
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Can Food Cure Crohn’s Or Colitis
You may come across diets that claim to cure Crohns or Colitis, but there isnt any evidence to prove that these work. A healthy, balanced diet will give you nutrients that are important to help you stay well.Some people find that making small changes to their diet, for example avoiding spicy food, helps them cope with their symptoms. If cutting out a food makes no difference to your symptoms, make sure you start eating it again to avoid missing out on important nutrients.There are times when your IBD team or dietitian may advise you to change your diet, for example, after surgery or if you have a narrowing in your small intestine, called a stricture. Some people, such as children or people with Crohns, may benefit from a liquid diet, called exclusive enteral nutrition.Always speak to your GP or a dietitian before making any big changes to your diet.
Ive tried just about all the different diets for Ulcerative Colitis and just gone round in a complete circle, not finding any success, only causing problems and stress! I now realise the most important thing is to eat a balanced diet and enjoy my food!
Ulcerative Colitis Is A Whole
The majority of the books and internet content related to healing inflammatory bowel disease focus too much on tangential and minor topics and generally neglect how all the parts fit together and work as a whole.
They are generally over-focused on quick fixes, complicated and convoluted diets and near-magical food supplements that are over-hyped and dont deliver.
Other websites give general, trite advice that isnt grounded in any kind of real experience.
Sometimes UC advice that you read contradicts other advice youve come across.
Sometimes the conflicting opinions are on the same website.
The only effective approach to healing IBD naturally is a holistic, whole-life approach.
This approach necessarily includes a significant focus on foods, food quality and diet.
It requires persistence and long-term consistency on the order of years and to heal ulcerative colitis with diet
And it requires major lifestyle changes.
In my experience, medical marijuana can make a significant difference and catalyze deep healing when used effectively also.
Incidentally, I hear from people pretty routinely who are on one or more medications and still find they need to make dietary changes to fully eliminate digestive symptoms.
Medication or not, diet is a major factor in managing and healing UC.
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Ulcerative Colitis Crohns Disease Or Something Else
The colon, also known as the large intestine, has three parts or section: ascending colon , transverse , descending colon , and the sigmoid colon just before the rectum.
Ulcerative colitis symptoms in each person will be different depending on where inflammation occurs and how bad it is. The most common symptoms include:
There are common complications that tend to come with UC, even though they are not actually a direct result of this chronic health condition. Fever, fatigue, and anemia are perhaps the most common additional symptoms. Additionally, inflammation beyond the colon often shows up as skin sores, skin rashes, mouth sores, joint pain, red and painful eyes, and sometimes even liver disease.
While both are referred to as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD, and Ulcerative colitis is related to Crohns disease, they are still different. Crohns disease, unlike ulcerative colitis, is not limited to the colon and is a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines or the entire GI tract. Crohns often affects the small intestine and colon although occasionally it, too, is limited to the colon.
How To Cure Ulcerative Colitis Naturally
This article is about how to cure ulcerative colitis naturally. In 2010 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and after 1 year of being housebound and shitting blood 30-40 times a day, I thankfully discovered a natural way to cure it.
I have been mostly symptom free for the last 7 years, however sometimes I have had a very slight flare up if I went through a period of intense emotional stress or if I stopped following my protocol and go back to my old bad ways . So according to this Oxford English dictionary definition I can safely say I am cured.
If you are someone who is suffering from ulcerative colitis right now and want to learn how to cure ulcerative colitis naturally without being dependent on medications long term, then you are in the right place.
In this article you will learn:
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The Agricultural Revolution And Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Though things like bread, milk and cheese seem like staples to us that have been around forever, on the evolutionary timeline these foods are very new.
Humans have only consumed milk, bread and cheese as staples for about 10,000 years.
Our ancestors were able to survive and thrive for over 2 million years on meat, vegetables and fruit.
As soon as agricultural products like wheat and dairy entered our lives on a large scale, digestive problems began to emerge.
Celiac is the oldest. UC and Crohns werent seen until the Industrial Revolution was well underway.
Note the dates in the Wikipedia excerpts below.
Do you see how modern inflammatory bowel disease is? How new?
Its the modern food and the stress and the modern lifestyles.
The following excerpts are from the Wikipedia entries on celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease, respectively.
- Humans first started to cultivate grains in the Neolithic period in the Fertile Crescent in Western Asia, and it is likely that coeliac disease did not occur before this time.
- The first description of ulcerative colitis occurred around the 1850s. ” rel=”nofollow”> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulcerative_colitis)
- Inflammatory bowel diseases were described by Giovanni Battista Morgagni and by Scottish physician T Kennedy Dalzie in 1913.
What About Fodmap Foods
You also may have heard of something called the low-FODMAP diet . FODMAPs are carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine and when they land in the colon where the colonic bacteria ferment the undigested sugars resulting in gas production. Some research shows that following this diet can help reduce symptoms in people with UC. According to researchers at Monash University in Australia:
High FODMAP foods include:
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Do Any Medications Have Nutritional Side Effects
Moderate to severe flares of IBD are often treated with corticosteroids , cholestyramine and 5-ASA compounds . These medications have nutritional side effects that should be addressed. If you use any of these medications, talk to your doctor or registered dietitian for treatment advice.
- Prednisone causes decreased absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the small intestine. It also causes increased losses of calcium, zinc, potassium and vitamin C. With continual use of high doses of prednisone, the result may be bone loss and development of bone disease. People on prednisone may need up to 1200 milligrams a day. Protein needs also are increased for people taking prednisone because it increases protein breakdown in the body.
- Cholestyramine decreases absorption of fat-soluble vitamins , as well as folate, vitamin B-12, calcium and iron.
- Sulfasalazine interferes with folate absorption. People taking this drug also should take a 1 milligram folate supplement each day.
How Is Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosed
To diagnose ulcerative colitis in children, teenagers and adults, your healthcare provider has to rule out other illnesses. After a physical exam, your provider may order:
- Blood tests: Your blood can show signs of infection or anemia. Anemia is a low level of iron in your blood. It can mean you have bleeding in the colon or rectum.
- Stool samples: Signs of infection, parasites , and inflammation can show up in your poop.
- Imaging tests: Your healthcare provider may need a picture of your colon and rectum. You may have tests including a magnetic resonance imaging scan or computed tomography scan.
- Endoscopic tests: An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera. Specialized doctors can slide the endoscope in through the anus to check the health of the rectum and colon. Common endoscopic tests include colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy.
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