Herbal Remedies For Ulcerative Colitis
Herbal medicine refers to plants, leaves, stems, and fruit, which are used in medicinal ways. Herbal medicine is widely used among native populations and it is spreading across the Western society with 28.9 percent of U.S. citizens using herbal medicine regularly.
Herbal medicine may be able to offer you some symptom relief from your ulcerative colitis, but its important that you speak with your doctor or pharmacist prior to using herbal medicines. Sometimes, even these natural products can have negative interactions with medication you may be already on. Furthermore, because these medicines are natural, you could be allergic to them, so get tested for allergies prior to use.
Some herbal remedies for ulcerative colitis include:
Deal With Iron Deficiencies Too
UCs painful, even gut-wrenching symptoms dont always make it fun to eat. And, people with this chronic condition may lose blood in their stool, as well as absorb dietary iron poorly due to inflammation, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, foods rich in iron, like red meat, often trigger flareups. Together, this can cause anemia, a condition characterized by a low red blood cell count. Its a common issue with the UC communityand must be controlled to battle fatigue. If you have UC and super-low energy, talk to your doctor about iron supplements.
Complications With Ulcerative Colitis
- Ulcerative Colitis is an uncomfortable problem that involves diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation, vomiting, rectal pain and bleeding, fatigue and urgent bowel movements.
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
- Simple lifestyle changes and little change in diet can help in not only relieving the symptoms of Ulcerative colitis, but also managing the problem and lengthening the time between the flare ups. .
Things to Do in Ulcerative Colitis
- The best thing to do is to avoid stress as much as you can by practicing stress relieving techniques like yoga, meditation, deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
- Stress can be relieved by following a hobby of your choice, going for long walks or just by being close to your family
- Once stress is under control, the heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate becomes normal and blood and nutrients move into the core to support digestive function.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
Contact your provider if:
- You develop ongoing abdominal pain, new or increased bleeding, fever that does not go away, or other symptoms of ulcerative colitis
- You have ulcerative colitis and your symptoms worsen or do not improve with treatment
- You develop new symptoms
There is no known prevention for this condition.
Best Natural Ways To Treat Ulcerative Colitis
Natural Remedies can be used in order to control and treat symptoms of ulcerative colitis, read to know more.
Ulcerative colitis is a condition of inflammatory bowel diseases that affects your large intestine. This is a serious disease that could cause multiple complications at once and inflame the body. Lining of the large intestine is known as colon and ulcerative colitis affects this along with some symptoms of Crohns Disease. Other IBD symptoms can also be present depending on the condition of the patient going through it. Inflammation in the digestive tract can take a toll on your regular lifestyle hence it is important to cure it in one way or the other. Before switching to more serious medical treatments, you can try some natural remedies that can be treat ulcerative colitis without any major problems.
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Dietary Measures For Ulcerative Colitis
Diet can play a large role in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Although there is no solid evidence that certain eating habits can cause bowel disease, there is evidence that certain foods can aggravate your condition or cause symptoms to flare up.
There are common foods that have been found to cause problems in ulcerative colitis, but in order to know your specific food triggers, its important to keep a food diary to log your meals and document how you felt during and after the meal was completed.
Here are some foods to limit or avoid if you have ulcerative colitis:
- Limit dairy products or try using a digestive enzyme to break down lactose if youre lactose intolerant.
- Try eating low-fat foods. Foods higher in fat are more difficult to break down and can cause your digestive system more stress. Furthermore, any damage on your intestines may make it difficult to absorb fat, so it simply passes through your system contributing to diarrhea.
- Limit fiber-rich foods, as these may be difficult to digest. If possible, cook them for easier digestion.
- Avoid other problem foods such as alcohol, caffeine, and spice, which can worsen the symptoms.
- Some other dietary recommendations include eating smaller meals, staying well hydrated, considering multivitamins, and talking to a dietician.
It Can Be Challenging To Differentiate Between Crohns And Ulcerative Colitis
Our summary of the two conditions is below. You can also read a more detailed explanation about the differences between Colitis and Crohnâs Disease here.
Our summary of the two conditions is below. You can also read a more detailed explanation about the differences between Colitis and Crohnâs Disease here.
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There Are Various Causes Of Colitis And Each Has Different Treatments
Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, is board-certified in gastroentrology. He is the vice chair for ambulatory services for the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where he is also a professor. He was the founding editor and co-editor in chief of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
Colitis, which is inflammation in the large intestine, is a symptom of a disease or condition. It can be caused either by conditions that are chronic or those that come on suddenly .
Some of the causes of colitis include inflammatory bowel disease , microscopic colitis, ischemic colitis, pseudomembranous colitis , and allergic colitis.
