Ulcerative Colitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Ulcerative colitis is a condition that’s being diagnosed more and more often today. It’s an inflammatory response that affects your entire digestive tract, and it often evolves in a chronic way with more or less regular outbreaks.
It is common to find this condition in the region of your colon, but it can radiate to the entire digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis causes pain, discomfort, and negatively affects your quality of life when you suffer from flare ups. That’s why it’s important to have medical supervision at all times to keep your symptoms under control.
In today’s article we want to learn more about ulcerative colitis so you’ll know how to recognize the triggers and implement some easy home treatments that can complement your prescribed medication.
What causes ulcerative colitis?
It’s not yet known exactly what causes ulcerative colitis. It’s among other clinical conditions that are associated with inflammation of the intestines, which include Crohn’s disease.
It should also be pointed out that while it’s true that there’s no hard data on why patients suffer the way that they do, there is some consensus among physicians on this issue:
- Ulcerative colitis is related to a type of autoimmune disease. That means that the body begins to attack certain parts of its own intestines – in this case, the region of the colon – destroying tissue and causing ulcers to form.
- Stress is a common factor that influences flare ups among a large percentage of the affected population.
- It usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 30, becoming more persistent as you reach 50 to 70 years old.
- Ulcerative colitis is usually triggered by an initial inflammation of the intestine.
- It is suspected to be related to a type of bacteria or virus that’s found in the colon. Despite the fact that there is no cure, the only way to completely eliminate this condition in nearly 80% of cases is to remove the colon.
Also read: Top 5 foods for a colon cleanse
What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
The symptoms may vary from person to person. At first, many people will suffer from diarrhea with possible traces of blood. Other patients complain of severe abdominal pain.
Nevertheless, there are some general symptoms that follow the following patterns:
- Severe abdominal pain. These are intermittent cramps that come and go. You may hear muted sounds from your bowel region, as if you were having internal gas.
- The presence of blood or pus in the stool.
- Episodes of diarrhea.
- Progressive weight loss.
- When ulcerative colitis is more severe, it may be accompanied by joint pain.
- Canker sores in the mouth.
- General nausea.
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Natural treatment for ulcerative colitis
It should be clear that you should always put your trust in your doctor to help you identify the most appropriate course of treatment according to your particular case and symptoms. As we intimated in the beginning, not everyone reacts the same way to this condition so your treatment will be determined by your age and other factors.
To complement the medical treatment at home, however, you can follow some simple guidelines to improve your quality of life. Find out more below.
Make sure you get the right vitamins
Ulcerative colitis has the particular ability to lower your body’s natural defenses and keep you from properly absorbing your food.
This can be very dangerous, so you need to fight it. Take supplements to cover the following:
- Spirulina: Spirulina is very rich in vitamins, fiber, and protein, helping you strengthen your immune system and improving your quality of life.
- Brewer’s yeast: This is another supplement that provides you with a lot of the nutrients you need in a day, and strengthens your immune system. You can find this in natural stores and pharmacies.
- Folic acid, or vitamin B9: When your intestines aren’t absorbing nutrients properly due to colitis, it’s common to be deficient in folic acid. It’s a good idea to take a supplement of this important vitamin.
- Aloe juice: Aloe vera helps reduce inflammation while healing and alleviating pain. Try drinking some aloe juice every morning. Simply add a teaspoon of aloe vera gel (5 g) to a cup of water (200 ml) and drink.
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- Carrot juice: Rich in vitamins and excellent for alleviating intestinal pain.
- A tablespoon of flaxseed oil: Start this day off with this one. Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are very useful against inflammation.
- Evening primrose oil: This is another effective treatment for the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. You can find it in natural stores and pharmacies. Remember to take it on an empty stomach to reduce inflammation and discomfort that are associated with this condition.