Ulcerative colitis flare-ups may be triggered by dietary aggravators and stress.
What is ulcerative colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that is autoimmune in nature. It presents in the large intestine (ie. the colon), in episodes of flare up and remission. The name – ulcerative – describes the ulcerations on the intestinal wall that may lead to serious outcomes.
Symptoms in an inflamed active state may include weight loss, severe abdominal cramping, rectal pain, malaise, fever, bloody stools, diarrhea and nutrient malabsorption.
Ulcerative colitis occurs most commonly in Caucasians and Ashkenazi Jews and usually presents before 30 years old.
What causes ulcerative colitis?
Because ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune condition, it results from the immune system turning against itself and attacking its own tissues.
There is a genetic predisposition to ulcerative colitis, meaning that if a family member has ulcerative colitis, there is an increased risk for a close relative to also develop the disease.
There has been a potential connection associated with oral use of a strong vitamin A derivative used to treat acne (also known as isotretinoin or Accutane) and development of ulcerative colitis.
Aggravating factors that may contribute to the onset of flare-ups include diet and chronic stress.
How is ulcerative colitis treated conventionally?
Ulcerative colitis is treated with oral or rectal prescription medication to reduce inflammation in the colon. In severe cases, strong corticosteroids or immunosuppressant medication may be prescribed to get a flare-up under control and maintain disease remission.
Removing the colon via surgery is an option for severe unrelenting cases that will prevent recurrence. Because ulcerative colitis presents in the colon, when the colon is removed, the condition cannot come back.
How does a naturopathic doctor treat ulcerative colitis?
A naturopathic doctor’s goal is to assess ulcerative colitis from a whole body vantage point.
Because there is a disruption and overstimulation of the immune system, it is important to use natural treatments that normalize immunity (without contributing to immune overstimulation). A diet appropriate for ulcerative colitis – supporting the digestive tract, while mitigating inflammation – will be recommended to you.
Additionally, it is important to consider nutrient therapy to correct deficiencies brought on by the diseased gut, and to support healing of the digestive tract.
Dr.Makoto Trotter, ND is experienced with treating many digestive disorders, including ulcerative colitis. He will assess your individual state of health and health history in detail, and recommend a treatment plan that is specific to your health requirements and digestive status. Contact Zentai Wellness Centre for further inquiries or to book an appointment.