Treating colitis will mean dealing with the underlying condition thats causing it. Because the causes are so different, there is no one treatment that will be used for every type of colitis.
This article will discuss how each type of colitis is treated. In most cases, treatments will include medications and/or changes to diet. For some conditions, certain types of surgery might also be used.
Joos Mind / Photodisc / Getty Images
Functional Medicine Labs To Test For Root Cause Of Ulcerative Colitis
Inflammatory markers – such as ESR& CRP, are commonly run during any suspected inflammatory diagnosis. *It’s important to note that these markers may also be normal in asymptomatic patients, especially with isolated involvement of the ileum, so relying on these tests alone is not advised. Other tests commonly run are:
- CBC with differential – to assess the presence or absence of anemia or infection
- The test for anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies is used to help distinguish between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis .
- A positive P-ANCA is found in 60-70% of UC patients.
- Carcinoembryonic antigen is a protein typically found in very low levels in the blood of adults. The CEA blood level may be increased in non-cancerous conditions, including ulcerative colitis.
- Comprehensive stool test – to assess the gut microbiome and rule out the presence of bacterial or parasitic infection.
- Fecal calprotectin – elevated levels correlate with increased neutrophils in the intestine and, therefore, can help rule out inflammatory bowel disease.
- Food sensitivity testing – can be considered to help identify food sensitivities that may be perpetuating bowel inflammation.
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Natural Remedies For Ulcerative Colitis
There is no proper natural cure of ulcerative colitis yet, but there are treatment options that can reduce the symptoms and ease the disease. The natural remedies for ulcerative colitis are beneficial in providing both short term and long term relief depending on severity of inflammation in the large intestine. Remedies can include yoga, exercise, dietary supplements and herbs to treat this inflammatory bowel disease.
Probiotics And Natural Treatment
Probiotic foods and natural supplements can be a perfect addition to medical treatment. Note that the FDA doesnt regulate supplements. Before purchasing them, check the label and research the company.
- Probiotics: healthy bacteria in the gut support health and digestion. These helpful bugs are also associated with an improved immune function which can help ulcerative colitis. On the contrary, too many of the unhealthy bacteria can make ulcerative colitis symptoms worse. Balance is the key.
- Herbs and supplements: Ginseng may reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis. It has been shown to possibly lower inflammation and prevent DNA damage. Omega-3 fatty acids has shown to decrease inflammation which as a result may decrease ulcerative colitis symptoms.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
If you experience a severe flare-up of symptoms you may need to be admitted to hospital as a precaution.
A severe flare-up is usually described as passing six or more blood stools in one day and having symptoms that suggest you are very unwell such as fever, rapid heartbeat and anaemia.
If you think you may be having a severe flare-up, contact your doctor or the doctor in charge of your care for advice.
Acute Acute means occuring suddenly or over a short period of time. Dehydration Dehydration is an excessive loss of fluids and minerals from the body. Diarrhoea Diarrhoea is the passing of frequent watery stools when you go to the toilet. Fatigue Fatigue is extreme tiredness and lack of energy. Fever A high temperature, also known as a fever, is when someone’s body temperature goes above the normal 37C . Loss of appetite Loss of appetite is when you do not feel hungry or want to eat. Pain Pain is an unpleasant physical or emotional feeling that your body produces as a warning sign that it has been damaged.
Active Uc Of Any Extent Not Responding To Aminosalicylates
In mild-to-moderate UC of any extent, aminosalicylates such as mesalamine are the preferred initial treatment . In patients with disease activity limited to the rectum, topical therapy alone might suffice, but combination therapy is more effective and is also recommended for left-sided and extensive UC . Table 2 gives an overview on current treatment options.
Medical therapy for UC
Active ulcerative colitis of any extent not responding to 5-aminosalicylates . MMX, multimatrix AZA, azathioprine 6-MP, 6-mercaptopurine.
Except in case of isolated proctitis, where topical corticosteroids alone may be considered, treatment with oral corticosteroids should be initiated in patients who do not respond adequately to 5-ASA . In case of isolated proctitis, topical corticosteroids alone might be considered. The introduction of corticosteroids should be a shared decision-making process that includes patients preference of therapy and tolerance to 5-ASA. It is, however, recommended to start corticosteroids in patients with sustained rectal bleeding for 2 weeks, persistent abdominal symptoms after 6 weeks of adequate therapy with 5-ASA or if symptoms deteriorate . In selected cases, a prolonged therapy with up to 16 weeks might still be able to achieve remission.
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Natural Intestinal Healing Remedies
Due to the common complaints associated with medications and surgery, research has uncovered many natural options for healing a damaged digestive system. From lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, and stress reduction techniques, ulcerative colitis can not only be prevented, but it can also be successfully healed.
