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Natural Help for Ulcerative Colitis
writes, "Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that results in chronic inflammation in digestive tract, usually in the large intestine (colon) and the rectum. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis may include abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, rectal bleeding, feeling of urgency, inability to have a bowel movement despite the urge to do so, abdominal cramping and pain plus weight loss. There is no known cure for ulcerative colitis, however some remedies can reduce the symptoms."
Probiotics, "friendly" bacteria that reside in the gut, have been found to be effective in managing ulcerative colitis. They help control the number of potentially harmful bacteria, reduce inflammation, and improve the protective mucus lining of the gut.

Some studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil capsules, may reduce inflammation in people with ulcerative colitis.

Aloe vera gel has been found in studies to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Boswellia is an herb that comes from a tree native to India. The active ingredient is the resin from the tree bark, which has been found to block chemical reactions involved in inflammation. It is used by people with ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. Unlike anti-inflammatory medication, boswellia doesn't seem to cause gut irritation that can occur with many conventional pain relievers.

A Japanese study evaluated the role of dietary factors on inflammatory bowel disease. Included in the study were 111 people with ulcerative colitis who were given food questionnaires. The survey found a higher consumption of sweets was positively associated with ulcerative colitis risk. Vitamin C was found to have a protective effect. A higher intake was associated with a lower risk of ulcerative colitis. Examples of foods rich in vitamin C are red bell peppers, parsley, strawberries, and spinach.

People with chronic ulcerative colitis are at greater risk of colon cancer. A University of Toronto study found that dietary folate supplementation at four times the basic dietary requirement significantly suppressed ulcerative colitis-associated colon cancer.

Bromelain, a mixture of protein-digesting enzymes derived from pineapple stem, is also believed to reduce inflammation.

These suggestions can not cure the disease of ulcerative colitis but they can help manage it.

Tony Burris, L.Ac.
President, Eagle Acupuncture


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