How To Prevent Abdominal Pain In Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory condition of the bowel and is grouped along with Crohn’s disease under Inflammatory Bowel disease. It is a chronic condition that occurs due to the ulcerations in the inner lining of the intestinal mucosa. The disease is characterized by frequent flare ups and in between episodes of the remission of disease.
There are many symptoms associated with the condition which include, abdominal pain, blood in stools, diarrhea, malnutrition and weight loss.Abdominal pain in patients of ulcerative colitis has a varying degree of severity depending upon the site of the inflammation that may involve rectal mucosa, sigmoid colon, left or right part of the colon.
Sometimes, in fulminant cases, the whole of the rectal mucosa as well as the colon are involved. The pain may be in the form of cramps or piercing in nature depending upon the severity of the disease which may involve mild ulcerations to “pan colitis” in which the patient is at a very high risk of developing intestinal perforation or dilatation of the colon due to prolonged and severe inflammation.
Whatever be the level of severity of disease, it is very important to be able to keep a check and control the symptoms of ulcerative colitis as far as possible with minimum usage of medicines.
Here we discuss about a few preventive measures that can help in controlling all kinds of symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis but, specifically abdominal pain.
1.De stress yourself
Stress is a big factor that plays an important role in aggravating abdominal pain in ulcerative colitis. It is also said that patients under heavy physical and mental stress tend to suffer from frequent flares ups and worsening of the symptoms.
It is therefore, important for people suffering from ulcerative colitis to follow measures to keep themselves away from stressful situations at work and at home.To avoid too much of physical stress, it is advisable to take proper rest and a 6- 8 hours’ sleep every day.Mediation, listening to music, involving in other light entertainment activities is a very good option to choose from.
2.Follow a proper diet
Maintain a diet low in sugars and salt.Lactose, fiber and gluten rich food products are also to be condemned as they are all responsible for flaring up a stable case of the disease.Now that leaves a very low number of food products to choose from already. The ideal way therefore, is to maintain a balanced diet which has minimum spices and has low or negligible fiber content.
Low fat diet, fruits and vegetables containing soluble fibers in moderation are a good option to choose from. You can also opt for low fat milk and dairy products.For patients who do not have grave diarrheal symptoms, Psyllium husk is a good option to choose. It controls the inflammation and ulcerations in patients and markedly reduces abdominal pain.
Mild to moderate forms of exercise like aerobics, yoga and simple walking and cycling can be very beneficial to improve the general health condition of the patient.Yoga exercises are strongly recommended as they improve the digestive system and enhance the blood supply to the abdominal organs.
It also helps to ease out abdominal cramping by promoting muscle relaxation and improved tone of the intestines.Patients need to be careful that they do not over do any physical activity as that may very easily become a precipitating factor for them.
4.Drink lots of water
Ulcerative colitis can cause dehydration in patients during a flare up due to considerable amounts of water lost with diarrhea.Replenishment of the body’s water reserves is therefore, very essential to prevent excessive water loss from the body that can aggravate the symptoms especially, abdominal pain and cramping.
5.Use of Herbs that relieve abdominal pain
There are a number of anti –inflammatory herbs that act on the intestinal mucosa and reduce inflammation and bleeding to a large extent. Herbs like Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Shallaki (Boswelliaserrata), Arjuna (Terminaliaarjuna), Kutaz (Holarrhina anti –dysentrica) etc. are all commonly used for relieving and soothing inflammation of the bowel.
Arjuna helps in controlling intestinal bleeding, while turmeric and Boswellia help in relieving abdominal pain to a large extent by suppressing the inflammation of the colon mucosa.
There are many herbs available containing the above mentioned herbs which are commonly available nowadays. These can be taken along with regular treatment for ulcerative colitis as a supportive therapy.
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Author Bio: Dr. Vikram Chauhan is an Ayurvedic practitioner based in Mohali, India. He is spreading the knowledge of ancient healing treatment Ayurveda, not only in India but also abroad. Dr. Vikram has conducted many seminar and workshop on herbs treatment in various nations.