While the symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis (UC) can be embarrassing and debilitating, you can find relief when they are properly treated.
Your own personal course of action will vary depending on your own unique situation and the severity of your symptoms, but most methods involve one of four treatments: diet, medication, surgery, and alternative remedies.
While changing your diet will not completely eliminate your ulcerative colitis symptoms, they can help make them much more manageable. Avoiding high-fiber foods like raw fruits and vegetables can help reduce bloating and gas, and incorporating nutrient-dense options will help you avoid malnutrition due to diarrhea. Dieting for UC is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and it will probably take some experimentation before you find a system that will work for you.
In some cases, medication may be able to help you regulate your ulcerative colitis symptoms. These drugs can help reduce colon inflammation, which will help reduce the occurrence of diarrhea, bloating, and gas. In cases of infection, antibiotics may be necessary to help heal abscesses and fistulas.
In severe cases of UC, medication and diet alone may not be able to help you regulate your symptoms. In these instances, surgery is a viable option. This typically involves the removal of part or all of the colon, which will eliminate all UC-related problems entirely. Due to advances in medical technology, surgeries like these no longer always require patients to have an ileostomy in addition to the removal of the colon.
While there is little medical research to back up their effectiveness, many UC sufferers have claimed success with alternative treatments. Herbs and spices such as turmeric, gingko biloba, and psyllium are purported to improve digestion and reduce colon inflammation. Additionally, some people have found relief with acupuncture. If you’re interested in trying some alternative remedies for your ulcerative colitis, it’s best to use them in conjunction with more traditional forms of treatment—instead of replacing them entirely with alternative medicine.