5 Ways to Naturally Manage Colitis

5 Ways to Naturally Manage Colitis

Colitis is one type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes pain and inflammation in the colon and rectum. It is believed to be an autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself for unknown reasons. Theories cite that it may be caused by a variety of factors including diet, infection or genes. Others speculate that it may be due to high hydrogen sulfide levels known to cause inflammation and lesions or a compromise of the large intestine’s protective mucosa layer.

Colitis can present in a variety of ways and should be checked by a medical doctor to determine a proper diagnosis.

Some symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty producing a bowel movement
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia (low blood iron)
  • Fatigue
  • Suppressed appetite

Peripheral symptoms may include joint pain, skin rashes, mouth ulcers and eye inflammation.

Before attempting conventional medicine approaches, these 5 ways to naturally manage colitis may help with pain and elimination. Talk to your physician and/or naturopathic doctor before trying any of these remedies to make sure you are a healthy candidate.

Probiotics

Strengthening a weakened immune system with supplemental probiotics (good bacteria) is always recommended when struggling with health conditions.

This is primarily true for colitis as it manifests at the immune system’s ‘ground zero’ in your gut. With this condition, the microbe community can become overrun with bad bacteria. Saccharomyces boulardii, a probiotic yeast, has been found to assist in alleviating colitis symptoms.

Published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, it was stated that,

“At the San Raffaele University Gastroenterology Unit in Italy, 25 patients in the midst of an ulcerative colitis flare-up were treated with Saccharomyces boulardii for 4 weeks. Of these patients, 17 experienced clinical remission of their symptoms, a result that was confirmed through endoscopic studies..” (Livestrong 10/24/13)

Other recommended supplemental probiotic strains for colitis include Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.

Pineapple

Pineapple is more than a prickly fruit with a sweet juicy pulp, it might also help calm IBD’s including colitis. This is due to a unique enzyme called bromelain, found in the hard center of a pineapple.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center studied pineapple’s unique effects on mice afflicted with colitis.

They concluded that,

“…long-term dietary supplementation with fresh or unpasteurized frozen pineapple juice with proteolytically active bromelain enzymes is safe and decreases inflammation severity and the incidence and multiplicity of inflammation-associated colonic neoplasia…”

You can peel and blend an entire pineapple for adequate bromelain or take it as a supplemental pill/capsule.

Turmeric

Curcumin is the active compound in the spice turmeric. It has been linked to significant anti-inflammatory effects. Chinese researchers published a study in The Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology (Jan-Feb 2012) that concluded,

“In a preliminary trial, 5 of 5 people with chronic ulcerative proctitis [inflammation of the rectum and anus – symptoms of colitis] had an improvement in their disease after supplementing with curcumin. Curcumin…promotes the synthesis of many antioxidant enzymes…directly binds to thioredoxin reductase [an enzyme] and irreversibly changes its activity from an antioxidant to a strong pro-oxidant.”

The anti-inflammatory capabilities of supplementing with turmeric (curcumin) also proved beneficial in a Japanese study, published in Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology (12/06), which reported that,

“Curcumin seems to be a promising and safe medication for maintaining remission in patients with quiescent UC (ulcerative colitis).”

Aloe Vera

Extracted from the leaf pulp of the aloe vera plant, this gel has a centuries old history of digestive health use. Its protective, cooling and rejuvenate qualities make it a safe, natural way to manage your colitis.

Published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics (4/1/04), a combined UK team of researchers studied the effects of ingested aloe vera.

They concluded that,

“Oral aloe vera taken for 4 weeks produced a clinical response more often than placebo; it also reduced the histological disease [colitis] activity and appeared to be safe.”

Keep the Oil

A diet rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, has been found to prevent the development of ulcerative colitis. Olive oil is loaded with oleic acid as is grape seed oil, peanut oil and butter. Olive oil is the best choice as it offers a variety of nutrients to help keep colitis at bay.

Dr. Andrew Hart of the University of East Anglia School of Medicine conducted a long term study of 25,000 subjects concluding that,

“Oleic acid seems to help prevent the development of ulcerative colitis by blocking chemicals in the bowel that aggravate the inflammation found in this illness,”

These 5 ways to naturally manage colitis could be the easy fix you may need to deal with this challenge. Talk to your doctor about applying one or more of them to your healing protocol.



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