The colon is one of the most important body organs especially when it comes to the collection and subsequent storage of body wastes before the wastes are ejected out of the body through various ways. Processed foods from the stomach passes through the small intestines where all essential nutrients are absorbed and then the remains are passed to the large intestine. The large intestine (colon) is made up of an outer and inner layer known as mucosa. The outer layer of the colon helps the body squeeze out all and any of the undigested foods and nutrients while the inner layer (mucosa) helps absorb electrolytes and water from the food that is passed through the colon.
Colitis is basically a colon (large intestine) inflammation which often occurs in the inner layers of the colon. Sometimes the inflammation can be enhanced by the occurrence of any disease or medical condition that in any way limits the free flow and supply of oxygen to the large intestines. Often the inflammation will be associated with blood stained stool, diarrhea and pain. Colon invasion, infection, inflammatory bowel disease and poor or limited supply of blood are some of the reasons for colon inflammation.
Causes of Colitis
There are numerous types of colitis including infectious colitis, ischemic colitis, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel colitis and microscopic colitis. The Crohn’s disease (inflammatory bowel colitis) can develop on various sections along the digestive tract including the small intestine, esophagus, colon or even the stomach. This type is characterized by skip lesions which are basically the existence of abnormal segmentation intertwined with the normal segmentation of the part where the disease develops. Microscopic colitis can occur either as lymphocytic colitis or collagenous colitis. Both engorge the colon walls which in many cases is taken to be result to severe inflammation. This type of colitis can affect anyone but such is more common amongst older women. Ischemic colitis occurs when there is insufficient supply of blood to the colon, anemia or low levels of blood pressure. Basically all types of colitis develop within the mucosa and many cases all these are usually associated with colon inflammation. However, depending on the type, severity will vary. Some of the causes of colitis include;
- Heredity factors. A number of studies indicate that genes play a crucial role in the development of colitis. On this, it is suggested that, it is possible for one to inherit a type of genetic mutation which basically puts him/her at higher risks of developing colitis. Often, many people suffering from colitis usually have at least one or two family members with the same condition.
- Blood supply. Suppressed colon blood supply is one of the overriding causes of colitis. Various medical conditions and disorders including drugs and treatments can limit the supply of blood to the colon and as such lead to inflammation. Insufficient blood supply can be a result of fatty deposits blocking the free flow of blood, hernia, various infections or even diabetes mellitus.
- The body’s immunity. There are suggestions that a person’s immune system can lead to the development and occurrence of colitis as it tries to fight bacteria and other harmful substances in the body. On this, it is suggested that as the body employs its defense mechanism, the defense can affect the digestive system making it to become inflamed and irritated which eventually leads to the development of colitis. Sometimes, due to autoimmune disorders the body may employ its defense mechanism to fight off a cause that does not necessarily exist and this may end up inflaming the digestive tract eventually contributing to colitis development.
- Other colitis causes include use of some drugs and antibiotics, stress, smoking, consumption of contaminated water and food, food poisoning, colon radiation pre-mature birth among others.
Symptoms of Colitis
Colitis symptoms may vary depending on the type of colitis one is suffering from and the severity of the condition. However, there are a number of symptoms that may appear in types of situations to indicate existence of colitis. Mild symptoms may include;
- Flatulence (excessive gas in the stomach).
- Cramping and/or abdominal pains.
- Having a constant urge for bowel movement.
- Abdominal bloating.
Apart from the above, there are various other symptoms which may be a signal of severe colitis that needs immediate medical attention including:
- Frequent and recurring diarrhea bouts (lasting more than 2-3 days).
- Abdominal tenderness (when you press the abdomen it feels abnormally tender) and abdominal pain sometimes becoming very severe.
- Dizziness general body weakness and fatigue, light-headedness, excessive thirst and other dehydration symptoms.
- Painful and hard bowel movements.
- Shallow breathing.
Some of the above symptoms can be life threatening and therefore, it is advisable to promptly seek medical care as soon as possible.
Colitis Home Remedies
Colitis is a serious disease that inflames the colon, rectum and larger bowels and which can lead to various nutritional deficiencies as a result of poor mineral and water absorption. This in turn can lead to weight loss, anemia, general body fatigue and exhaustion, ill health and other medical conditions. To avert these, there are numerous types of natural and home remedies that can be used.
