Ulcerative Colitis is one of the two major chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. The other being Crohn’s disease. At present it impacts the lives of 1 in every 420 people in the UK. This amounts to approximately 146,000 people.
Its onset is often gradual with flare-ups followed by remission and then relapse of symptoms. Symptoms can commonly include diarrhoea (often with blood) and abdominal pain. The severity of these symptom seems to depend on how much of the colon is impacted by the condition. Also, during a flare, symptoms can also appear in places outside the digestive system. This includes things such as joint pain, ulcers, swollen skin and irritation in the eyes.
The dietary management of Ulcerative Colitis has 3 main aims;
- To bring inflammation under control
- The identification and reduction of problem foods
- To support healing of the gut through
Specific probiotic formulations have also shown benefit when studies in those with Ulcerative Colitis. Areas such as inducing remission, maintaining remission, preventing and reducing pouchitis have also seen positive impacts from probiotic administration.
An area which is often overshadowed by the use of the probiotics is the use of prebiotics. These provide a foundational support which has been shown in research to support the gut, reduce inflammation and improve levels of beneficial bacteria. The same research also shows that even if you’re taking medication these approaches provide needed support. This highlights that an integrative approach is usually beneficial, especially if there is increased disease activity.
A reduction in disease activity has also be seen with the use natural supplements. These include Aloe Vera, boswellia as well as turmeric. All have received scientific research and appear to show clinical benefit.
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