As you already know, Ulcerative Colitis is a term to describe inflammation in the lining of the intestinal wall when ulcers are present and bleeding occurs. Colitis is inflammation without ulcerations.
For me, my battle with Ulcerative Colitis began at a very stressful time in my life. There is no doubt that stress and anxiety plays a huge role in the development of this disease. I also want to say that around the same time I was put on a strong antibiotic for a sinus infection. It wasn't until later on when I read that Colitis was a possible permanent side effect from taking this medication. Although it could never be proven completely, I know for sure that the combination of the stress and medication was not a good mix for me.
I suffered for many years. My doctor put me on Mesalamine, which never made any difference in how I felt. In fact, I could hardly digest them. This was the beginning of my personal journey for answers that would make a real difference in my life. I am happy to say that after years of research and personal experimentation, I have found many different things that have helped me reach full remission with my disease. I am no longer on prescription medication, in fact it has been almost 6 years! I was fortunate in finding a great Gastroenterologist who encouraged me to do whatever it took to feel better. He was not against natural therapies, he even encouraged me to keep doing what worked! I was thrilled when my last colonoscopy test came back and showed no signs of Ulcerative Colitis, only the old scar tissue from my previous years. I have to admit, after all these years, this was a personal victory for me! One that I would hope to continue throughout my life.
Below, I will share with you the things that brought me hope, gave me direction and some of the supplements that made a difference in my physical healing. I believe they are all responsible for bringing me to where I am today. If at any time, you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
If you are suffering with Colitis (Ulcerative Colitis), I just want to encourage you by telling you that you can become well again. You must be willing to have faith, and never give up because there is real help beyond medication. I am a living testimony to this!
Helpful Tips for Ulcerative Colitis
Drink lots of water! Dehydration is a common problem with colitis sufferers. Good water intake will also help with your energy level. Remember to drink water at room temperature. Your body has to work harder to process cold drinks!
Rest during flare ups. It's okay to take time out when you aren't feeling well. A good nights sleep goes a long way.
Exercise whenever possible. Exercising helps with stress as well as digestion. Even if all you can do is walk, do it whenever you can.
Keep down your stress level! This is so important. Your mind and the amount of stress you feel effects your physical body. I highly encourage stress management to keep yourself emotionally balanced.
Take time each day to educate yourself. Be proactive in your own physical recovery. Don't be afraid to try new things and always be open to learning from others who have been there.
Stick to foods that are alkaline. A diet rich in alkaline foods has been shown to help with digestive disorders. If you don't understand alkaline foods vs. acidic foods and how they effect the body, consider these resources:
The Acid Alkaline Food Guide: A Quick Reference to Foods & Their Effect on pH Levels by Susan E. Brown - a great book worth reading. This will help you understand more about alkaline/acid food relationships and their effect on the body.
One Earth Health Alkaline Food and pH Chart (8x11) Alkaline Acid Food Chart - this is a great chart that you can just place on your refrigerator for quick reference.
Remember Green Foods Green Magma is an alkaline food supplement too.
Eat smaller amounts more frequently. Taking in smaller amounts of food at each sitting is easier on your digestion and will cause less uncomfortable symptoms.
Avoid foods high in white sugar. One thing you must remember is that white sugar is food for bad bacteria.
Foods to Avoid during Flare Ups
- fried foods
- spicy foods
- foods containing MSG
- starchy foods
- nuts and seeds
- raw fish (bacterial risk)
- specific spices (black pepper, red pepper)
- acidic foods ( vinegar, tomatoes, citrus)
- raw vegetables (harder to digest- consider steaming)
- refined and sugary foods
Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Dietby Elaine Gottshall is a ground breaking book. I came across this book many years ago. This book teaches the Specific Carbohydrate Diet which Elaine developed to help her save her son from his serious battle with Ulcerative Colitis. She did more than help him, she healed him. This book is an impressive read. Elaine is known for her research and now that research is making a difference around the world. Even if you don't do this diet exactly as recommended, you will learn about how foods effect the body, so you can make more informed decisions that will help you find recovery.
The Maker's Diet: The 40-Day Health Experience that will Change Your Life Forever With Groundbreaking Clinical Research by Jordan Rubin. Jordan Rubin is the one who developed the Primal Defense supplement that I take daily. He has written many books about his journey and how he healed his own body from Crohn's Disease. His experiences have made a difference in the lives of others who are struggling with Ulcerative Colitis and other digestive diseases and disorders.
Most Helpful Website Recommendation
There is also a website that is dedicated to recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It also shares people's success stories, articles and research. They also have an online community where you can find support. I have found it to be quite helpful in guiding me over the years.
Recommended Natural Supplements
Green Foods Green Magma is a green juice supplement that made an incredible difference when I was at my worst. As you know, with chronic digestive problems and being unable to digest foods properly (and sometimes passing them undigested) your body has a hard time absorbing nutrients that are necessary to feel good. I found that by taking this supplement every day, my body was able to retrieve the vitamins and nutrients I was lacking. I believe this supplement helped me the most at the worst points of my disease. It easily absorbs into the body and is easily digestible. This is best when taken on an empty stomach.
Garden of Life Whole Food Probiotic Supplement is an HSO Probiotic Supplement. This supplement, I believe, has been the reason for my remission and prolonged health. I've been taking this supplement for so many years that I can't count anymore. I don't go a day without it. I used to purchase this supplement through my local health food store but I have found the best prices to be online through the link provided.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids (especially fish oil) is helpful for it's anti-inflammatory abilities. I highly encourage the use of fish oil when experiencing a relapse of Ulcerative Colitis.