Ulcerative Colitis Introduction
Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a disease condition which affects the inner lining of the rectum and large intestine causing inflammation and ulceration. In UC, tiny ulcers develop on the surface of the inner lining producing pus and bleeding.
UC is one of the form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic and long lasting condition with periods of good health (remission) and periods of more active symptoms (relapses or flare-ups).
It can start at any age, though it often appears for the first time between the ages of 15 and 25. It affects men and women equally.
Homeopathic medicines for ulcerative colitis are recommended in all stages of ulcerative colitis.
What is Ulcerative Colitis?
In order to understand this better, we must first know a little information about anatomy and physiology of digestion.
To put it very simple digestive system consists of a very long tube which connects the mouth to the anus. Once we eat the food, it leaves the mouth and enters the food pipe and then descends to stomach.
Food remains in the stomach for some time to get mixed with digestive juices and secretions. Food then passes to small intestine which consists of three parts namely duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The small intestine is part of the digestive system where most of the food is digested with the help of digestive juices from liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. This digested food is absorbed in the form of nutrients.
The ileum is a part which connects to the large intestine.It is commonly called as the colon. The large intestine consists of the cecum, appendix situated on the right side of the abdomen. Large intestine then divides into ascending, transverse and descending colon. The last part of this descending colon is called as sigmoid colon as it looks like alphabet S. Sigmoid colon then opens into the rectum.
The main function of the colon is to absorb water from the food residue. The residue is stored in the form of stools in the rectum until we get bowel.
Ulcerative colitis is a disease condition in which inflammation and ulceration of the inner lining of the rectum and colon (large intestine) occur. Small ulcers develop over the lining of the rectum and large intestine which bleeds and produce pus and mucus.
Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms and How They Affect You
The patients with ulcerative colitis have swelling, pain, ulcers and pus formation in colon and rectum.
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (other one being Crohn's disease). Crohn’s disease commonly affects small intestine although it can produce ulceration from mouth to anus and ulcerative colitis affects large intestine.
- The most common symptom a patient presents with is cramp-like pain followed by diarrhea with blood and mucus. Blood is usually mixed with the stools.
- Pain with an urge to defecate is experienced many times a day.
- Abdominal pain, if severe, suggests complications such as abscess or perforation.
- The patient becomes weak and worn out with the loss of weight.
- There is a constant feeling of fever and lethargy.
- Symptoms of dehydration like sunken eyes, dry mouth, pale skin can be seen during active disease.
Causes of Ulcerative Colitis
Although the exact cause is still unknown, we have to look into factors which possibly aid in the development of disease, its prolonged nature, and factors causing its relapses.
- Disturbance in the immune system is considered as the most plausible cause of the disease. It may be either in the form of some allergy to certain food or an allergic response to some microorganism present in the colon. Other disturbance may be termed as autoimmunity where the body attacks its own cells.
- Heredity plays an important role as it runs in family.
- Emotional stress is one of the major causes for developing as well as relapses of the disease.
- External factors such as diet and medicines can cause ulcerative colitis. Junk food and foods containing a high amount of carbohydrates can cause or trigger relapses. Oral contraceptive pills, certain antibiotics can trigger its relapses.
Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosis & Testing
- To diagnose ulcerative colitis may not be easy as it may require a detailed physical examination and number of investigations.
- A thorough physical examination and detail questioning are required to arrive at a correct diagnosis and to order investigations.
- The first step of investigations is blood and stool tests which will help to find whether there is inflammation or infection in the body. It will also help to diagnose whether you are anemic or not.
- A barium x-ray and a colonoscopy are usually helpful to confirm the diagnosis.
- These tests are important to make a diagnosis as well as to monitor the disease whether it is controlled or increasing.
Homeopathy Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis
Homeopathy is the recommended mode of treatment in all stages of ulcerative colitis. In our experience, we have seen that the recently diagnosed cases respond better. In few advanced cases where conventional treatment is continued for a long period, an addition of homeopathic treatment always helps.
- At times both conventional and homeopathic medicines have to be given at the same time without worrying about side effects as it is safe to give both the medicines simultaneously. Ulcerative colitis being a deep-seated and chronic disease strategic planning is required to keep it under control.
- Homeopathic medicines are targeted to restore the disturbed immunity. Homeopathic medicines selected on the basis of individual totality and after considering all existing causative factors including stress.
- Homeopathic medicines should be continued during an active phase of disease as well as symptom-free period, to avoid relapses. The patient may require a long-term management depending upon the duration and severity of the disease. When given in accordance with conventional medicines there are good chances to reduce and stop continued dependence on drugs.
Patients' Experiences Living With Ulcerative Colitis and Treatment at My similia homeopathy clinic
- Based on the experience of treating over 250 cases of ulcerative colitis we can suggest following points.
- Homeopathy acts favorably in about 60 to 70 % of cases.
- It helps to heal the ulcers internally thereby reducing relapses.
- Using homeopathy chances of reducing and ultimately stopping immunosuppressive medicines is possible.
- Complications of the disease can be avoided with timely homeopathic intervention.
- In almost all the early cases and few of advanced cases, we were able to avoid surgery.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Ulcerative Colitis
1) Is ulcerative colitis curable? Will I eventually require surgery?
The treatment for ulcerative colitis is targeted to control and treat the active phase of the disease and then to maintain the remission period. The majority of patients get better with medical line of treatment. Surgery must be considered only in cases where patients do not respond to medical line of treatment have a severely compromised quality of life.
2) Do I need to take a restricted diet?
It is necessary to maintain a healthy, balanced nutritional diet. There is no specific diet restrictions except for the avoidance of milk and milk products for patients with lactose intolerance. Common gastrointestinal irritants like caffeine, alcohol, red pepper and laxative fruits should be avoided.
3) Does emotional stress have any role in causing or triggering ulcerative colitis?
There is no specific data to relate emotional stress particularly with ulcerative colitis but prolonged stress can be a cause and can act as a maintaining factor.
4) I have been recently diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. How will affect my life?
Ulcerative colitis being a long-term illness can be emotionally and physically draining. For some patients coping with unpredictable flare-ups, pain and diarrhea is difficult. With effective medical treatment along with homeopathic medicines patients with ulcerative colitis can lead a normal life.