There are two major types of colitis: ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Although similar in symptoms, the two forms of colitis have different possible complications. Colitis can either be acute or chronic.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory, chronic disease which deteriorates the mucosa of the large colon. Most often, the inflammation begins at the rectum and extends up through the colon. The inflammation can progress until ulcerations and, eventually, abscesses develop. The intensity and progression of the disorder is not uniform. The disease can be mild and localized, or excruciatingly painful and perforated. Sudden attacks followed by periods of remission are typical.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Signs & Symptoms
Structure & Function: Intestinal Health
Adult Child/Adolescent Calcium 500 - 1,000 mg 200 - 500 mg Fiber 3 - 5 tbsp 2 - 3 tbsp Vitamin A 10,000 - 20,000 IU 5,000 - 10,000 IU Vitamin E 400 - 800 IU 100 - 400 IU Zinc Chelate 20 - 30 mg 10 - 20 mg
Calcium is recommended to be taken in the form of: Calcium Pantothenate.
One particular form of fiber has been singled out: Glucomannan.
Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
Should be treated with intravenous fluids or a Clear Liquid Diet as this diet replaces fluids lost through diarrhea, with minimal irritation to the gastrointestinal system.
Is a symptom of an underlying condition. Nutritional management will depend on the primary illness; in general, chronic colitis can be treated with a Low Fiber Diet as well as with calcium and zinc supplements.
May be of acute or chronic symptomatology. During the acute episode, intravenous fluids or a Clear Liquid Diet are administered. After acute episode subsides, measures are similar to those of chronic colitis: the individual should adhere to a Low Fiber Diet and take multivitamin supplementation. The Low Fiber Diet should be high in calories and high quality proteins such as egg, meat and cheese. Protein is needed to replace protein lost in blood, and as exudate from open intestinal ulcers.
The following symptom-provoking foods should be restricted in an Elimination Diet:
Milk Spices Fruits Ethanol Vegetables Hot drinks and foods Juices Cold drinks and foods
Colitis - General
1. Mercurius dulcis 6C to 15C 2.* Allium sativum 15C 3. Arsenicum Album 15C
Colitis - Ulcerative
1. Carbo vegetabilis 30C 2.* Nitricum acidum 6C, long time 3. Ferrum metallicum 6C
Colitis - Chrohn's Disease
1.* Nitricum acidum 6C long term use 2. Carbo vegetabilis 30C 3.* Nux vomica 30C
Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.
X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency
Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.
Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.
Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.
Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.
Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.
Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.
Slippery Elm Bark (Ulmus fulva)
Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
Ginger compresses may provide symptomatic relief.
Marshmallow root is used to soothe tissues and aid healing. (1,000 mg t.i.d. between meals.) Slippery Elm Bark is another option.
An extensive list of herbal irritants (i.e. herbs to avoid when you have colitis) has been compiled by Newall (1996):
Herb Effects Alfalfa Irritant, canavanine in seeds Arnica Irritant to mucous membranes Asafetida Irritant gum, Blue Cohosh, Irritant to mucous membranes; spasmogenic in vitro Blue Flag Irritant gum and oil Bogbean (Buck Bean) Irritant to GI tract Boldo Irritant oil Buchu Irritant oil Capsicum Capsaicinoids, mucosal irritants Cassia (see Cinnamon) Cinnamon Irritant to mucous membranes, oil Cowslip Irritant saponins Drosera (Sundew) Plumbagin. irritant Eucalyptus Irritant Oil False Unicorn Root Large doses may cause vomiting Figwort Purgative effect Garlic Plant Raw clove Ground Ivy Irritant oil Guaiacum Avoid if inflammatory condition Horse chestnut Saponins, contra-indicated in renal disease Horse radish Irritant oil Hydrangea Hydrangin, possible gastro-enteritis Jamaican Dogwood Irritant to humans Juniper Irritant oil Lemon Verbena Irritant oil Lime Flower Irritant to kidney Nettle Tea irritant to stomach Parsley Plant Irritant oil Pennyroyal Toxic & irritant oil Pilewort Irritant sap Pleurisy Root GI irritant Pokeroot Saponins Pulsatilla Irritant to mucous membranes Queen's Delight Diterpenes Sarsaparilla Saponins Senega Saponins Skunk Cabbage Inflammatory & blistering to skin Squill Saponins
Hoffmann, D: The New Holistic Herbal. Element, 1983. Third edition 1990.
Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
It may be difficult to distinguish between an inflammatory condition (which colitis strictly speaking is) and an infection.
Chamomile Essence is noted for its gentle, soothing effect.
Basil Essence, Bergamot Essence, Cinnamon Essence Lemongrass Essence, (Red) Thyme Essence.
Two folk favorites, which have been applied to every gastro-intestinal condition through the ages, include:
Ginger Essence, Peppermint Essence.
Related Health Conditions
Abscess Diarrhea Anxiety Infection Arthritis Inflammation Bleeding Irritable bowel syndrome Cancer Pain Constipation Spasm Cramp Stress Depression Ulcers
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Bland, Jeffrey. Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition. New Canaan, Conn.: Keats, 1983.
Burke A et al., Nutrition and ulcerative colitis. Baillieres Clin Gastroenterol, 1997 Mar, 11:1, 153-74.
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Chicago Dietetic Assoc & the South Suburban Dietetic Assoc of Cook & Will Counties. 1981. Manual of Clinical Dietetics. Saunders Co., Philadephia.
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