(Health Secrets) Ulcerative colitis affects half a million people in America. Also known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), it causes chronic inflammation along the digestive tract which results in ulcers in the lining of the rectum and colon. Allopathic medicine offers a lifetime of drugs or surgery as the only answers. However, before considering these options, please be aware that there are dietary and lifestyle changes that can help immensely in overcoming this disease.
Ulcerative colitis has no known cause. Yet, an interesting fact is that it appears to be most prevalent in western societies, suggesting the standard American diet plays a role in acquiring this disease.
Ulcerative colitis is a condition that can become severe, with symptoms that can include rectal bleeding, anemia, fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of nutrients and body fluids, weight loss, and joint pain. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis include fever, abdominal cramping, pain, and diarrhea that may contain blood and mucus.
Allopathic medicine treats this disease with immunosuppressive drugs and antibiotics. Although the individual may experience short term symptom relief, these types of medications can lead to a worsening of overall health due to their numerous, and sometimes dangerous, side effects. Turning to the proper supplements, embracing a diet of whole foods, and making lifestyle changes has shown to be a much safer and effective way to treat this condition.
Probotics should be first on the list for anyone suffering from colitis. Probiotics help to control the number of harmful bacteria in the digestive tract, enabling friendly bacteria to thrive and keeping the immune system strong. Probotics help to reduce inflammation and improve the mucus lining in the digestive tract.
One very effective supplement in treating ulcerative colitis is Bromelain. Bromelain, often called “the wonder supplement,” reduces inflammation and lessens the incidence and severity of colitis. Significant amounts of bromelain are found in pineapple as well as in supplement form.
Omega 3 fatty acids are another effective and necessary anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown that omega 3’s may alleviate colitis symptoms and help to prevent a recurrence of this disease.
People with ulcerative colitis are at a greater risk for getting colon cancer. Studies have found that supplementing with folic acid significantly decreases this risk. Additionally, many people with this disease have been found to be deficient in this vitamin and certain medications will cause its levels to drop.
Aloe vera gel has an anti-inflammatory effect. A study in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics (2004; 19:739-47) reported that aloe vera gel relieves ulcerative colitis symptoms.
The herb boswellia has been found to block chemical actions involved in inflammation. Further, boswellia does not cause stomach irritation as do some prescription medications used in treating this condition.
Diet plays a very important role in preventing, treating, and controlling ulcerative colitis.
Careful attention should be given to foods rich in Vitamin C. It has been found that Vitamin C has a protective effect and results in a lower risk of ulcerative colitis. We are all familiar with citrus fruits that contain Vitamin C. However, there are less obvious foods that also contain significant amounts of Vitamin C including strawberries, papayas, mangoes, kiwi, parsley, red/yellow and orange bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes.
Avoiding allergenic foods, such as wheat, dairy products and corn has been shown to control the disease in some people. Sugar, sweets, carbohydrates, and alcohol have been associated with ulcerative colitis. These foods actually cause the disease to progress and may cause a relapse when in remission.
Stress adversely affects the digestive process, worsening the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Stress reduction techniques such as relaxation exercises and meditation should be included while focusing on treating this disease.