Ulcerative Colitis, also called Colitis ulcerosa, is an inflammatory bowel disorder which is marked by the formation of ulcers in the colon and rectum lining. Such open sores lead to bouts of diarrhoea (with or without the presence of blood), abdominal cramps, loss of body weight and appetite along with arthritic joint pain.
The disease is marked by dormant and active phases, the former remaining relatively asymptomatic and the latter characterized by exacerbated clinical features. The exact cause of Ulcerative colitis is still unknown but is linked with genetic susceptibility or certain environmental factors.
Besides the conventional route of treatment which comprises of anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive medications and sometimes surgery (colectomy), there are a number of different ways that can be brought into practice so as to keep the disease under constant check. Let us take a look at some of the common, yet effective non-medicinal cures of Ulcerative colitis.
9 Tips To Cure Ulcerative Colitis
Vitamin C Has A Dual Role Against Ulcerative Colitis
One of the prime health benefits of Vitamin C is the seamlessness with which the organic compound speeds up wound healing. In addition to that, Vitamin C provides adequate support to the immune system and promotes the absorption of iron, which is another crucial mineral for patients with ulcerative colitis.
To protect the unaffected areas in the colon lining and accelerate the regeneration of the ulcerated tissues, individuals with this inflammatory bowel disease must consume foods plush with Vitamin C.
The intestinal bleeding may turn the individual anemic (specifically, iron deficiency anemia). For women and men above the age of 18, 75 mg and 90 mg of Vitamin C respectively is essential to keep further complications such as colon abscesses. The increased collagen synthesis due to more intake of citrus fruits such as tomatoes or cantaloupe the connective tissue framework gets strengthened.
Become More Inclined To Fruits!
Fruits form both a nutritive and lip smacking dietary option for Ulcerative colitis sufferers. Eat two or three servings of freshly cut fruits every day. Prepare a colourful fruit basket at home, consisting of ripe bananas, peeled red apples, nectarines, papaya and melon.
Drizzle light syrup and enjoy the mineral and antioxidant rich fruits for breakfast or dessert. It is always better to stay away from dried, raw fruit or seed containing fruits such as berries, prune etc for fear of triggering diarrhea. Canned fruits are usually laced with heavy syrup and are thus, best avoided.
Limited Intake Of Dairy Products
Diarrhoea forms a frequent symptom that distresses each colitis victim during the flare ups. It is thus, advisable to restrict your intake of dairy food products which reduces the incidence of flatulence and abdominal pain too. There are many alternative dairy options such as buttermilk, non fat yoghurt or cottage cheese with which one can substitute whole milk and full fat ice cream.
If you still face trouble in digesting milk, it could indicate a deficiency towards an enzyme called lactase which plays an important role of breaking down lactose. You can either take supplements containing the enzyme or begin consuming soy milk, which is extracted, from soy beans and is free of any lactose. There indeed many flavours of soy milk such as chocolate or vanilla.
Drink More Fluids
The recurrent episodes of diarrhoea in ulcerative colitis can dehydrate the body. It is thus almost essential for all patients to keep their system well hydrated in order to reverse or prevent ill effects linked with dehydration.
Doctors recommend drinking plentiful amounts of liquids, either in the form of plain water, almond milk, fruit juices devoid of pulp or even warm vegetable broth. Do not force yourself to gulp a glass of water in one go, instead, take small, frequent sips.
Foods To Avoid
According to ADA, full fat cheese containing products and whole milk must be avoided by colitis patients at all cost. The same stands true for unhealthy fried or processed items such as bacon, fatty red meat, high fat sausage or whole grain breads or pasta.
The excessively high fiber can actually worsen the inflammation in the colon leading to episodes to recurrent diarrhoea. There are certain vegetables that create abdominal discomfort, leading to flatulence, for example, cabbage, brussel sprouts or broccoli.
Although liquids are favourable for such patients, it does not include carbonated beverages, alcohol or caffeinated drinks. Even mannitol or xylitol containing items or medicines can amplify the symptoms.
Do Not Favour Stress
Although stress is not a causative agent for Ulcerative colitis, it is crucial to manage stress levels, which in turn, dilute the chances of flare ups. Do activities that take your mind off stress and lift your mood. Ask your gastroenterologist about the type of exercises that are safe for you.
Also, self-induce relaxation via certain deep breathing exercises, yoga or meditation. Living with this disorder can turn frustrating at certain times. Try to communicate and vent your feelings for mental relaxation.
Herbs For Ulcerative Colitis
Geranium maculatum root proves particularly helpful in healing ulcers and controlling gastrointestinal bleedings, which is universally seen in patients living with the inflammatory disease.
This herbal astringent dries and contracts the mucous membrane lining the intestinal tract, leading to a fall in incidence and severity of symptoms such as diarrhoea, bleeding and suppuration (pus). The additional content of tannins plays both a protective and healing role for the colon tissue.
Medical research shows that a herb called Licorice root can hasten the healing process of stomach ulcerations. Only when your doctor agrees, must you include this herb in your treatment plan.
Pyridoxine Containing Foods
Pyridoxine or Vitamin B6, is required for proper metabolism of protein,fat and carbohydrates. The deficiency of this vitamin needs to be compensated through increased intake of sunflower seeds, fresh carrot or its juice and salmon. With efficient breakdown of the above mentioned nutrients, the intestines are not overloaded with work, which relieves some of the pain and inflammation.
Due to the chronic inflammation of the intestinal colon, the absorption of many nutrients including Vitamin K is hampered. Even the intestinal bacteria fail to synthesize adequate amount of Vitamin K, leading to its deficit.
One of the key roles of this vitamin is to aid in blood clot formation, and advanced cases of colitis may experience internal bleeding. Ask your doctor to prescribe supplements for Vitamin K. Try to have more coconut water, probiotic food, green tea and spinach.