Ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease of the colon, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes continuing inflammation and sores in the digestive tract affecting the internal layer of the large intestine and rectum. It can be debilitating, and sometimes the complications can be life-threatening.
There is still no known cure for ulcerative colitis but treatment can lessen the signs and can even result in long-term quiescence of the disease.
Symptoms To Watch For
Symptoms don’t occur abruptly but develop as time progresses, and can vary depending on the area where the inflammation is and the degree of severity. Signs and symptoms are often:
- Diarrhea of 10 to 20 times a day and sometimes accompanied by pus or blood
- Cramping and abdominal pain
- Rectal pain and bleeding (passing stool with a small amount of blood)
- An urgency to move the bowel and inability to defecate even with the feeling of urgency
- Weight loss
- Growth retardation in children
Ulcerative colitis can sometimes cause joint pain, eye problems, and liver disease. Some people may have a remission of symptoms and will have a flare-up.
What To Avoid
The exact cause for ulcerative colitis is not yet known, but some particular foods may trigger flare-ups.
The World Gastroenterology Organization, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics are all in the same mind that fiber protects the colon, but fiber intake should be reduced when you have acute symptoms.
Foods that have a lot of fibers that are difficult for people suffering from ulcerative colitis to digest include:
- Whole grain bread, cereals, noodles, macaroni, pasta
- Brown rice
- Whole-grain starches such as quinoa, buckwheat, oats, wild rice
- Plain barley, millet, wheat-berries, bulgur wheat, spelt
- Nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, almonds, pistachios, peanuts
- Seeds (sesame seeds, millet, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds)
- Dried peas, all beans, chickpeas, soy nuts
- Raw and dried fibrous fruits and fruits whose seeds can’t be removed (like berries)
- Raw or undercooked fibrous vegetables including corn
- Sulfate and sulfide-rich foods (red meat, dairy products, beer, wine, grape juice)
Natural Remedies For Ulcerative Colitis
Even though there is no available cure yet for ulcerative colitis, there are medicines used to treat UC. But often, these drugs have side effects especially when you have been taking them for an extended period, and other people just cannot tolerate medications.
There are natural remedies available that can help alleviate your symptoms and promote remission.
Boswellia herb extracted from the bark of Boswellia serrata tree has been used for centuries by Asian and African folk medicine.
Psyllium seed/husk promotes bowel motility, lessen symptoms of constipation, and improves bowel movement.
Bromelain is found in pineapple. It helps break down protein which provides anti-inflammatory benefits, easing the symptoms and reduce the incidence of flare-ups.
Probiotics restore the balance of gut bacteria and maintain natural microbial flora and help reduce inflammation and prolong remission.
Turmeric is an Indian spice, the curcumin found in turmeric decrease inflammation and an effective traditional medical therapy.
We should take our health seriously, and what we chow downplays a big factor to stay well and fit to be able to protect ourselves from diseases.
May this information guide you to lessen your symptoms and improve your chance of remission.