What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
During a flare-up, symptoms can vary depending on the location of ulcerative colitis and the severity of inflammation:
- diarrhea mixed with blood and mucus
- abdominal pain - from mild discomfort to painful cramping.
Patients may also have anemia, fatigue and weight loss. Ulcerative colitis often has extra-intestinal manifestations such as joint pain, mouth ulcers, skin, eye and liver symptoms.
How is ulcerative colitis diagnosed?
The diagnostic work-up for ulcerative colitis includes:
- stool specimens
- blood tests
- an endoscopy with biopsies of the mucosa
- a barium enema X-ray
- video capsule endoscopy
- CT or MRI enterography
How is ulcerative colitis treated?
Although the symptoms of ulcerative colitis can sometimes diminish on their own, the disease usually requires treatment to go into remission. Conventional treatment for ulcerative colitis includes corticosteroids and amino salicylates to reduce inflammation. In severe cases immunosuppressive drugs are also prescribed.
Homeopathic treatment for ulcerative colitis
Homeopathic treatment can relieve the bleeding and diarrhea and can shorten flare-up`s duration. It can also bring about a long-term remission and prevent new attacks.
Research suggests that ulcerative colitis may be an autoimmune disease and a virus or bacterium may trigger the disease. Homeopathic treatment reinforces the immune system and helps the body`s defense against infection. Homeopathy is compatible with conventional treatment and you can take homeopathic medicines when you are on other medications too. Homeopathic therapy is natural and has no side effects.
Stress is one of the triggers that can set off a flare-up. Homeopathic medicines are very effective in ulcerative colitis because they balance the immune system, treat the intestinal symptoms and also relieve stress.
Some common homeopathic medicines for ulcerative colitis include:
- Argentum nitricum - diarrhea with mucus and blood; excessive gas; craves sweets but doesn`t tolerate sugar well. Anxious, always in a rush, irrational fears. Diarrhea from being anxious.
- Arsenicum album - foul-smelling diarrhea, more frequent stools at night, burning pain in the abdomen relieved by heat or warm drinks. Fear of disease and death. Chilly, weak but restless.
- Mercurius corrosivus - a medicine for ulcerative and hemorrhagic lesions, severe burning and frequent painful urge to defecate, bloody foul-smelling diarrhea, pain lingers after defecation.
- Nitricum acidum - diarrhea with mucus and blood with stinging pains and painful urges. Chilly, weak, irritable, with health anxiety.
- Phosphorus - bloody painless and profuse diarrhea. Emotional oversensitivity to the feelings of others. Overexcited mind with fits of anxiety mainly when alone or in the evening; gets tired easily.
Homeopathy can be safely used with herbs and supplements that also reduce the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, such as vitamins, fish oil and aloe vera juice.