Colitis is the term used to refer to the inflammation of the inner lining of the large intestine. Colitis is caused by many different reasons. Some of the common causes are diarrhea, infection, or Crohn’s disease. If you are suffering from colitis, you might show symptoms like belly cramps, constipation, a serious case of diarrhea, rectal bleeding, loss of appetite, etc.
Colitis is one of those diseases where you cannot prolong the treatment. The longer you wait, the more severe the situation might become. So, if you show symptoms of colitis, then it is advisable that you do not take it lightly and see a doctor.
A popular trend observed nowadays is the trend of seeking alternative treatments for colitis along with regular treatment. Many people are opting for this complementary approach, as they believe that it helps in further reducing their colitis pain. While these alternative treatments for colitis are said to bring additional benefits to some patients, there are some who feel that these did not help much in their case.
So, how to know whether these alternative treatments are for you or not? The smart thing to is to consult your doctor about it. Ask for his or her opinion on zeroing in the best alternative treatments into your routine, while you are undergoing regular treatments for colitis.
If you get their green signal, then you can try out the below listed alternative treatments for colitis:
- Guided therapeutic imagery
Stress may not be a direct cause of colitis, but if you suffer from colitis, it is one of your biggest enemies. When in stress, you release a chemical called cortisol. Cortisol heightens your sense of pain and makes colitis pain worse. Guided imagery is a relaxation technique which is believed to be effective in reducing colitis pain. Here, a therapist will help you focus on positive mental images and it temporarily distracts you from your pain. The therapy needs you to focus on all your senses to create a relaxing picture in your mind. Like hypnosis, guided imagery transports you in a state of relaxation and gives you some relief from stubborn colitis pain.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
It is observed that many patients who suffer from colitis become victims of stress and depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a talk therapy, which helps you understand how our physical pain is linked to our negative thoughts and behaviors. By taking cognitive behavioral therapy, you can trick your brain into believing that the colitis pain is not that severe and is manageable. It might not reduce the pain, but it helps you develop a problem-solving attitude and great coping skills. Cognitive behavioral therapy works best when combined with other treatments for colitis.
Our colon has healthy bacteria which help in carrying out the entire digestion process smoothly. When you suffer from colitis, the inflammation and the swelling that accompanies it may decrease the count of these bacteria drastically. Taking probiotics will not only help you maintain an ideal bacterium count in your colon but it also acts as an anti-inflammatory in minor or moderate cases of colitis. Try including yogurt and other food items that contain probiotics to increase the count of good bacteria in your gut.
Acupuncture, an age-old Chinese technique known to target our trigger points, is one of the alternative treatments for colitis you might want to consider. When the needle used in acupuncture is coated with burning herbs and then inserted, it is called moxibustion. Research studies show that people who suffered from mild or moderate colitis found that moxibustion was effective for their colitis pain. Just like all the other relaxation therapies, moxibustion also helps in keeping your stress levels in check.
- Well-planned diet
Start using fish oil in your diet as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is an effective anti-inflammatory. In fact, fish oil is beneficial for almost all inflammatory bowel disease. Turmeric is another spice you should include in your diet. The high level of curcumin in turmeric helps in alleviating colitis pain. Herbs like ginger and thyme are also great in reducing inflammation. Increase the intake of eggs, avocado, and nuts in your diet. Avoid eating spicy food as they might aggravate your pain.
These above alternative treatments for colitis work best when they are used along with proper medication. Before trying any of these alternative remedies, it is best to discuss it with your doctor.