Ulcerative Colitis

What is it?

  • Autoimmune, inflammatory bowel disease involving the colon and rectum

  • The immune system produces autoantibodies against colon epithelial cells

  • Immune system produces antibodies against rectal mucosa from infection with bacteria

  • Altered gut permeability "leaky gut" and increased absorption of dietary and bacterial toxins

  • Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum.

Causes

  • Excessive intake of sulfur containing foods: dairy, cheese, eggs, meats, wine, dried fruits, cordials

  • Lack of breast feeding

  • Dairy sensitivity or intolerance

  • Sorbitol intolerance

  • Gluten sensitivity

  • Immune system malfunction: When the immune system tries to fight off an invading virus or bacterium, an abnormal immune response causes the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract.

  • Poor diet

  • Infections

  • Genetics

  • High stress

  • Anxiety or Depression

  • Trauma

Symptoms

  • Diarrhea, often with blood or pus

  • Abdominal pain and cramping

  • Rectal pain

  • Rectal bleeding: passing small amount of blood with stool

  • Urgency to defecate

  • Inability to defecate despite urgency

  • Weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Fever

  • In children, failure to grow

Tests

  • Abdominal exam

  • Blood tests for anemia, infection, and inflammation

  • Stool occult blood test

  • Colonscopy

Allopathic Treatment Options

  1. Two common anti-inflammatory medications that are prescribed for ulcerative colitis include aminosalicylates and corticosteroids. Although these medications can be effective in reducing symptoms of ulcerative colitis, they come with a number of side effects. For instance, some aminosalicylates, including mesalamine, balsalazide and olsalazine, have been associated with kidney and pancreas problems. Corticosteroids, which are given to patients with moderate to severe symptoms, have numerous side effects, including a puffy face, excessive facial hair, night sweats, insomnia and hyperactivity. More serious side effects of this type of medication includes high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, bone fractures, cataracts, glaucoma and increased chance of infection. This is why these conventional medicines and treatments are not utilized for long periods of time

  2. Immunosuppressant drugs are also used to treat ulcerative colitis. These medications suppress the immune system response that starts the process of inflammation in the first place. According to a study published in Digestive Diseases, the standard treatment of ulcerative colitis is directed towards inducing and maintaining remission of symptoms and mucosal inflammation

  3. In severe cases, surgery can eliminate ulcerative colitis, but it usually involves removing the entire colon and rectum

Naturopathic Treatment Options

  1. Begin with a healing diet that will heal the gut lining and calm the immune system and inflammation down

  2. Support liver health to detox environmental toxins and infections

  3. Address micronutrient deficiencies to build up the physiology/biochemical function of the body

  4. Find out what foods you are intolerant to through food intolerance testing. Dr. Felty's patients experience relief after removing foods that bother them

  5. Repair and restore gut function with healing herbs, amino acids, and vitamins

  6. Treat infections

  7. Treat functional disorders such as too little stomach acid, hiatal hernia, ileocecal valve syndrome, gallbladder dysfunction, or pancreatic insufficiency

  8. Essential fatty acids

  9. Anti-oxidant support with clinical nutrition and vitamins

  10. Support emotional health

  11. Reduce stress and anxiety naturally through mind body techniques such as somatic experiencing and qigong

  12. Lifestyle adjustments unique to your lifestyle and schedule. Dr. Felty looks at more than your symptoms. She provides care for your whole health. Many different factors impact your symptoms. Dr. Felty will take time to educate you and work with you to feel better

  13. Support physical health through breathing exercises and abdominal massage

  14. Counseling

  15. Acupuncture

  16. Hydrotherapy

  17. Homeopathy

With the help of a health care professional like Dr. Felty, you can receive personalized recommendations on how to improve your health. Call today to schedule an appointment to discuss possible solutions.