Ulcerative colitis is a serious bowel disease in which the intestines develop open sores and bleed. The classic symptoms are bloody diarrhea and a thick, white mucous discharge. If not treated, the disease can worsen to the point of weight loss, anemia from blood loss and fever. Eventually, the disease can spread through the colon. There are many prescription medications used to treat the disease, but there are also natural supplements that can be used in conjunction with prescription medication.
Some of the most common over-the-counter medications used to treat ulcerative colitis are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen. NSAIDS can protect the walls of the colon by attaching to damaging free radicals molecules that attack the colon and create the ulcers.
There are some concerns with using NSAIDS for long periods of time, or if there are difficulties with clotting or stomach problems. NSAIDS can cause ulcers in the stomach if you have sensitivity to the drug or they can eat away at the stomach lining if taken in large doses.
Aloe and Boswellia
Aloe is known as a restorative to dry skin, but using supplements with aloe as an ingredient can also help stop inflammation and prevent diarrhea. The active aloe ingredient in most supplements is aloe mucilaginous polysaccharide, which can also act as a detoxifier to the body and aid in digestion.
Boswellia serrata is commonly known as frankincense and acts as an anti-inflammatory of ulcerative colitis, but will not cause stomach ulcers like NSAIDS. Boswellia blocks two of the most common inflammatory chemicals associated with colitis. It has also been shown to help with general pain.
One of the most effective over the counter medications can be found in your local supermarket. Studies have shown that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the effects of ulcerative colitis. While meat is excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, it cannot often be tolerated by those suffering from ulcerative colitis. Instead, a few spoonfuls of flax seed oil or cod liver oil will do the trick.
Ulcerative colitis is often known as an autoimmune disease so a diet high in vitamin D will often help reduce the symptoms and protect against future flare-ups. Vitamin D can be found in salmon and eggs, as well as in supplement form.