Tag: Ayurvedic medicines for ulcerative colitis

What foods to avoid if you have Ulcerative Colitis

Overview

Ulcerative colitis is referred to as the inflammation of the colon that includes characteristic of ulcers, or open sores. The inflammation affects the whole area.

It affects both males and females and of any age group can have ulcerative colitis. 15-30 years is the age group when people are more prone to ulcerative colitis because of their life style.

It is considered as an intermittent disease with periods of exacerbated symptoms, and periods that are relatively symptoms free.

ulcerative colitis treatment

The ulceration and inflammation starts in the rectum and in the lower section of the colon, but as the disease progresses, it spreads through the entire colon.

If not treated and diagnosed early, it may result in various complications that can affect the daily life of an individual.

In modern medicine, there is no satisfactory treatment available till date but according to Ayurveda, it is managed naturally by avoiding certain foods in the diet.

What are the causes of Ulcerative Colitis according to Ayurveda?

Ulcerative Colitis is known as Grahni dosha in Ayurveda. It was mentioned in Sushruta Samhita 3000 years ago that ulcerative colitis affects Pitta dominant people.

Intake of foods that imbalance the Pitta dosha in the body further aggravates the condition.

Excessive intake of food such as:

  • Processed food
  • Intake of fried, hot and spicy food
  • Artificially flavored foods such as artificial sweeteners, colors etc.
  • Intake of food made of refined flour
  • Junk food.

Ulcerative colitis treatment in Ayurveda

What are the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?

The symptoms usually begin in the lower part of the colon and then spread upwards.

Symptoms are:

  • Increased urgency to move the bowel
  • Cramping pain in the abdomen
  • Blood and mucus in the stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Low-grade fever
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Distended abdomen
  • Lesions in the skin
  • Rectal Pain
  • Rectal bleeding

What Diet Should Be Followed in Ulcerative Colitis?

  • Diet plays an important role in the treatment of ulcerative colitis because it is caused due to wrong eating habits. People who eat non-vegetarian food and tend to draw most of their protein need from meat are more prone to ulcerative colitis.
  • The diet which is rich in astringent principles should be followed. The ulcerative colitis may vary from person to person depending on the patient’s Prakriti.
  • Proper diet and nutrition play an important role in the management of ulcerative colitis so as to prevent weight loss.

What Foods to be avoided in Ulcerative Colitis

1.Pitta Aggravating Food

Avoid Pitta aggravating food such as red chilies, tea, coffee, alcohol as they can aggravate the symptoms.

  • During an active flare, it is best to avoid spices and stick to plain foods to heal the colon as well as to minimize the symptoms.
  • Use of only mild spices is recommended to avoid the irritation of the digestive tract.
  • Certain Pitta aggravating foods such as- cold drinks, fried foods, alcohol, ghee, and sweets should be avoided.
  • Tomatoes should be avoided as they aggravate Pitta dosha in the body.
  • Foods such as soy protein, onions should be avoided as they tend to cause excessive acid formation and irritate the gut.

2.Dairy Products:

Certain dairy products such as- milk, buttermilk, cottage cheese should be avoided as people with ulcerative colitis are generally lactose intolerant.

  • The sugar present in milk and dairy products is known as lactose.
  • In some patients of ulcerative colitis, the small intestine lacks the digestive enzyme known as lactase.
  • Lactose intolerance causes symptoms such as- abdominal pain and diarrhea. So, avoid dairy products to reduce these symptoms.
  • Moreover, dairy products contain a lot of saturated fat which cannot be digested properly.

3.Carbonated Beverages:

The carbonated beverages are rich in carbonic acid which causes gas formation and abdominal discomfort.

  • These beverages also contain caffeine which can worsen diarrhea.
  • So, carbonated drinks should be avoided by the patients suffering from ulcerative colitis.

4.Nuts and Seeds:

Nuts and seeds are hard to digest so these should be avoided by ulcerative colitis patients.

  • In ulcerative colitis, there are active flare-ups. So, it is best to eat foods that are easily digestible and those foods which don’t irritate the further lining of the intestines.
  • So, avoid foods which are high in fiber such as- nuts, seeds, raw vegetables.

5.Alcohol

  • Alcohol may affect different parts of the body but in ulcerative colitis, it stimulates the intestines and causes diarrhea.
  • So, consumption of alcohol should be avoided as it damages the liver too.

6.High-Fat Foods:

  • High-fat foods such as- butter, cream, fried or greasy food should be avoided as body’s digestive fire is not balanced, so these foods are not digested properly and act as a load on the system.

7.Vata dosha aggravating food:

The foods which form more gas formation or causes Vata imbalance should be avoided.

  • Certain foods such as- sprouts, cabbage, sweet corns, broccoli should be avoided.
  • These foods cause excessive wind formation in the gut.

8.Whole Grains:

High-fiber foods are hard to digest and are the cause of bloating, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

  • Fiber rich food should be avoided by the patients suffering from ulcerative colitis as the body is not able to digest whole grains during flare-ups.
  • So, avoid food products which are rich in fibre.
  • Limit the intake of fibre rich vegetables such as- broccoli and cabbage which can cause excessive gas formation.

9.Processed Foods:

Processed foods contain refined carbohydrates and excessive amounts of sugar.

  • Sugars may cause the over-growth of yeast infections and can trigger ulcerative colitis.
  • So, processed foods should be avoided by the patients suffering from ulcerative colitis.

It is important to know that ulcerative colitis patient has different food intolerance because of their parkriti. The intolerance to milk while and sensitive to high fibre food again depends on Prakriti of one.

