I have an ongoing problem with ulcerative colitis. At times everything seems normal, but then all at once I'll find myself running to the bathroom 15 or 20 times a day with bloody diarrhea. My doctor has me on a bland diet and taking sulfa drugs and corticosteroids. He says there’s not much more that can be done short of surgery. Do you have any suggestions?
The inflammatory bowel disease known as ulcerative colitis is rare in most populations that haven’t adopted the typical Western diet high in refined carbohydrates and fats and low in fiber. Ulcerative colitis most commonly occurs between the ages of about 15 and 45. The initial inflammation of the lower bowel often results in ulcerations with profuse bleeding. In more advanced cases, it is not uncommon for the bowel discharges to contain only blood and mucus.
The longer this inflammatory bowel disease continues, the greater the risk of developing more serious problems such as peritonitis, toxemia, and even cancer. (When ulcerative colitis involves the entire colon, begins in childhood, and continues for 10 years or more, the risk of eventually developing colon cancer is nearly 200 times greater than that of the general population.)
The success of sulfa-based drugs and corticosteroids like prednisone in treating ulcerative colitis isn't as good as most doctors would have you believe, but you undoubtedly know that by now. There are natural and more effective ways for treating ulcerative colitis that work without the side effects of steroids or other drugs. Here are some treatment guidelines for this particular inflammatory bowel disease that you should follow in consultation with your doctor.
Treating Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
- Eliminate refined carbohydrates (sugar) in your diet, since these can contribute to an overly acidic bowel pH, which can cause diarrhea.
- Eliminate common food allergens, including corn, wheat, and milk products, as colitis is sometimes related to food intolerances.
- Gradually institute a high-complex carbohydrate, high-fiber diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (but initially excludes wheat and corn).
- Take a high-dosage multivitamin and mineral supplement to offset the natural loss of nutrients as a result of diarrhea and malabsorption.
- Increase your intake of omega-3 oils, such as those found in fish and flax, as they have been shown to help reduce the inflammatory process.
- For long-standing cases, I would give consideration to one of the pre-digested protein powders, which can be found in practically any health food store.
- To speed healing, look to liquid chlorophyll and aloe vera gel liquid.
For more details on each of the above suggestions, as well as other alternative remedies to try, see my all-natural treatment plan for the inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis.