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Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

Advanced Alternative Medicine Center

Chronic/Pain Conditions  >>    Ulcerative Colitis

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In this video, Dr Huntoon discusses what to consider when dealing with digestive issues. Ulcerative Colitis is usually caused by a specific imbalance that your medical doctor will not look for typically.

When you are ready to address the cause of your condition, Dr. Huntoon is happy to help you

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Ulcerative colitis

Inflammatory bowel disease - ulcerative colitis; IBD - ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum.

See also: Crohn's disease
Symptoms

The symptoms vary in severity and may start slowly or suddenly. About half of people only have mild symptoms. Others have more severe attacks that occur more often. Many factors can lead to attacks, including respiratory infections or physical stress.

Symptoms include:
Abdominal pain and cramping
Abdominal sounds (a gurgling or splashing sound heard over the intestine)
Blood and pus in the stools
Diarrhea, from only a few episodes to very often
Fever
Tenesmus (rectal pain)
Weight loss
Children's growth may slow.

Other symptoms that may occur with ulcerative colitis include the following:
Gastrointestinal bleeding
Joint pain and swelling
Mouth sores (ulcers)
Nausea and vomiting
Skin lumps or ulcers

Causes

The cause of ulcerative colitis from a medical perspective is unknown. People with this condition have problems with the immune system, but it is not clear whether immune problems cause this illness. Although stress and certain foods can trigger symptoms, they do not cause ulcerative colitis.

The Alternative perspective has been understood to be caused by the intake of antibiotics which alters the normal flora within the bowel system. This allows for certain foods to not be properly digested and result in food stagnation, putrification and finally irritation. Possible parasitic infection has been linked with ulcerative colitis. Simple blood tests can confirm this. If this is found, treatment of the parasite while restoring bowel balance will help restore balance.

Ulcerative colitis may affect any age group, although there are peaks at ages 15 - 30 and then again at ages 50 - 70.

The disease usually begins in the rectal area, and may involve the entire large intestine over time.

Risk factors include a family history of ulcerative colitis, or Jewish ancestry.

Traditional Medical Treatment Options and Diagnosis

Signs and tests

Colonoscopy with biopsy is generally used to diagnose ulcerative colitis.

Colonoscopy is also used to screen people with ulcerative colitis for colon cancer. Ulcerative colitis increases the risk of colon cancer. If you have this condition, you should be screened with colonoscopy about 8 - 12 years after being diagnosed. You should have a follow-up colonoscopy every 1 - 2 years.

Other tests that may be done to help diagnose this condition include:
Barium enema
Complete blood count (CBC)
C-reactive protein (CRP)
Sedimentation rate (ESR)

MEDICATIONS

Medications that may be used to decrease the number of attacks include:

5-aminosalicylates such as mesalamine or sulfazine, which can help control moderate symptoms

Immunomodulators such as azathioprine and 6-mercaptopurine

Corticosteroids (prednisone and methylprednisolone) taken by mouth during a flare-up or as a rectal suppository, foam, or enema

Infliximab (Remicade) or other biological treatments, if you do not respond to other medications

As with all medications, certain side-effects and complications are seen. Discussing the possible side-effects and complications with your medical doctor or pharmacist is necessary before starting any medication. Understanding what to look for, before beginning any medication, is vital. Many times once you start the medication, you cannot come off the medication without creating more serious health conditions. Please strongly consider this.

SURGERY

Surgery to remove the colon will cure ulcerative colitis and removes the threat of colon cancer. Surgery is usually recommended for patients who have:

Colitis that does not respond to complete medical therapy

Changes in the lining of the colon that are thought to be precancerous

Serious complications such as rupture (perforation) of the colon, severe bleeding (hemorrhage), or toxic megacolon

Most of the time, the entire colon, including the rectum, is removed. Afterwards, patients may need a surgical opening in the abdominal wall (ileostomy), or a procedure that connects the small intestine to the anus to help the patient gain more normal bowel function.

See also:

Total proctocolectomy with ileostomy

Total proctocolectomy and ileal - anal pouch

Ulcerative colitis - when you go home from the hospital

Dr. Huntoon's Alternative Medical Treatment Options

The goal of Alternative treatment is to restore balance to the digestive system and to eliminate the cause of the ulcerative colitis. This can be under the guidance of a Holistic Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, Homeopath or Naturopath. Positive outcomes to eliminate the cause of the ulcerative colitis have been achieved. As with all forms of treatment, discussing what is involved, the time commitment and the expectations along the way would be important to know before beginning any treatment regime.

Having this condition is not fun, as it robs you of your life and steals your joy. Working with a Holistic Chiropractor can help you develop a well-rounded, multifaceted approach to your ulcerative colitis. Understanding your specific condition is important before beginning this form of care.

The goals of Medical treatment are to:
Control the acute attacks
Prevent repeated attacks
Help the colon heal
Hospitalization is often needed for severe attacks. Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. You may be given nutrients through a vein (intravenous line).

DIET AND NUTRITION

Certain types of foods may worsen diarrhea and gas symptoms, especially during times of active disease. Diet suggestions include:
Eat small amounts of food throughout the day.
Drink plenty of water (drink small amounts throughout the day).
Avoid high-fiber foods (bran, beans, nuts, seeds, and popcorn).
Avoid fatty, greasy or fried foods and sauces (butter, margarine, and heavy cream).
Limit milk products if you are lactose intolerant. Dairy products are a good source of protein and calcium.

STRESS

You may feel worried, embarrassed, or even sad or depressed about having a bowel accident. Other stressful events in your life, such as moving, or losing a job or a loved one can cause digestive problems.

Ask your healthcare practitioner for tips to manage your stress. NeuroEmotional Technique (NET) or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) are excellent solutions to dealing with your stress.

What to discuss with your doctor

Call your health care provider if:

You develop persistent abdominal pain, new or increased bleeding, persistent fever, or other symptoms of ulcerative colitis

You have ulcerative colitis and your symptoms worsen or do not improve with treatment, or new symptoms develop

Medicines Two Choices for You

Support Groups

Social support can often help with the stress of dealing with illness, and support group members may also have useful tips for finding the best treatment and coping with the condition.

For more information, visit the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) web site at www.ccfa.org.

Expectations (prognosis)

Working with a Holistic Chiropractor using a well-rounded, multifaceted approach is the best way to eliminate this condition. Discussing the time commitment and the specifics of what is involved is prudent. Understanding all the causes and what is involved in solving your condition is the best way to approach your ulcerative colitis.

Others have had positive resolution of their condition by using Acupuncture, Homeopathy or Naturopathy.

About half of patients with ulcerative colitis have mild symptoms. Patients with more severe ulcerative colitis tend to respond less well to medications.

Permanent and complete control of symptoms with medications is unusual. A Medical cure is only possible through complete removal of the large intestine.

The risk of colon cancer increases in each decade after ulcerative colitis is diagnosed.

Complications

Repeated swelling (inflammation) leads to thickening of the intestinal wall and rectum with scar tissue. Death of colon tissue or severe infection (sepsis) may occur with severe disease.

Ankylosing spondylitis
Blood clots
Colorectal cancer
Colon narrowing
Complications of corticosteroid therapy
Impaired growth and sexual development in children
Inflammation of the joints (arthritis)
Liver disease
Massive bleeding in the colon
Mouth ulcers
Pyoderma gangrenosum (skin ulcer)
Sores (lesions) in the eye
Tears or holes (perforation) in the colon

Prevention and Quick Tips

Prevention

Because the cause is unknown from a Medical perspective, prevention is also unknown from a Medical perspective. That is why working with a Holistic Chiropractor to develop a well-rounded, multifaceted approach is warranted. Understanding your personal condition is what allows for a specific treatment protocol for your individual needs. Discussing the time commitment and the specifics involved is prudent.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may make symptoms worse.

Due to the risk of colon cancer associated with ulcerative colitis, screening with colonoscopy is recommended. Understanding the potential for bowel perforation and the potential for other complications is important before agreeing to have a colonoscopy. The American Cancer Society recommends having your first screening:

8 years after you are diagnosed with severe disease, or when most of, or the entire, large intestine is involved

12 - 15 years after diagnosis when only the left side of the large intestine is involved

Have follow-up examinations every 1 - 2 years.

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