Causes and Natural Treatments for the Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative-Colitis
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an autoimmune condition affecting the digestive tract. It usually affects the innermost lining of the large intestine (colon) and the rectum. The intestines become inflamed and produce ulcers. Ulcerative colitis patients experience flare-ups, where symptoms are at their worst. Can natural treatments for ulcerative colitis help people with symptoms such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Extreme stomach pain, especially when using the restroom
  • Blood in the stool

Causes for Ulcerative Colitis

Experts don’t know the exact cause of ulcerative colitis, but they know things like diet and stress play a factor. Doctors know UC is a condition that develops over time, rather than all at once. Other likely contributing factors to many UC cases include:

  • Malfunctioning immune system
  • Genetics
  • Poor gut microbiome
  • Environmental circumstances

Natural Treatments for Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis presents many unpleasant symptoms that might be managed with natural treatment options. Here are our favorite natural remedies for ulcerative colitis:

Medical Cannabis

Ulcerative colitis patients primarily consume cannabis to relieve their stomach pain, reduce nausea, increase their appetite, and decrease inflammation.

Cannabis works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a biological system composed of pathways called endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors work with cannabinoids, like THC, to regulate the body. The digestive tract is full of these receptors, which is why cannabis is considered so effective for those suffering from UC.

Medical cannabis has been shown to:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Improve sleep
  • Ease digestive discomfort and encourage appetite

If you’re interested in medical cannabis for ulcerative colitis, book an appointment with Heally. We’ll connect you with a certified physician in your state who can provide a medical cannabis certification. 

 

Probiotics

probiotics-1

If you have ulcerative colitis and aren’t already taking probiotics every single day, they might change your life. Probiotics are good bacteria equipped to fight bad bacteria in the gut and support the immune system’s natural response.

Try kombucha, which is a fermented tea loaded with probiotics. It also has digestive enzymes and other compounds like phenols to promote healthy digestion and immune function. Forewarning: kombucha has a strong taste, similar to that of vinegar, because of the fermentation. It’s an acquired taste, but it makes the kombucha fizzy and bubbly. Many people swap soda for kombucha because it gives them that bubbly feeling soda does. 

You might also try kimchi or sauerkraut. However, you must ferment them on your own or buy a product clearly labeled as having plenty of probiotics and fermented ingredients.

If fermented food isn’t for you, try a probiotic capsule. Make sure your probiotics are free of common allergens like gluten and dairy to avoid potential inflammatory responses. When introducing probiotics into your routine, take it slow until your body is used to it or you might experience unwanted side effects.

Hot Ginger Tea

hot-ginger-tea

Heat therapy is a trusted go-to for inflammation, but if you want the heat to reach your digestive system, you need to consume something hot. But ulcerative colitis patients can’t always eat, much less hold down food. Hot tea is a great alternative to eating, especially during a flare-up.

Utilizing ingredients like ginger can also provide additional anti-inflammatory support to the body. Studies support ginger for reducing inflammation and curbing nausea.

If you’re experiencing an ulcerative colitis flare-up, drink your tea in small sips only. Don’t overwhelm your digestive system. Make sure you focus on drinking the tea while it’s still hot, though, as the hot tea will provide your gastrointestinal tract with that much-needed heat therapy.

Try Intermittent Fasting

fasting

Like every other lifestyle change, always consult your doctor before proceeding.

This concept is simple: fasting gives your digestive system a much-needed break. A recent study from USC found that low-calorie diets (mimicking fasting) reversed inflammation in the mice subjects’ intestines. The study’s researchers indicate that the fasting-mimicking diet increased intestinal stem cells by supporting the growth of healthy gut microbiota (good bacteria).

Try fasting in the morning for at least three hours and see how you feel. Load up on water, maybe even kombucha or hot tea, and let your digestive system reset. It’s also important to not eat three hours before you go to sleep. Your digestive system is already working overtime, so let it rest at night!

Get in touch with Heally

Want more natural remedies for ulcerative colitis? Reach out to us at Heally to take the first step towards better natural health.

 

Interested in using cannabis as an alternative treatment? Get your cannabis card with a licensed physician.
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