Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala for Ulcerative Colitis
UNDERSTANDING ULCERATIVE COLITIS
Often, patients with ulcerative colitis consider ayurvedic treatment in Kerala when they begin to get unnerved by their worsening symptoms, invasive diagnostic tests and an increasing number of daily pills. They find that despite their growing number of tests and medicines, bleeding doesn't stop and their quality of life is deteriorating. Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for ulcerative colitis is a game changer for most patients with ulcerative colitis. When taken in time, it could offer freedom from distressing symptoms and extend the periods of remission while also preventing future complications of the disease.
What is ulcerative colitis?
When our digestive tract becomes prone to recurrent inflammation, we use the umbrella term, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Ulcerative colitis is one such inflammatory bowel disease where there is inflammation and ulcers in the large intestine. The disease affects only the innermost lining of the large intestine and not the entire digestive tract. The inflammation is continuous all along the intestinal tract with ulcers oozing out pus and mucus. Colon means large intestine, colitis means inflammation of the large intestine, and ulcerative colitis means inflammation with ulcers. Ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis in Kerala relieves both the inflammation and the ulcers.
What causes ulcerative colitis?
Ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis is based on the understanding that it is caused due to an aggravation in pitta dosha (Vata, pitta and kapha are the 3 doshas in our body. When these three doshas are proportionately balanced, we enjoy perfect health). When pitta dosha (which is responsible for our digestion and metabolism) gets aggravated, it hampers digestion and causes a toxic environment in the gut. In some people (for eg. those with a hereditary susceptibility) , this could trigger an immune response and intestinal inflammation. The aggravation of pitta dosha could have been a result of taking processed food with chemicals, making spicy and fried food a daily habit, alcoholism, smoking or chronic stress. Long standing pitta aggravation and gut toxicity can result in ulceration and rectal bleeding.
Why do patients with ulcerative colitis see blood and mucus in their stools?
Progressive inflammation and ulceration of the large intestine results in its reduced capacity to absorb water. The damaged intestinal lining produces a large amount of mucus and alongside, the ulcers may bleed internally resulting in such mucus coated and bloody stools. There could be frequent diarrhoea, usually more than 6 times a day. Ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis heals the ulcers, stops rectal bleeding and enables the formation of stools with the right frequency and consistency.
What are the problems caused in the later stages of ulcerative colitis?
Frequent diarrhoea and constant blood loss can eventually result in weight loss, fatigue and anemia. Usually these symptoms are accompanied by crampy abdominal pain which is caused by the inflammation and ulcers in the intestinal lining. Apart from these, there are chances that some symptoms appear outside the intestinal tract like mouth ulcers, skin rashes, eye problems, joint pains etc. They can manifest as the first signs of ulcerative colitis even before the bowel changes start to occur or can happen right before a flare-up.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT FOR ULCERATIVE COLITIS
What is the expected result of ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis in Kerala?
The immediate result of ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis is significant relief in symptoms and overall distress. Even though a single course of ayurvedic treatment may not be able to offer a permanent cure, it aims at reducing the frequency of flare-ups, achieving extended remission periods and reducing the intensity and severity of symptoms when they do occur. Ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis in Kerala is also successful in preventing further inflammation and ulceration of the intestine to a large extent.
How does ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis help?
Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for ulcerative colitis follows different stages and aims to give the following results:
Correct digestion and appetite: The first step in the ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis is correction of appetite and digestion. This is extremely important for the success of the subsequent stages of the treatment.
Reduce intestinal inflammation: In patients with ulcerative colitis, pitta dosha is aggravated. Ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis aims to restore the healthy balance of pitta dosha in order to reduce inflammation and ulceration in the intestine. Medicated ghee and diet modification are integral to this stage of treatment.
Heal intestinal ulcers: Ayurveda medicines prepared with wound healing drugs may be prescribed at this stage along with therapeutic enema (vasti). A special type of enema called piccha vasti is usually advised for its ulcer healing, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Piccha vasti also imparts a protective coating on the intestinal lining, preventing further inflammation and ulceration.
Reduce the frequency of stools: With the help of internal medicines and therapeutic enemas, the water retention capacity and absorption capacity of the intestines are improved thus helping well formed stools. A diet that allows enough time for the intestines to absorb water and nutrients will be given during this time.
Bring down the stress levels: Chronic stress often acts as a trigger for flare-ups in ulcerative colitis. Therapies like shirovasti, shirodhara, shiro lepam etc. may be advised to bring down the stress hormones and reduce stress.
How successful is the ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for ulcerative colitis?
While modern medicine uses corticosteroids and immune suppressors to offer symptomatic relief, ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis in Kerala uses medicines and therapies that restore the balance in the body and correct digestion. Also, these medicines do not have harmful side effects and do not need to be taken forever. For most patients, a course of ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for ulcerative colitis results in a far better quality of life with significant reduction in the severity and frequency of symptoms. The number of days of hospitalisation is the least and the outcome is best when ayurvedic treatment is taken early. Often, even treatment taken at a much later stage offers commendable results with extended periods of remission and less severe symptoms.
Does ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis require inpatient stay at an ayurveda hospital in Kerala?
Most patients with ulcerative colitis are advised 15 to 30 days of inpatient treatment at an ayurveda hospital in Kerala. At the time of discharge, depending on the status of the patient, follow up medicines are prescribed for 3 to 6 months or longer.
