Ulcerative colitis help may come in the form of dietary changes and probiotics.
What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis (UC) occurs when the colon’s lining is inflamed. Symptoms could include blood in the stool, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Inflammatory bowel disease may be a cause, but infection and loss of blood supply to the area of the colon could also trigger UC.1 Infectious colitis is commonly caused by bacteria or even a parasitic infection. These are typically due to contaminated food and water, or poor sanitation.2 Ulcerative colitis is not the same as Crohn’s disease, as the latter affects the digestive tract in general, and UC impacts the rectum and colon. Most people with UC get diagnosed by age 30. Family history may also lead to a higher likelihood of UC. Tests for colitis include blood tests, stool sample, or colonoscopy.3
There are some remedies for ulcerative colitis. Healing ulcerative colitis with colitis remedies includes dietary changes. The Paleo diet and ulcerative colitis may work hand in hand, in that regard. Eating less processed foods, sugar, and salt could help to alleviate the symptoms of UC. The popular Paleo diet avoids these types of foods. Some patients with UC find that their symptoms worsen with high fat foods, sugary foods, salty foods, spicy foods, whole grains, beans, and dairy products. Each patient is different. The Paleo diet follows the idea that “our bodies are genetically programmed to eat like our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors”. Therefore, cereals, dairy, legumes, processed foods, refined sugar, salt, refined vegetable oils, and potatoes are avoided. In addition, because patients with UC have a “high risk of iron deficiency anemia” due to the “chronic diarrhea and bloody stools”, it is important that they consume more iron, and the Paleo diet allows for poultry, fish, and meat, which have “heme iron”. A downside of the Paleo diet is that the avoidance of whole grains and legumes could lead to decreased folic acid, which is already a problem for patients with UC.4
Best Probiotics for UC
Healing colitis naturally is an option. One of the methods for treating colitis naturally is probiotics. Chiropractors offer nutritional advice and some suggest supplementation, such as probiotics. Colitis probiotics include “gut-friendly bacteria” that could help balance the bacterial flora in the gut. A recent study showed that probiotics might “not end the flare-up faster”, but the symptoms’ severity were reduced. As for using probiotics as a maintenance treatment, some studies have shown that they “may be as effective as traditional…medications,…including mesalazine”.5 Some of the best probiotics for UC include Saccharomyces boulardii, bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.6
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