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The only cure for ulcerative colitis offered by conventional medicine is surgery. It can improve the quality of life, but it is not able to eliminate all the complications associated with the disease. Thus, medications are often used to help reduce the symptoms and control the condition without surgery. Alternative medicine focuses on making certain dietary changes and using natural remedies as a cure for ulcerative colitis. Nutritional supplements also are used in natural medicine as part of the treatment.
In mild cases, conventional doctors will prescribe different medications that help reduce the flare-ups, prevent the condition from getting worse and generally help improve the patient's quality of life. In addition, these medications also help reduce the risk of cancer, which is often associated with ulcerative colitis. Anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed because they can help reduce the inflammation in the colon as well as throughout the rest of the body. Immunomodulators, which are immune suppressants, are given to patients who do not respond well to the anti-inflammatory drugs.
In severe cases, a patient might have to undergo one of two types of surgeries. Ileoanal anastomosis is a surgery in which the colon and rectum linings are completely removed. The ilium, which is the end of the small intestine, is then connected to the anus, allowing the patient to continue to have bowel movements.
The other type of surgery is known as proctocolectomy and ileostomy, which is performed in cases when the individual is sensitive to anesthesia. The colon, rectum and anus are completely removed, and the ilium is attached to a small artificial opening in the lower abdomen. This allows for the waste material to drain into a special removable bag known as an ostomy bag. Although surgery seems to be a cure for ulcerative colitis, it does not take care of complications such as an infection because of a stool leakage or a blockage in the intestine.
Ulcerative colitis cures in alternative medicine revolve around dietary changes, nutritional supplements and enemas. Dietary changes include eliminating spicy foods, refined foods such as sugar and flour, raw foods, coffee and alcohol. A colon cleanse is recommended and involves going on a juice fast and the administering of warm water enemas. After the patient fasts, soft cooked foods such as rice, potatoes, steamed vegetables and oatmeal are reintroduced to the diet in small portions. After the condition begins to heal, raw foods also are reintroduced gradually.
Restoring the flora in the intestines also might help bring about a cure for ulcerative colitis. This can be done by injecting buttermilk and other friendly bacteria into the colon. Friendly bacteria can also be taken orally from probiotics, buttermilk, yogurt and sauerkraut. Another natural remedy used as a cure for ulcerative colitis is the use of supplements, such as vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as calcium supplements.