One additional benefit is that many people, especially the elderly, cannot tolerate many medications. Natural options allow for healing without additional pain. These include:
Regular Exercise: Exercise is beneficial to your overall health, but when it comes to ulcerative colitis, regular activity can help with many of the complications associated with the condition. Studies have shown that individuals with ulcerative colitis also suffer from decreased bone density, emotional health problems, weight gain, and suppressed immune system.
Exercise can help boost moods, promote weight loss, boost energy levels, and support bone health. In addition to this moderate exercise triggers the release of specific chemicals called myokines that promote healing from inflammatory-related damage.
Yoga is a specific exercise that takes care of the digestive system and provides relief for many ulcerative colitis symptoms.
Stress Reduction: Stress and anxiety are intricately linked to inflammation. The release of inflammatory chemicals is a direct result of the body experiencing stress.
What Are The Best Vegetables For Ulcerative Colitis
While every gut is different, many people with ulcerative colitis find that they can tolerate a wide range of vegetables when their symptoms are in remission , says Arielle Leben, RD, a member of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center Clinical Care Team at NYU Langone Health in New York. These may include:
- Peeled, shredded carrots
What makes these vegetables a particularly good bet? Many are high in soluble fiber, which pulls water into the GI tract to turn the fiber into a thick, gel-like substance during digestion. This type of fiber may be beneficial to patients in a flare experiencing diarrhea, because it slows digestion and can improve the consistency of bowel movements, Leben says.
At the same time, theyre lower in insoluble fiber, which can be irritating to the gut, particularly during a flare. When experiencing active symptoms, a diet low in insoluble fiber can be part of the management process to reduce irritation in the GI tract, Warren explains. Avoiding insoluble fiber might help prevent or reduce bloating, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.
Not all of these vegetables may be right for everyone, and you might find that you can tolerate certain vegetables when youre symptom free but not during a flare. Ulcerative colitis diets arent one size fits all, varying from person to person, Warren says.
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Set A Daily Or Weekly Goal
Goal-setting is a great way to distract yourself from the discomfort caused by UC. Youre engaging the brain, says Dr. Szigethy, and in the process also shifting any pain you might feel to the back of your mind. The doctor recommends any goal that involves physical activity: a daily walk or a 15-minute yoga flow are two great options. Youll feel good that youre doing something to improve your health, she says. Plus, exercise is a proven stress-reducer, which can help alleviate symptoms of UC, too. Make sure you regularly update your goals, she suggests, noting how the brain responds well to novelty.
Common Treatments For Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis canât be cured, but you can usually manage the symptoms through diet, medication and/or surgery. Your consultant will discuss options with you, based on your symptoms and the extent of your bowel inflammation.
During a very severe flare-up, you may require hospital treatment as an in-patient.
Making small changes to your daily diet may relieve your symptoms. Try:
- Changing from three daily main meals to five or six small meals every day
- Drinking lots of water
- Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks
Also, your consultant may recommend taking food supplements to replace nutrients lost as a result of frequent diarrhoea. You may also be referred to a dietitian, wholl help you follow an ulcerative colitis diet plan.
To prevent symptoms recurring or relieve symptoms during a flare-up, your consultant may prescribe:
- Aminosalicylates or steroids â to reduce inflammation
- Monoclonal antibodies â drugs which target specific cells
If ulcerative colitis is affecting your daily life and other treatments are unsuccessful, your consultant may suggest surgery. In most cases, this involves removing your large bowel so that waste is passed out of your small intestine instead. This requires either:
- An ileostomy an opening in your abdomen for your small intestine to drain into an external pouch
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A Note About Mental Health
Living with a chronic illness like ulcerative colitis can be challenging and frustrating. You may worry about pain, possible complications, and coping with potentially embarrassing accidents. You may struggle to get used to new dietary changes or new bathroom habits.
As a result, having ulcerative colitis can take quite a toll on your mood and your mental health. Your body image and self esteem may suffer, and you may feel like youre the only person whos coping with this kind of stress and anxiety.
But youre not alone. At least 3 million other people in the United States have some sort of inflammatory bowel disease, according to the CDC. It might help you to connect with some others who have firsthand experience with your condition and the stress that it can cause. A support group can be a lifeline when youre feeling all alone and anxious. Find a local support group through the Crohns & Colitis Foundation or ask your doctor for resources. Or you might prefer a virtual support group, like the .
You might also consider talking with a counselor or therapist, especially one who specializes in working with people with chronic illnesses.
Remember, you can live a happy, rich life with ulcerative colitis, and it doesnt affect your life expectancyall good things.
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