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Ulcerative Colitis is the condition where the lining of the colon and rectum becomes severely inflamed and eventually wears away, forming shallow sores known as ulcers. It is a chronic condition with unknown cause. In this condition if it stays for a longer period, the colon gets permanently damaged. Though people of any age can get affected, it is usually observed in people under the age of 30. It is being referred as inflammatory bowel disease along with a related condition called Crohn’s disease. Most people with ulcerative colitis have inflammation in their descending colon, the section of the intestine that is joined to the rectum but some do have inflammation and ulceration in all of the large intestine. The disease does not affect the small intestine.

Ayurvedic Description Of Ulcerative Colitis :

According to Ayurveda, the disease is called ‘Kshatodara’ which is primarily a disease of Pitta dosha with varying degrees of Vata involvement. Following regimens and excessive consumption of foods that aggravate Pitta adversely affect rakta and mansadhatus. In the lower colon, the aggravation of Vata dosha blocks Pitta and Kapha channels and cause further inflammation, accumulation of mucus and edema.

 

Signs & Symptoms

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  • Diarrhea mixed with blood and mucus
  • Weight loss
  • Presence of blood in rectal examination
  • Anemia
  • Abdominal pain with cramps
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Arthritis in severe form
  • Liver problems and leg ulcers etc

Causes and Risk Factors

Family history

Individuals stay at a higher risk if the condition runs in the family or in closed blood relatives; multiple genes influence the condition as suggested by the researches.

Diet

The dietary factors play a role in pathogenesis of the condition, high consumption of unsaturated fats, vitamin B6 may enhance the risk of developing the condition. People who draw their protein mostly from meat remain at higher risk of ulcerative colitis. Bakery products, fermented food items also increase the risk of ulcerative colitis.

Alcohol

Excessive consumption of alcohol increases the risk of ulcerative colitis and aggravates the condition to a severe level.

Immunity

Though the exact cause is ulcerative colitis unknown, it may be caused by the abnormal response by the immune system to intestinal bacteria.

Stress

A state of prolonged stress, depression have been found to be linked with the condition as observed in most of the patients.

Medical conditions

Prolonged cases of indigestion, ulcers, and colitis are some of the conditions found to be the pre cursor of ulcerative colitis or co exists with it.

Self Care Tips

  • Having 5-6 smaller meals is better than 2-3 heavy meals in the entire day.
  • Drink plenty of liquids, at least 2-3 liters a day, water is the best drink.
  • Alcohol, and its beverages, aerated drinks are strictly prohibited in the condition.
  • Drinks that contain caffeine stimulate the intestine and can make diarrhea worse and carbonated drinks frequently produce gas and bloating.
  • Use multivitamins after taking the advice of your consultant as in ulcerative colitis, the ability of the intestine to absorb nutrients decreases. So, multivitamin and mineral supplements are often helpful.
  • Do exercises like yoga and pranayama, as it reduces stress, relieve depression and normalize bowel function. The expert’s consultation for exercise is suggested in colitis.
  • High oily, fried, stale foods are to be avoided.
  • Self-medication of NSAIDs is not recommended as it can flare up the condition.

There are two major ways of treatments in Ayurveda for ulcerative colitis, Vasti therapy (medicated enema) and oral medications. Normally, Vasti therapy is administered first and followed by oral medications for a sustained and long time relief.

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