Ulcerative colitis is a nasty digestive disease that I see often in my clinic and with some guidance, dietary changes and supplementation we are able to manage the condition with good success. This condition is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that leads to ulceration of the large intestine. This in turn can cause a whole host of symptoms such as loose bowel movements and diarrhoea, bleeding, pains and cramping. Nutritional deficiencies, low energy levels, dehydration, muscle loss and poor immunity can all result. Most people with ulcerative colitis feel generally unwell due to the constant inflammatory processes that are taking place in their digestive tract.
There are many theories as to why people develop ulcerative colitis, but the exact cause is largely unknown. It is believed that food intolerances play a role and can lead to ulceration. The second possible cause is thought to be a bacterial infection that irritates the colon, then initiates an immune reaction that leads to further inflammation and ulceration. Conventional medical treatment involves long term anti-inflammatories, which themselves can cause side effects, and it is because of this that I see a lot of patients who are looking for a more gentle approach in managing their colitis.
Naturopathic treatment has a lot to offer ulcerative colitis patients. There are many well researched herbal and nutritional medicines that we can use to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract lining and others that can aid in the healing of ulceration. These include herbs such as turmeric, licorice and ginger which all reduce inflammation. Herbs that help to heal ulceration include meadowsweet, licorice and slippery elm. I find a comprehensive stool analysis can also be a great test to run to determine if any bacterial or parasitic infections exists, which could be further worsening or causing ulceration. We can then address the bugs found using specific herbal or nutritional treatments as well as probiotics. These steps have a huge role to play in managing the condition long term, however my aim is always for my ulcerative colitis patients to gain control over the condition via using food as medicine.
This is why my first step it always to check for food intolerances or sensitivities as these have been well researched to trigger an ulcerative colitis flare. In my clinic, I like to do this via a food intolerance blood test that detects any food intolerances. The blood test takes away the guess work so that we know exactly what foods your digestive tract does and doesn’t like and what specific foods you should be avoiding. A healthy eating plan is then designed for you that is sustainable for the long term and gives you another technique to use to control your ulcerative colitis.
Other dietary steps can be taken to help you to gain control over the condition. Topics such as inflammatory vs. anti-inflammatory foods and fermented foods will be discussed as part of your program. Nutritional assessment is also important to ensure no deficiencies are reducing your ability to heal and repair.
As you can see there are many way that Naturopathic treatment can help you to manage your ulcerative colitis. Please feel free to contact me for more information [email protected]