ColitisWhat is Colitis?

Colitis is an inflammation of the large intestine or colon. There are basically two types of colitis, one is the mucus, and the other is the ulceratie.

Mucus colitis is among the common disorders of the large bowels. This often produces discomfort and irregular bowel habits. Chronic ulcerative colitis on the other hand, is a prolonged inflammation, wherein ulcers start to form on the walls of the large intestine which results to passing blood on the stools. At times, pus and mucus are also seen.

Both of these types of colitis usually result from the irritation of the walls of the colon. The main function of the large intestine is to store the waste materials until soft stools are formed. The stools consist of foods that cannot be readily absorbed by the body. Those who suffer from any type of colitis would often have irregular and erratic contractions. These are usually noticeable on the left area.


What Causes Colitis?

  • Chronic constipation. This is considered as the main cause of colitis. People who suffer from constipation for a long time are prone to suffer from this ailment. Constipation accumulates hard faecal matter in the colon, which is never properly evacuated.
  • Using purgatives. These are also known as laxatives, which induces bowel movement or soften the stools. Using these as a cure is not a healthy practice since these only increase irritation.
  • Poorly digested food. This is another cause of colitis. Usually, undigested forms of cereals and carbohydrates contribute to bowel irritation.
  • Food sensitivities. When you have an allergic sensitivity, you are most likely to suffer from colitis as well. Some of the known foods that usually cause allergic body reactions are eggs, wheat, and milk.
  • Antibiotics. Taking in antibiotics usually upset the right bacterial flora in the intestines. This then interferes with proper digestion.
  • Severe stress. This could also cause ulcerative colitis. When a person is under stress, his body produces a lot of adrenal hormones that causes the destruction of body proteins. At times, some areas of the intestine are eaten away in the process. When under stress, the pantothenic acid levels in the body are decreased. Stress has been known to deplete the body of pantothenic acid, and when the body is deficient of this vitamin, he is most likely to develop colitis.


Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of Colitis

Since colitis occurs in the intestines, particularly in the colon, signs and symptoms pertaining to the disease must always be watched out for.

  • Increase urgency to move bowels. This is often the first symptom of colitis. While a lot of people may feel this often, it is important to take note of succeeding symptoms.
  • Cramping pains in the abdomen. This usually follows the urgency to move the bowels.
  • Bloody mucus found in the stool.
  • Watery stools and increased frequency of movements. This usually happens when the disease starts spreading upwards.
  • Rectal straining.
  • Weakness, fever, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and anaemia will often be felt due to loss of blood every time stool is being passed.
  • Bloated feeling. This is brought about by the body’s inability of the body to either absorb or expel gas.
  • Constipation/loose bowel movement. Some colitis sufferers experience having constipation, alternating with loose bowel movement.
  • Diarrhoea. Some actually suffer from prolonged diarrhea for years.
  • Malnourishment. Patient appears malnourish and underweight.
  • Insomnia. This is also one likely effect of malnourishment.
  • Nutritional problems. When the body is not able to assimilate ingested foods because of inflammatory conditions, then these could cause diseases associated with deficiencies. This in turn could result to exhaustion, nervous irritability, and depression. In utterly rare and severe cases, patients are known to develop suicidal tendencies.


Remedies, Treatment and Cure for Colitis

  • Soften  stools using plain warm water or one with a little olive oil. This can be used as a wash-out, and can remove hardened materials that have accumulated and stuck to the walls of the large intestine.
  • Complete bed rest. One suffering from colitis must eliminate any cause of tension.
  • When you eat, try to eat slowly, chewing food really carefully for easier digestion.
  • Try to avoid suppressive drugs as this has been shown to suppress only the symptoms but do not eliminate the cause. Hence, the condition recurs and eventually becomes a chronic ailment.

Diet for Colitis

Friendly Foods

  • Juice fast for about 5 days. Juices could be diluted in a little boiled water. Fresh fruits and vegetable juice would be very beneficial. Some of these are papaya juice, carrot juice, and raw cabbage.
  • Soft cooked or steamed vegetables. You can include well-ripened fruits like papaya and banana.
  • Yoghurt and home-made cottage cheese are also beneficial.
  • Sprouted seeds and grains, as well as whole meal bread can do well for the body.
  • Ripe bananas are really beneficial in treating ulcerative colitis since it is smooth, bland, and could easily be digested. This fruit relieves the symptoms and has been known to promote the healing process in the intestine.
  • Cooked apple can help in healing ulcerative colitis. Apple has high source of levels of iron and phosphorus which are beneficial to the body.
  • Coconut water is also a good remedy for colitis. It soothes the colon’s soft mucosa.
  • Drink two glasses of water when you wake up in the morning. This would stimulate a healthy and normal bowel movement.

Foods to Avoid

  • White sugar and white bread products. White flour products must be avoided too.
  • Highly seasoned foods
  • Foods that have high salt content
  • Strong coffee and tea
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Foods that were cooked using aluminum pans
  • Avoid citrus juices
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