Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disease of the large intestine, and causes inflammation and ulceration of the inner lining (mucosa) of the colon and/or rectum. Inflammation of the rectum is called proctitis. Inflammation of the sigmoid colon (situated just above the rectum) is called sigmoiditis. Inflammation of the entire colon is called pan-colitis.
What causes UC?
UC is autoimmune in origin; (see “Healing Autoimmune Disease”) however, it can flare up after emotional stress, food allergies and viral and bacterial infections.
How is it diagnosed?
UC begins most frequently in the age group 20 to 30, although older people and children occasionally develop this disease. A specialist gastroenterologist will carry out investigations such as barium enema X ray, and direct visualisation of the bowel lining using a fiber optic telescope. This is called a colonoscopy.
Symptoms of UC
In UC the bowel lining becomes ulcerated releasing blood, mucus and pus. Inflammation of the bowel lining causes the colon to empty too frequently, resulting in diarrhea (sometimes explosive), cramping and flatulence. Bleeding from the rectum can occur and there may be up to 10 to 20 bowel actions containing blood and mucus daily. Weight loss, weakness, fever and dehydration often occurs during acute attacks. Abscesses may form in the wall of the colon, which release infected pus into the colon. The colon may become very dilated and inflamed, which is a medical emergency known as toxic mega colon. Toxic mega colon occurs when inflammation spreads from the mucus lining through the deeper layers of the colon. The colon becomes paralyzed which causes it to swell so much that it can eventually burst. This is known as a bowel perforation, which is a medical emergency requiring surgery. The overuse of certain drugs, particularly opiate painkillers, steroids and antispasmodics may increase the risk of toxic mega colon.
Treatment and general recommendations
It is important to try and maintain a healthy population of micro-organisms in the intestines to reduce infection of the inflamed bowel lining.
- Improve dietary habits.
- Improve digestion and absorption of nutrients from food.
- During acute flare-ups of UC, avoid high fiber cereals, seeds and nuts, and puree your fruits and vegetables after cooking them lightly.
- Eat only small frequent meals.
- Food preparation takes longer for those with inflammatory bowel disease because it is much better to eat your fruits and vegetables finely chopped or grated after they have been washed thoroughly. All seeds and nuts should be finely ground in a coffee grinder or food processor.
- It is important to avoid foods that may trigger attacks and everyone is different here.
All sufferers of UC should avoid gluten and dairy and also avoid microwave cooking.
- Avoid gluten.
- Avoid ALL margarines and similar type spreads.
- Avoid deep fried foods.
- Limit chicken and turkey that is not free range, as this may contain antibiotics and steroids that increase the liver’s workload.
- Avoid ALL alcohol.
- Drink 2 liters of water each day.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners see www.dorway.com
I have known about the incredible healing power of raw juices from a very young age. My grandmother’s life was saved by raw juicing back in the 1930’s.
Raw juices are an incredibly powerful healing tool and can improve the function of the liver, bowels and kidneys. High fiber foods may not be tolerated and indeed may aggravate the diarrhea. In this situation, raw vegetable and fruit juices made freshly with a juice extracting machine and diluted with water can provide essential antioxidants, enzymes and healing phytonutrients. Dilute the juice so that you have 2 parts pure water to one part juice and drink 7 oz (200 mL) every one to two hours.
Appropriate juice recipes from the book “Raw Juices Can Save Your Life” are:
Liver Tonic Juice
- 1 carrot
- 4.5 oz (125 g) fresh asparagus
- 4.5 oz (125 g) cucumber – leave skin on
- 1 orange
- 2 dandelion or 2 cabbage leaves
- Wash, trim and chop all ingredients and process in juicer.
- Drink 2 to 3 small cups daily.
Recipe for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Warm herbal teas made from any of the following; marshmallow, golden seal, dandelion root, chamomile and/or peppermint can be used to dilute this juice, instead of water. These herbs have a restorative effect upon the bowel.
- 1 carrot
- 2 sticks celery
- 2 cabbage leaves or 2 dandelion leaves
- 2 inch (5 cm) slice beetroot
- 2 apples or 2 pears
- 2 spinach or 2 kale leaves
You may add –
- 2 fresh apricots or
- 1/2 cup chopped fennel or
- 1/2 papaya or
- 1 clove garlic and/or 1/4 red onion
- Wash, trim and chop and pass through juicer – make enough for 32 oz (one liter) of juice per day. You may need to dilute the juice with 50% water (or even more water), as the inflamed intestines may not be able to handle a concentrated juice.
- Drink small amounts, 100 to 200 mls (3 to 7 oz) of the diluted juice, every few hours during the day, to make up a total of around 32 oz (one liter).
Orthodox medical treatment
Drug treatment is effective for the relief of acute symptoms in 70 – 80% of patients, and consists of antibiotics (sulfasalazine), antispasmodics and steroids. Often with the use of nutritional medicine, doses of steroid drugs can be minimised and confined to much shorter time periods. The minerals magnesium and potassium will need to be replaced because diarrhea depletes these minerals. Surgery becomes necessary in severe cases where intestinal perforation or obstruction has occurred. Long term regular follow up is essential, because for patients who have had UC for over 10 years, the risk of colon cancer is increased. Patients who have both UC and the liver disease Sclerosing Cholangitis, may be at an even higher risk of colon cancer. These people should be screened with extra vigilance.
Recommended supplements for ulcerative colitis
- Livatone Plus Powder or Capsules
Take 1 teaspoon daily in raw juices or water, or 1 capsule daily. A combination of synergistic herbs, vitamins and minerals, particularly taurine, B vitamins and St Mary’s Thistle to stimulate the phase 1 and 2 detox pathways in the liver – therefore it supports the liver function.
Take 1 capsule daily – Selenium is a powerful antioxidant mineral that assists in protection of further damage to tissues and cells. This nutrient is essential to heal the ulcerated bowel lining.
- Ultimate Gut Health Powder
Ultimate Gut Health keeps your intestines as healthy as possible. Designed to soothe, heal and repair the gut lining, you will find your intestines love this powder.
- Magnesium Tablets
Take 2 daily. Magnesium is known as the great relaxer and exerts an antispasmodic effect.
- Floratone Probiotic
Take 1 capsule daily. Floratone helps to regulate the gut with healthy bacteria.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.