There are things you can do to help you feel better and help you heal without the use or use in conjunction with medications. This is not a complete list. I have placed links to supplements that have helped my son or have helped others who have communicated with me. Remember every body is different so what works for one person may not work for you. Research everything before you take it. Some supplements can interact with medication, so check with your pharmacist.
There are no foods known to injure the bowel. However, during a flare, bulky foods, fiber, rough foods like peanuts, soda, caffeine, milk, and milk products can increase diarrhea, bleeding and cramping. You should always eat a healthy, well-balanced diet with adequate protein and calories. You can try an elimination diet and see if something is exacerbating your symptoms (making them worse). Also be careful of food dyes. They can cause major intestinal upset.
A lot of people have had success with this diet. THE SPECIFIC CARBOHYDRATE DIET (SCD DIET) It is very strict but some people who follow this diet have stayed in remission for many years. However, here is an article by the CCFA (Crohn’s Colitis Foundation of America) regarding it advising caution. http://www.ccfa.org/about/news/scd
VITAMIN B12 AND FOLIC ACID
I can’t stress enough the importance of taking these two supplements. They are processed and absorbed in the colon when the colon is healthy. Your colon is not healthy if you have Ulcerative Colitis and you are not getting the B12 and folic that you need. Lack of B12 causes pernicious anemia, a devastating kind of anemia that will leave you very fatigued. It can also cause a build up of homocysteine in your body which has been linked to a heart condition. Read my page on methylation for a more full understanding of why these two supplements are critical to your health. Because your colon is inflamed you are not absorbing certain vitamins (like B12) properly. It is very important to supplement your diet with a body ready sub-lingual (under the tongue) B12. Here is oneI recommend sublingual B12
BEE POLLEN Some people have had great success with Bee Pollen. Not honey or royal jelly. The actual pollen granules.
PROBIOTICS are probably one of the best ways to help heal your colon and keep the bad bacteria in check.
GINGER has been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory remedy. It is now recognized by the medical community and recommended. (9)
PURE WHOLE LEAF ALOE VERA GEL Lily of the Desert is the brand of Aloe my son took in the beginning. It kept him in remission the majority of two years. Later he took George’s Aloe Vera with the same results. When going to purchase aloe be careful of the brand you purchase. Some have additives that are not good for the colon. Some still have the aloin (the latex part of the plant that is a laxative) in it. I have spoken to the Lily of the Desert company and their research lab and I am very impressed. If you have questions call them. They are very accommodating. There are huge benefits to taking aloe. Aloe was used to control Ulcerative Colitis symptoms before modern medications became available.
A GOOD BODY-READY MULTI-VITAMIN–You will need a vitamin that has vitamins and minerals that are ready for the body to use because people with ulcerative colitis can’t properly process foods they eat. There are a few good brands out there. PURE Encapsulations Nutrient 950 is probably one of the best. It is body ready and easily absorbed.
SEACURE – A predigested fish protein that supplies necessary peptides for healing of your colon. Your appetite may increase when you take Seacure.
VITAMIN D3 is very important to the healing of the colon. There are different kinds of Vitamin D.
FISH OIL – There is compelling evidence that the EPA and DHA in the fish oil promote healing of the colon and help relieve the symptoms. Not all fish oil is created equal so make sure that it is high in EPA and DHA. There is a study done by the Cleveland Clinic that says fish oil when used in combination with soluble fiber and antioxidants worked as good or better then the current medications.
Krill oil is a natural anti-inflammatory without the potential side effects of NSAIDs. This is especially good for people are allergic to salycylates or don’t want to take Prednisone. However, Krill will take a while to work, whereas Prednisone will start working a lot sooner. There are also other benefits of Krill like heart and brain health.
Coconut Oil – Some people have found that coconut oil helps relieve their symptoms
Turmeric/curcumin – Some people have found this herb helped. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Be careful you don’t over use it. It can be irritating.
Biotin – Works for people with hair loss.
Caprylic Acid – to help naturally rid the colon of yeast and certain parasites. You have to be careful however, as caprylic acid kills off good bacteria also, so increase your probiotic intake when taking it.
Zinc – If you have copper toxicity that is causing your symptoms, zinc is an important supplement. It binds unbound copper and lets the body rid itself of the copper safely. Always be careful when taking. Too much Zinc is as bad as too much copper. You must monitor and make sure everything is in balance.
DETOX – Heavy metals especially copper can cause UC symptoms. If you have been tested and know you have to detox (rid your body of heavy metals and toxins) I would highly suggest you do it under supervision. Check out naturopaths in your area.
Stress and Anxiety – Stress can aggravate or even cause symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis. Any chronic disease can produce a serious emotional reaction in the patient. There are biofeedback, hypnosis, and meditation programs in your area you may want to check out. Online forums and chat rooms are an excellent help also. Other people are going through what you are. You are not alone.