Colitis is inflammation of the colon, also known as the large intestine. This condition can cause several annoying symptoms. Some cases could even require medication to relieve or cure colitis. Natural remedies can also help reduce inflammation. Here we will talk about a few different types of colitis, their most frequent symptoms, and a few home remedies that help alleviate their annoyances, no matter what the cause of inflammation.
What provokes colitis, and what are the symptoms?
Basically, two types of colitis exist: acute and chronic. Acute colitis is frequently caused by bacteria or viruses, while chronic colitis can have different causes (stress, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune diseases, etc.). If you have one or more of the following symptoms, it is quite likely that you are suffering from some type of colitis:
- Acute or chronic abdominal pain, or pain that comes in “waves”.
- Intestinal cramping
- Rectal tenesmus (permanent sensation of needing to mobilize the intestines)
- Mucous or blood in the feces
- Nausea or vomiting
If you have these symptoms, it is very important to consult a physician for correct diagnosis. A physician will decide if you need some type of medication, although natural remedies can always help improve colitis.
It is best to avoid solid foods, especially when colitis manifests with liquid diarrhea. Consume only liquids for 3 or 4 days, while making sure to consume the proper amount of ions and minerals. Here are some home remedies that may help with your diarrhea:
- Rice water: This is one of “grandma’s” home remedies. To prepare rice water, boil 1 cup of rice in 6 cups of water, until grains are soft. Drain and drink, warm or cold.
- Chamomile tea: Chamomile produces an anti-inflammatory effect, making it a perfect natural remedy for colitis. Boil a few twigs of chamomile in a large pot with water. Once cooled, serve in a glass. Instead of sweetening with sugar, use honey or stevia.
- Cabbage water: This is made simply by boiling a few cabbage leaves for 10 minutes. Drink once cooled.
Once your symptoms have begun to subside, you can incorporate solid foods into your diet, little by little. You can start by adding rice, cooked corn flour, lean meats, yogurt, and low-fat cheeses. Always add in small amounts, to see how your intestines react. Other good options for incorporating solid foods could be apple compote (boiled apple) and cooked carrots. This last one could be a good natural remedy for colitis, due to its alkalizing effect on the intestines.
When the intestines are inflamed, they can’t complete their jobs properly. That’s why it is important to follow a diet of soft foods, that don’t aggravate the inflammation. When you are symptomatic of colitis, it‘s best to avoid foods that contain refined sugars (cakes, chocolate, sweets), and white bread. You should also avoid strongly seasoned foods, alcohol, coffee, and carbonated drinks. For colitis caused by stress, nerves, or irritable bowel, we recommend you frequently perform relaxation exercises. Yoga or meditation can also help improve colitis symptoms. Lastly, always remember to consult a physician if your symptoms persist.