Natural Treatment for Colitis
Colitis is an inclusive term that describes an inflammation of the colon that may have a variety of causes. Your strategy for treating colitis should also be inclusive. Colitis needs traditional diagnostic and medical treatment from a physician, but natural treatments (or what is called naturopathy) can ease symptoms and improve your overall health.
The Colon and Colitis
The colon (or large intestine) is a long, muscular tube that collects and processes the waste and water produced after digestion. A normal journey through the colon removes water and solidifies the waste, which is eliminated via a bowel movement.
But when colon function is affected by colitis (a name used to describe many conditions that affect the colon), waste elimination in compromised.
Symptoms of colitis can include cramps, watery or bloody diarrhea, significant dehydration, pain, fever, and bloody bowel movements.
Colitis has many causes, all of which require medical diagnosis and attention from a physician. However, natural remedies (naturopathy) can help to significantly ease the symptoms of colitis and return you and your colon to full, functioning health.
Using Natural Treatments for Colitis
It is essential that you work with a qualified health practitioner who can monitor your progress and determine which natural therapies will work best for you.
Several distinct areas should be considered when using naturopathy (or natural therapy) to treat colitis. They are: diet and proper hydration, herbal supplements, and physical therapy. Use of these improves digestive health and overall well-being.
Diet and Proper Hydration
What you eat and how much directly affects your colitis. Eat small amounts throughout the day, rather than big meals. When colitis acts up, stick to clear fluids.
Eat soft, bland food; leave off the spices. Fatty, fried or greasy foods should be avoided. Avoid red and processed meat. Fish is preferable, particularly fish with Omega-3 fatty acids. Cut out sugar; it makes colitis symptoms worse. Try fresh fruit, if you want something sweet. Limit carbohydrate intake (bread and pasta), as it turns into sugar in the digestive system.
Avoid high-fiber foods such as bran, beans, nuts, seeds, and popcorn (harsh on the colon). Instead, get your daily fiber from fresh fruits and cooked or leafy vegetables. If you can tolerate plain yogurt, add it to your diet. It helps the “friendly” bacteria in your colon.
Drink water as often as you can (it helps you digest and process waste). Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Chamomile, calendula and peppermint tea all help with colitis symptoms.
Herbs can ease aspects of colitis and improve digestive health. But they must be used under the supervision of a qualified health practitioner.
Herbs to consider include: Boswellia (reduces inflammation), Bromelain (reduces stress), Tahitian Noni juice (promotes healing), probiotics (restore natural bacteria in the bowel), oral aloe vera gel (healing), marshmallow and slippery elm (both soothe irritation), fish oil with Omega-3 fatty acids (promotes healing), and folic acid (aids overall digestive health).
Colitis is made worse by stress. Anything that strengthens your body and helps you to de-stress is of great benefit. Mild exercise, yoga, tai chi, stress management classes, breathing techniques, and acupuncture are all helpful alternative therapies.