Ulcerative colitis, commonly known as UC, is a chronic disease that affects almost 1 million citizens of the country. It is a disease of the colon (large intestine) that inflames the colon lining and the rectum. According to an epidemiological research report, people following a diet consisting of high-fat foods are at a higher risk of suffering from this disease. Also, the Ashkenazi Jews and the Caucasians have the most number of sufferers. Although the exact reason behind ulcerative colitis flares is still unknown, according to many healthcare professionals, this is a result of environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors.
Treatments for ulcerative colitis flares
Fortunately, a wide range of ulcerative colitis treatment options is available that can help to control UC. Achieving remission and getting UC under control are the main goals of these treatment processes.
Immune system suppressors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, inflammation and other UC symptoms controlling steroids etc. are some commonly used medications to deal with ulcerative colitis flares. Removing the rectum and the colon by undergoing surgery is also another process of treatment for UC. However, it is advisable to undergo a surgery only if your doctor suggests and when the medications are not being effective.
Other than the medications, many medical research reports have reflected the fact that plenty of natural treatments are available to deal with UC. These nonmedical treatments include everything from herbal medicines to lifestyle changes. Read on and know some effective tips to treat and control ulcerative colitis flares in natural ways.
A healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is very important while dealing with ulcerative colitis. Various medical studies have shown that people who consume fatty foods are more exposed to this chronic disease. Hence, you need to make your diet chart accordingly.
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, etc are some common problems faced by patients with UC. Hence, try avoiding dairy products that can worsen the aforementioned symptoms. Additionally, it is better if you avoid sugar as the output of the anti-inflammatory enzymes gets interrupted by the effects of sugar on the pancreas.
- Raw vegetables and fruits, whole grains, etc., are high-fiber foods and are not good for a UC patient. Also, avoiding greasy foods and caffeine is advisable if you are suffering from UC.
- You should try to avoid spicy food as it may worsen the symptoms and signs of ulcerative colitis. Moreover, it is time to say goodbye to your drinking habit. Drinking alcohol is absolutely a big no while you are suffering from UC.
- Rather than having 2 or 3 large meals, you can have frequent, small meals throughout the day.
- Drink sufficient water. If possible, consult a dietitian and try to follow the diet chart prescribed by the expert.
Manage your stress
According to various medical studies, stress is one of the major reasons that trigger or accelerate the ulcerative colitis flares and make the symptoms and signs worse. Here are some tips on which you need to work on to diminish the stress level.
- If you keep your body engaged in some physical activities on a regular basis, it will be very helpful to deal with your stress level. Mild exercises help to relieve depression, reduce stress, and normalize bowel functions.
- Relaxation and breathing exercises are effective ways to control the stress level. You can try joining yoga classes. Also, you can try to do meditation using soothing music, DVDs or CDs, and books.
- Biofeedback is a stress-reduction technique that helps in reducing the muscle tension along with slowing the heart rate. A feedback machine helps in controlling this situation. The main objective is to help you to get into a more relaxed state.
Many people use various forms of CAM (Complementary and Alternative) therapy to deal with ulcerative colitis flares.
- Researchers have found some evidence that taking probiotic supplements may be quite helpful in UC treatment.
- In the spice turmeric, there is a compound called curcumin. Some studies have stated that this curcumin can help in lessening or preventing some of the common UC symptoms like gas and stomach pain. Hence, adding this element to your diet can be helpful if you are suffering from this chronic disease.
- Herbs like parsley, ginger, rosemary, thyme, and sage can help in reducing inflammation. Also, Aloe Vera gel and fish oil act as anti-inflammatory agents that can help people with UC.
- Acupuncture is another way to deal with UC flares.
However, even though all these aforementioned natural and herbal ways are quite effective in ulcerative colitis treatment, these can have side effects as well. Also, these can cause dangerous interaction if not taken or applied properly. Hence, it is always advisable to consult a medical expert before undergoing any herbal or natural treatment.