Colitis is a disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a form of inflammatory bowel disease and currently has no cure. The most common symptoms are frequent diarrhea and abdominal pain. Colitis can be stopped temporarily when the disease goes into remission. Once in remission, it may stay dormant for months or even years. The best ways to stop colitis are through medication and dietary changes.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are the first step in medications used for colitis. Drugs such as mesalamine and corticosteroids help reduce inflammation in the body, often in up to 90 percent of patients with mild colitis. Corticosteroids can have serious side effects, so they are not used for long-term treatment and only if other anti-inflammatory medications do not help.
Immune system repressors are another category of medications used to treat colitis. These drugs work by targeting the immune system. They cause the immune system to not respond to perceived invaders, so there is no inflammation reaction. These medications include mercaptopurine and cyclosporine. These medications can have severe side effects as well, and are usually only prescribed for patients with severe colitis that may require surgery to treat.
Modifications to the diet are the other effective way to stop colitis and keep it in remission. Foods that are high in fat and sugar are more difficult for the body to digest and can cause diarrhea. Dairy products may also have this effect. These foods should be removed or decreased from the diet to reduce the risk of diarrhea and a flare-up of colitis symptoms.
Changing the amount of fiber in the diet is another way to help keep colitis dormant. A high-fiber diet is good for most people, but for those who suffer from colitis it may make diarrhea worse. Some fruits and vegetables may not be tolerated well unless they are cooked. Foods that are known to produce a lot of gas when consumed, such as beans, broccoli and carbonated beverages, should also be eliminated or consumed sparingly to avoid gastrointestinal upset.
What you eat is only part of the solution for keeping colitis in remission. How you eat food also plays a key role. There are foods that should not be eaten together even though they are healthy. Protein and starchy vegetables are an example of this. The problem is that together, these two foods cause your stomach to produce excessive amounts of acids that work against each other in your body. The result of this is bloating, gas, and heartburn, all of which can trigger a flare-up.
You can prevent this by eating using the principles of food combining. Food combining helps you eat the right foods together so that this acid conflict does not happen. Digestion is smooth and gentle and these symptoms stop, helping you feel better in as little as 24 hours. Help stop your colitis flare-ups before they start. Use food combining and eat your way to better health.