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“I get irregular bowel movements.” “Painful abdominal cramps feels like a charley horse in my gut. It affects every other aspect of my life.” People suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, Ulcerative Colitis, commonly report experiences like these. Recurring attacks of diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, discolored stool, heartburn, occasional rectal pain and unpleasant body odor characterize this inflammation in the colon. The urge to evacuate is often uncontrollable by the affected person. The sufferer may experience unintentional weight loss, lack of appetite and may feel weak and fatigued.
Modern view of the causative factors of ulcerative colitis
According to modern medicine, ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes irritation, inflammation, and ulcers in the innermost lining of the large intestine (colon). Its symptoms usually develop over time, rather than suddenly. It can be debilitating and can sometimes lead to life-threatening complications. The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. Researchers believe that it may be the result of an overactive immune system. The most popular theory is that the immune system mistakes harmless bacteria inside the colon for a threat and attacks the tissues of the colon, causing it to become inflamed. Exactly what causes the immune system to behave in this way is unclear. Most experts think it's a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Ayurvedic view of the causative factors of ulcerative colitis
In Ayurveda, ulcerative colitis is known as Pittaj Grahani. All the factors that imbalance pitta dosha (Ayurvedic humor that represents fire) in the body causes ulcerative colitis. Pitta aggravation can be caused by any of the following factors: increased intake of hot, oily, salty, spicy, sour, pungent and acidic foods such as chilies, spices, fried and greasy foods, garlic, onion, tea, coffee and alcohol smoking; eating while watching television or working on the computer; eating food when the previous meal is not digested; excessive fasting or overeating; exposure to sunlight and heat; anger, lust and greed. In addition, certain psychological factors like prolonged stress and anxiety, disturbed sleep pattern or untimely sleep can lead to cause the disease symptoms. They may also shorten the time between flare-ups in some people.
Ulcerative colitis treatment in Ayurveda
Unlike other treatment procedures that jump straight to symptom management, Ayurveda plans to address the root-cause of ulcerative colitis. The Ayurvedic treatment begins by detoxifying the body so that the medicines can work better towards treating the actual root-cause of the disease. Other than the medicines, the diet, lifestyle and customized home remedies for ulcerative colitis play a very important role in complementing the effect of medicines as well as sustaining the benefit of treatment after the medicines have stopped.
Initially, acidity, pain and indigestion are the major complaints of ulcerative colitis. At this stage, Ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis works on balancing the aggravated Pitta dosha. Customized herbal medicines are prescribed to improve digestion and manage acidity levels.
When patients experience rectal bleeding along with other symptoms of ulcerative colitis, Ayurveda treatment works primarily to heal the ulcer and reduce bleeding. The Ayurvedic doctor also suggests specific dietary and lifestyle guidelines to minimize the bleeding and prevent complications.
In the severe stage, where the patient notices unexplainable weight loss associated with bleeding, Ayurvedic treatment focuses on strengthening the nervous system. Special ulcer healing formulations are prescribed to the patient along with specific dietary guidelines to reduce discomfort.
At Jiva Ayurveda, we have treated thousands of patients for ulcerative colitis with root cause based personalised treatment. Our doctors work closely with the patients to understand their individual body constitution and imbalances to provide a customized treatment plan including detoxification programs, Ayurvedic herbal formulations, diet and lifestyle advice. The treatment results vary based on the patients’ specific condition and the severity of inflammation and symptoms. Cases reported earlier or in the initial stages tend to respond quickly than the chronic ones. Long-term management helps in improving the overall quality of life and reducing complications.
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