Ulcerative Colitis

Definition

Ulcerative colitis is a type of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. The innermost lining of the large intestine becomes inflamed, and ulcers, which are tiny open sores.

It’s the inflammation in the lining of the colon that causes the painful symptoms commonly associated with Ulcerative Colitis. Inflammation causes the large intestine to empty frequently, leading to diarrhoea that-because of the ulcers- can sometimes be bloody.

Four types of ulcerative colitis

  • Ulcerative Proctitis
  • Proctosigmoiditis
  • Left-Sided Colitis
  • Pan-ulcerative colitis

Symptoms:

Symptoms vary in severity and may start slowly or suddenly. They include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Blood and pus in the stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Periodic diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Tenesmus (rectal pain)
  • Physical stress
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Anaemia

Causes:

The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. People with this condition have problems with the immune system. Stress and certain foods can trigger symptoms. Ulcerative colitis may affect any group, although there are peaks at ages 15-30 and then again at 50-70. The disease can offset with the rectal area, may involve the entire large intestine over time. Family history is a risk factor for this disease.

Ayurveda treatment for Ulcerative Colitis:

Ulcerative Colitis is correlated to Grahani. Pitta type people have a high tendency to develop this disease. All factors that cause an imbalance of Pitta, are responsible for developing ulcerative colitis.

The Pitta-aggravation causes the improper functioning of rakta dhatu and mamsa dhatu. Vata dosha in the lower colon is also aggravated and in the early stages blocks the Pitta and Kapha causing inflammation, mucous accumulation and edema.

Causes:

  • Factors which can cause Ulcerative colitis in Ayurveda include;
  • Utmost sun exposure or heat
  • High intake of alcohol and smoking
  • Excessive mental activities, Indulging in arguments too often
  • Improper eating habits, such as eating while watching TV or walking
  • Eating stale, infected, and soured food.

Line of Treatment

  • Agni Deepana – (Improving the appetite)
  • Ama Pachana – (Measure to digest the Ama)
  • Strengthening Grahani (Gastro intestinal system)

Treatments:

The treatment modalities include panchakarma, external therapies, internal medications, Activities, Advice of food and life style changes.

  • Panchakarma – Basti
  • Externally – Abhyanga, SSPS, Shiro Dhara, Chakra Basti, Hrid Basti
  • Internally – Pitta Shamana – Medicines to Balance Pitta
  • Vranashodhana – ropana – Helps in healing ulcers
  • Grahi – digestive and which holds the food contents in the system to complete digestion
  • Stambhana – Stool binders

Activities:

  • Specific Asanas, Pranayama, Meditation, Deep relaxation techniques
  • Food and lifestyle changes: specific to the individual’s constitution, nature of work and geographical conditions.