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Options Regarding Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Ulcerative Colitis


Ulcerative colitis is one of the most diagnosed diseases of the intestine. It is an autoimmune disease meaning that the body’s immune system is attacking the large intestine. Although commonly confused with irritable bowel syndrome and Chrones’ Disease it is different. Ulcerative colitis affects the lining of the large intestine and rectum. Chrones can appear anywhere from the esophagus to the rectum and is deeper within the walls of the intestine and other organs. Ulcerative colitis is typically controlled through the use of an anti-inflammatory drug called Asacol. Although when Asacol does not control the illness the next step is steroids and then a surgery called a total colectomy and J pouch. The root of the illness has not been determined, but there is definitely a genetic link. There is also the sign that stress and irritation to the body both physically and mentally can have a negative effect on the illness. Although stress does not create the disease, it can make the symptoms worse. If typical drug therapy is something that someone with colitis is not interested in, then there are complementary and alternative therapies available. However, colitis can be quite serious and results in the bleeding of the intestines and therefore, people are most often to use complementary therapies rather than alternative therapies.

The most common of the complementary and alternative therapies is most definitely psychotherapy or counseling. This is because it can reduce the stress and therefore lessen the symptoms of the disease. It allows people to remain on an even keel so to speak and with mood stabilization comes less pain and discomfort. Complementary and alternative therapies can also include changing your diet. For example, sometimes the lining of the colon is so affected that foods that are difficult to digest normally become impossible for people with colitis to digest. Therefore, it is quite common for a complementary and alternative therapies diet to include the following. First, corn and popcorn are often not tolerated by people with the illness and refrain from eating these foods. Others may find it hard to digest foods that are considered roughage as well as anything that is overly spicy. There are many different diet plans available for people with colitis; however, each person will notice what disturbs their system the most. Complementary and alternative therapies may also include drinking hot beverages with their meals and having relaxing hot baths. The heat from the beverage helps to digest food while the heat from the bath tends to relax the bowel. Complementary and alternative therapies for ulcerative colitis can be researched online, from a physician, or in medical journals.