- Fish oil- Supplementing your diet with fish oil can largely help reduce or alleviate the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease and eventually help such heal fast. According to various studies, using fish oil to treat colitis is more effective as compared to various anti-inflammatory prescriptions offered. Recommendably, try out the fish oil from cod liver. Cod liver oils will source you Vitamin D which is essential in integrating calcium which in turn helps stabilize and improve the body’s immune system. For long term recovery from both Crohn’s colitis and ulcerative colitis also consider trying out natural remedies like liquorice, juice powder extracted from barley grass, green clay (crashed to form ultra fine powder) and prime biotic.
- Warm water- The use of warm water can be effectively used to alleviate the pain associated with colitis. On this, the water helps by cleansing the injured colon walls which in turn helps alleviate the general condition of the colitis. For better results, mix this with a little olive oil.
- Garlic- Garlic is one of the best herbal remedies that should be used by those who suffering from colitis. It can be taken raw or squeezed into the foods of the patient. Through its anti-bacterial properties, it is able to effectively eliminate the symptoms of the condition.
- Psyllium- In order to come up with the ideal herbal remedy for Colitis from Psylium, it should be used in powder form. The patient should place a small quantity of the powder into a glass of cold water and take. After taking the concoction, it should be followed by another glass of water to help in enhancing the bulk of the stools.
- Turmeric- This is also another effective herbal remedy that is recommended to colitis patients. It can be taken either raw or even in powder form to help in inhibiting the symptoms of the condition within just a few days.
- Oral Aloe Vera- Even though other people mostly use the gel that is already manufactured in industries, the oral Aloe Vera leaves can also be used in the fight against Colitis. In fact, the oral leaves are even the best for use in addressing the condition since they are all-natural and without any side effects. Taking oral Aloe Vera twice a day can help in reducing the inflammation that is caused by the condition.s
- Boswellia- This herb has been widely used in India. However, it is slowly gaining roots in several parts of the world today because of its ability to inhibit chemical reactions like inflammation that is among the symptoms experienced by those who are suffering from Colitis. It can be taken on its own or combined with other herbal remedies like the Ashwagandha.
- Fennel seeds- In making the herbal remedy for the treatment of Colitis using Fennel seeds, take a half teaspoon of the seeds and soak in a glass of hot water. After sometime, the patient should take a full glass of the solution after cooling. However, the seeds do not have to be consumed.
- Other natural remedies for colitis include ripe bananas, leaf juice, rice, buttermilk among others.
Persistent inflammation will eventually lead to massive damage of cells and colon lining which in turn can lead to a more deadly disease colon cancer. Therefore, it is important to reduce the duration of colitis as such can help prevent occurrence of such complications.
Diet for Colitis
Diet is a very important thing when it comes to recovery from any kind of medical disorders or diseases. The best diet to help you recover from colitis should include all necessary food nutrients, an increased intake of water and minerals plus provision of protein and vitamin supplements.
- The mucous membranes of the colon require provision of various nutrients especially Vitamin A to nourish and protect itself. A diet including a generous provision of vitamin A can help alleviate colitis. In the diet also include vitamin B complex and C plus calcium. Protein is required for the strengthening of the colon ligaments and walls.
- Drumsticks can also help alleviate symptoms of colitis as well as fasten the healing process. On this, you should consider trying a mixer of honey, coconut water and leaf juice. Take a teaspoon of the mixture about thrice daily for better results.
- Fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables can also help enhance the general body health and enhance the immune system for better defense and body protection against attacks and recurrences. Increase intake of fruits both in whole and in juice form.
Prevention of Colitis
Proper personal sanitation and hygiene especially while handling food can be quite effective in preventing infectious colitis. In addition to this, proper dieting and body care including consumption of the right diet and in the right amount can help prevent occurrence of colitis. It will also be helpful to exercise as such will ensure blood flowing through the system and even help prevent various disorders that can lead to the development of colitis. Exercising can help limit the amount of fatty deposits in the body thus reducing chances of blood vessels and arteries becoming blocked by fats. Regulation is paramount I living healthy and as such, ensure that you properly regulate your nutrients intake to coincide with your nutritional requirements as at times excesses can lead to build ups which in turn can make it challenging for the body to properly regulate and supplement itself.
In conclusion, colitis can be such a nuisance and sometimes severe but, such can be easily controlled, managed and even treated by using the right combination of diet, prescription and proper body exercising. As such, proper restrictions can help alleviate various symptoms associated with colitis thus help fasten the recovery process. Regardless, it is important to always ensure that your body is well oxygenated as such will ensure that colon health and wade away various common intestinal complications and complaints.
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