AYURVEDIC DIET AND LIFESTYLE ADVICE
What is the role of diet in the ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis?
Diet modification will be an important part of ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis during your stay at the ayurvedic centre in Kerala as well as after discharge. The general advice to patients with ulcerative colitis is to avoid food that is heavy to digest (eg. deep fried oily items, red meat, cheese, etc.), food that aggravates pitta dosha and irritate the intestinal lining (eg. sour and spicy pickles), and food that causes increased bowel movements ( fiber rich food like wheat and barley as they tend to affect the water retention capacity and cause more loose stools ).
What is the diet to be followed after ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for ulcerative colitis?
To make the most of your ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for ulcerative colitis, talk to your physician at the ayurvedic centre in Kerala about your daily diet and preferences so that you will know what changes to make. Generally, for most patients, fresh, homemade, less oily, lukewarm food is the best suited. Citrus fruits like lemon and orange may worsen the symptoms and grapes might further loosen the stools. Instead, include pomegranate, wood apple, blueberry etc. as they are anti-inflammatory in nature. If rice is an integral part of your diet, then prefer rice that is at least one year old. Lentils or pigeon pea soups, very mildly spiced with cumin seeds, coriander seeds, ginger etc. are beneficial. High amount of caffeine in your diet is bad for you and so strictly avoid carbonated drinks and instant coffee. When it comes to dairy products, goat milk is lighter than cow’s milk and hence it may be had if it is well tolerated. Substitute white sugar with honey as it is a natural wound healing agent. Arrowroot powder and millets like ragi when properly cooked can reduce the frequency and maintain the consistency of bowel movements. Avoid the intake of fermented or processed food.
What is the role of lifestyle in the ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis?
Even with the best ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for ulcerative colitis, it is important to remember that if we are not careful, some of our habits and environmental factors could cause another flare-up of the disease by increasing pitta dosha. For example, getting exposed to hot weather, alcoholism, chronic stress, anxiety, irritability etc. can aggravate pitta dosha and trigger inflammation. Not having meals in time can cause acidity and in the long run, trigger inflammatory changes in the large intestine. During your stay at the ayurvedic centre in Kerala, you may have an opportunity to learn yoga, pranayama and meditation; make it a daily habit to manage stress. Exercising daily in moderation will help improve digestion and metabolism and prevent hyperacidity.
Ulcerative colitis is devastating to most patients. But being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis does not necessarily have to mean that the condition defines the rest of your life. As a patient of ulcerative colitis, you may be stressed by the innumerable invasive diagnostic procedures like colonoscopies and disheartened by the lack of results even after taking all the corticosteroids and immunosuppressants prescribed by modern medicine.
Ayurveda understands ulcerative colitis to be caused by an aggravation of pitta dosha and toxicity in the intestine which then triggers a wrong immune response resulting in intestinal inflammation. A complete course of inpatient ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for 15 to 30 days (as advised by the physician) often provides significant relief in symptoms, improves digestion, heals ulcers and prevents further inflammation. Even though Kerala ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis may not offer a permanent cure, most patients get excellent results and are able to completely stop or at least considerably reduce their daily dose of painkillers and steroids. By undergoing ulcerative colitis treatment in Kerala, patients are able to get an extended periods of remission with significant reduction in their severity of symptoms. Medicines that promote wound healing and reduce inflammation along with therapies like medicated enemas promote intestinal healing and reduce all associated symptoms of the disease while at the same time improving the overall health and quality of life.
How long will I need to take medicines after ulcerative colitis ayurvedic treatment?
This depends on the severity and chronicity of the condition and varies from person to person. Usually at the time of discharge, depending on the progress made, follow up medicines will be prescribed for 3 to 6 months or longer. It is important to take the medicines correctly as per prescription to get the full benefits of your ayurvedic treatment in Kerala.
Will I be able to stop taking steroids and immunosuppressants after the ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis in Kerala?
Yes. One of the goals of ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis is to free you from such drugs. During your stay at the ayurvedic treatment centre in Kerala, you may be advised to stop the allopathic medicines completely and be on ayurvedic medications only. Even after discharge, you can continue normal life without depending on steroids and immunosuppressants. Your ayurvedic physician in Kerala will advise you on keeping one or two pills with you for any unexpected flare ups.
Can ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis reduce my risk for colon cancer?
Yes. Considering the fact that ulcerative colitis is a risk factor for colon cancer, its prevention is given great importance during treatment. Ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis not only gives symptomatic relief but also aims at preventing further worsening of the disease. The approach taken by your ayurveda physician will be to protect the intestinal lining from future damage so that it will not lead to a complication like colon cancer.
Can ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis prevent complications like bone loss and inflammation of the skin and eyes?
Yes. Extra intestinal manifestations like skin and eye involvement is very common in ulcerative colitis and therefore the treatment protocol will be designed to prevent all these aspects.
I have been advised surgical removal of my colon. Can ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis help me in this stage?
Surgery is usually advised when there is perforation of the intestinal wall with profuse bleeding or if there are any signs of malignancy. The circumstances that led to a surgery recommendation must be first evaluated by your ayurvedic physician before deciding whether you can take ayurvedic treatment or not. In not so severe cases, it might be possible to avoid surgical intervention and manage with ayurvedic treatment alone.
Can ayurvedic treatment help children with ulcerative colitis?
Yes, ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis is effective in children too. Considering the age factor and tolerance level of children, the treatment protocol will be different from that of the adults.