In addition to diet, stress is also a causative factor of ulcerative colitis. Stress also triggers a flare-up of the disease as chronic stress weakens the immune system making system more susceptible to ulcerative colitis.

How to Treat and Prevent Ulcerative Colitis Flares Naturally

OVERVIEW

It is inflammatory disease which includes colon, rectum along with a small part of small intestine. Ulcerative colitis comes under the category of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Crohn’s disease comes under the second category of inflammatory bowel diseases. It can sometimes results in serious problems, as it is a chronic disease.

Due to changing eating habits as well as changing lifestyle, abdominal problems like- gastritis, bloating, constipation are becoming most common. These issues looks quite simple to handle but if not diagnosed or treated early may results into a disease called as “Ulcerative Colitis”. From the past few years, there is a rise in number of patients suffering from ulcerative colitis. Unfortunately, according to modern medicine, it is considered as incurable disease.

It is also known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) which is regarded as a chronic ailment of colon. According to modern medicine, it is believed that food allergy, intake of certain medicines for a long duration, intake of antibiotics for a longer time, incompatible food, eating late nights can result in developing this disease.

Ulcerative colitis treatment in ayurveda

According to Ayurveda

  • As Ayurveda believes in curing the disease from the root, this problem has a proper solution. According to Ayurveda, it initiates with mild diarrhea then leads to stools with Ama [toxic substances] then results in constipation.
  • In Ayurveda, it is also known as pittaj grahani.

Classification of Ulcerative Colitis

It is the most serious & common disorder and is classified into 3 types on the basis of severity

  1. Mild
  2. Moderate
  3. Severe

MILD– The characteristic features of mild ulcerative colitis are-

  1. Four or less than four stools per day
  2. Stools may with or without blood
  3. No systemic disturbances
  4. No change in the ESR value [erythrocyte sedimentation rate]

MODERATE- The characteristic features of moderate ulcerative colitis are-

  1. More than 4 stools daily
  2. Few systemic disturbances

SEVERE– The characteristic features of severe ulcerative colitis are-

  1. Not less than 6 stools daily
  2. Stools with blood
  3. More systemic disturbances like fever, anemia, tachycardia
  4. Greater changes in the ESR value[ erythrocyte sedimentation rate]

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

Commonly the patients have ulcers in their inner lining of the colon who suffers from the ulcerative colitis shows symptoms like:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Stool in blood
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in rectal area
  • Increase in bowel sounds
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Malnutrition [poor health]

Symptoms vary with the location of ulceration:

  • When inflammation occurs in rectal along with sigmoid region then sufferers have symptoms of urgency, painful feeling during defecation, bleeding in the rectal area.
  • When inflammation occurs in rectum with left part of colon then sufferers have symptoms of pain in left part of abdomen, abdominal cramps, weight loss, watery stools mixed with blood.
  • When inflammation covers whole colon then the individual have symptoms of fatigue, fever, night sweats, abdominal pain and abdominal cramps.

Diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis

As ulcerative colitis involves only colon and rectum, it is easy to diagnose. Some of the diagnostic tools are as follows-

  1. Flexible sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy– colonoscopy is the preferred choice as it can be uses to see the whole colon.
  2. Biopsies which are collected during the procedure of colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy
  3. x-ray of abdominal area
  4. Stool analysis
  5. Barium enema
  6. MRI or CT scan
  7. Urine and blood test to check for inflammation, anemia and malnutrition.

Natural Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis with Diet

As a healthy diet which is rich in all vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats prevents in remission of ulcerative colitis, so diet is a crucial factor in the patients having ulcerative colitis. The diet should include various foods:

Low-fat dairy products

  • The dairy products can be consumed in moderate amounts until unless it does not cause any trouble in the digestive tract.
  • A low quantity of milk does not harm stomach.
  • If milk leads to trouble in digestive tract like gas, bloating, or a stomach upset, then start drinking soy milk or lactose free milk.

Fruits and vegetables

  • A diet including variety of different fresh fruits is very much beneficial for patients who are having ulcerative colitis.
  • So fresh fruits which provides greater amount of vitamins, nutrients, water but less fibre are doing wonderful job to prevent pain in abdomen, abdominal cramps and disturbed bowel movements.

Fresh fruits that are easily digested in the patients suffering from ulcerative colitis such as bananas, avocados,cooked apples, seedless grapes, peaches

  • Healthy fats like vegetable oils
  • Fish, Lean meat and poultry
  • Vegetables but without seeds

Soft Bland Foods

  • These kinds of foods are very beneficial in some of the digestive tract problems such as ulcerative colitis. Soft bland foods which can be used in ulcerative colitis are oatmeal, puffed rice, hominy grits, wheat cream, boiled eggs, gelatin, mashed potatoes, cooked vegetables such as asparagus, mushrooms, carrots and spinach and brown rice.

Natural Herbs for Ulcerative Colitis

Aloe Vera:

  • Aloe Vera helps in the treatment of ulcerative colitis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. According to some studies, it is believed that patients having aloe Vera for 4 weeks shows better results rather than people who are not having.

How to Use

Mix aloe Vera gel into a glass of water and then drink it on the daily basis before going to bed.

Andrographis paniculata

  • This herb helps in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. This herb is most commonly used to treat this disease.

Boswellia

  • This herb helps in the treatment of ulcerative colitis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. This herb helps in protecting our body from cells of ulcerative colitis.

Curcumin

  • This herb’s abilities to reduce cytokines and interleukins associated with inflammatory bowel disease, helps in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. According to some studies, it is believed that if patient continue to have curcumin or turmeric on daily basis, will show betterment of symptoms of ulcerative colitis.