Ulcerative colitis is a condition that can affect anyone. The symptoms typically show up before the age of 30. Ulcerative colitis treatment may include prescription medications, vitamin supplementation, herbal remedies, special diets and even massage and chiropractic therapy. Ulcerative colitis is difficult to live with and for this reason counseling may be included in a complete treatment plan.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis include abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea and blood in the stools. Symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe. In severe cases of ulcerative colitis, when diarrhea is frequent, symptoms may include fever, loss of appetite, weight loss and weakness. It is important to seek ulcerative colitis treatment before symptoms become severe. If ulcerative colitis is not treated, surgery may be necessary.
The specific cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. It seems to "run" in families and it is suspected that the immune system of people with ulcerative colitis may be reacting to normal intestinal bacteria, causing inflammation. Pain and bleeding occurs because of inflammation and ulceration of the intestine. Ulcers are basically sores that form on the intestinal walls and inflammation means swelling. Medical ulcerative colitis treatment typically involves prescription drugs to reduce inflammation and promote healing of the ulceration. This type of ulcerative colitis treatment may or may not prevent symptoms from recurring.
Ulcerative colitis has a tendency to be a chronic disease, meaning that symptoms often recur over time. Since the immune system is believed to play a role in the disease, drugs that suppress the immune system are sometimes prescribed for severe cases of ulcerative colitis. Treatment is designed to postpone the necessity for surgery.
A complete ulcerative colitis treatment plan may include vitamin supplementation, particularly D and B12. Iron supplements are sometimes recommended due to the loss of blood that may lead to anemia. It is known that a deficiency of Vitamin D in the diet often causes diarrhea and B12 is important to help the body effectively absorb iron and other necessary nutrients.
Also recommended for ulcerative colitis treatment is an extract from the aloe plant. The aloe plant is known to promote healing of wounds and is also an anti-inflammatory, meaning it reduces swelling. Other herbal remedies which promote healing and reduce swelling may also be helpful for ulcerative colitis treatment.
Dietary advice for ulcerative colitis treatment includes avoiding foods that may lead to cramping, such as milk and milk products if the patient is or may be lactose intolerant. At this time there is no specific diet that is recommended by all healthcare professionals for those who suffer from ulcerative colitis, but yogurt and yeast products are sometimes recommended. They contain small organisms called probiotics which may help the intestines maintain a natural balance between the helpful and harmful bacteria.
Chiropractic and massage therapies may be effective alternative or supplemental ulcerative colitis treatment. One may think that only pain in the back or neck can be helped by chiropractic therapy, but misalignment of the vertebra can affect other parts of the body, without causing pain in the back. Chiropractors have a tendency to take more of a holistic approach to treatment than medical doctors. The belief is that mind, body and spirit are all connected and that it is necessary to treat the "whole" self rather than a single "part".
Those who suffer from ulcerative colitis, seek alternative therapies for many reasons. Standard medications may cause unwanted side effects. Chronic disease often causes emotional strain. But, with all of the ulcerative colitis treatment that is available today, most people with mild to moderate symptoms lead normal daily lives.