Ulcerative colitis is the most common type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is specific to chronic inflammation of the colon (large intestine), which is part of the gastrointestinal tract (GI or digestive tract). Inflammation and ulcers of the colon’s inner lining due to an overactive, immune system malfunction often result with painful and challenging symptoms. This is different from Crohn’s disease, which is an IBD that can affect any part of the GI tract, as well as all the layers of the bowel wall (not just the lining of the colon). Both conditions, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can cause inflammation throughout the entire body. Are you living with ulcerative colitis? Symptoms are listed below.
Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
There are many symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis, including rectal bleeding, diarrhea (often with blood or pus) and abdominal pain and cramping. Additional ulcerative colitis symptoms may include:
Inability to hold stool, urge to eliminate quickly, frequent elimination
Feeling as if you have not completely eliminated
Pain or soreness in joints
Rapid heart beat
Loss of appetite, weight loss
Light sensitivity, eye irritation
Skin or canker sores
Growth and developmental delay in children
Ulcerative colitis pain can be mild or severe and come and go with long periods between an ulcerative colitis flare up. It affects both males and females. It can occur at any age, but often starts in adolescence or as a young adult, with diagnosis in mid-30s. Nearly 1 million Americans are diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and it is reported more often in Jewish-European ancestry.
What are the causes of Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis has many underlying, often interacting factors and theories. These include:
Weak immune system
Toxins, allergens and/or food sensitivities
Environment: Bacteria, virus, antigen
Poor diet, nutritional and/or vitamin imbalances
Genetics (first degree relatives)
Ulcerative Colitis Treatment Options
Patients who turn to Elite Digestive and Integrative Healthcare for ulcerative colitis treatment experience an enormous advantage. They are able to receive an integration of conventional and functional medicine to identify and correct the root cause of illness - personalized healthcare that focuses on genetics, biochemistry and lifestyle of the patient.
Dr. Allan Plumser, a leading Gastroenterologist, Functional Medicine Physician, Wellness Expert and Mentor, sits down with each patient to discuss his/her health history, symptoms, prior and current treatments, lifestyle and goals. He utilizes various tests and exams to make a diagnosis:
Barium enema x-ray
Biopsies of the lining of the colon
Once a diagnosis is made, a customized treatment program is created. Current standard treatments include anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics, cortisone/steroid medications, and medication to suppress the immune system (immunomodulators and biologic treatments), all of which may be effective, but may be hard to tolerate and carry the risk of many side effects. At times surgery is needed.
Colitis Natural Treatment Options
At our state-of-the-art Healthcare Center, our Team of Experts works together to integrate ulcerative colitis natural treatment:
Healing Diet, Hydration, Herbs and Supplements: Dietary interventions can reduce inflammation, promote gut health, improve bowel regularity and consistency and help growing children maintain optimal health. Patients are thrilled to work with Lauren Carey, RDN, as she designs, explains and teaches the benefits of a healthy eating program.
Stress Management, Breathing Exercises and Relaxation Techniques: Suruchi Saini, LPC, CCTP utilizes a holistic approach with evidence-based research in Psychology and Neuroscience, along with Yoga Philosophy to encourage health and wellness.
Regular Exercise and Physical Activity: Exercise offers enormous benefits. Kimberly LoSacco, Health Coach and Fitness Director can customize a realistic fitness program to help patients reach and exceed their goals.
Before starting a new activity, exercise program or adding herbs or supplements to your diet, please speak with your physician.
If you are living with ulcerative colitis or think you have ulcerative colitis symptoms, call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Allan Plumser, our Medical Director. He, together with his Team will customize a realistic healing program and provide the understanding and education to help you feel better, improve the quality of your life and minimize the risk of cancer by treating the root cause of illness. Do not live with ulcerative colitis pain or wait for the next ulcerative colitis flare up! Call today!