Many people diagnosed with ulcerative colitis have already tried prescription drugs and often surgery to combat their illness. In most cases, the medical treatments only work to suppress the symptoms for a while. But since they don’t heal the underlying causes of colitis, it is nearly impossible to effect a cure using medical methods.
Ulcerative colitis is usually caused by one or several of the following factors combining synergistically to produce disease. If you go back over your own personal health history, I think you’ll find a mix of the following damaging events, that singly or in combination have degraded the health of your gut and immune system:
- Antibiotic Use – any antibiotic therapy that is not followed by full-spectrum probiotic therapy causes lasting, pervasive damage to the bacterial flora of your gastrointestinal tract (from mouth to anus), which in turn leads to increased infestation of yeast, parasites, viruses, bad bacteria and other pathogens. These pathogens degrade the mucosal lining and damage the intestinal wall (symptoms include bloating, gas, inflammation, bleeding, etc.) which leads to Leaky Gut Syndrome, which then triggers allergic and auto-immune response. Certain antibiotic drugs can cause ulcerative colitis all by themselves (like Novo Clindamycin), and the pharmaceutical information that comes with these products even explicitly warns of this. Yet medical doctors continue to prescribe them and also don’t follow usage with probiotics.
- Environmental and Food-borne Toxins – processed foods with preservatives, monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial sweeteners and flavors, nitrites and other proven toxins and carcinogens, microwaved foods, toxins contained in skin care products, shampoos, cosmetics, furniture, carpets, and the air (to name a few sources) all cause cellular and systemic damage.
- Vaccination – childhood, adult, flu vaccines, etc. Causes direct damage to bacterial flora of the gut and long-term, immune system damage. See my article, “Should I Vaccinate My Child?” for details and scientific references.
- Emotional Trauma or Abuse – don’t underestimate the damaging effects of abusive or traumatic emotional experiences on the body, and the gut in particular. For some of you, this may be damage from your past that was never resolved/healed, and/or ongoing emotional patterns or experiences that continue to degrade your health daily. Remember that 60% of your body’s neurotransmitters are in your gut, not your brain! An excellent book on this topic is When The Body Says No by Gabor Mate, MD.
- Parasites & Pathogenic Microorganisms – if your gut ecology is already weakened or imbalanced, travel to a foreign country or ingestion of tainted food/water can be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’. If your bacterial flora is already imbalanced with a deficit of beneficial bacteria, then it’s very easy for parasites, yeast, molds, bad bacteria, or fungus to flourish. These pathogens then degrade the health of your intestinal mucosal lining, which can result in ulceration, inflammation, bleeding and subsequent damage to your systemic health.
Each of these causative factors – including lesser factors like whether or not you were breastfed, your mother’s health while you were in utero, hereditary/genetic weaknesses, heavy metal levels in your body, mercury amalgam fillings in your teeth, pesticide exposure, etc. – will contribute in varying degrees and combinations to your particular pathology. Different people are susceptible to different factors and something that strongly affects your friend adversely, may only mildly affect you adversely. There is seldom just one factor (pathogen) in isolation that causes ulcerative colitis. However, I believe each of us is capable of identifying our own particular pathology, or the causative factors, of our own ill health and then taking the steps that will be particularly healing to each of us.
Once you’ve identified the underlying root causes of your colitis, you can seek out potent natural remedies to heal each of those causative factors. If infection is the cause of your colitis, then your medical doctor will likely already have put you on antibiotics to wipe out the bad bacteria that are infecting your colon. However, unless this was followed by therapeutic-grade probiotics, then your colon is likely infected again, plus overrun with yeast (Candida albicans), which flourishes following antibiotic usage.
So in this case, you would need a potent natural antibiotic like wild oregano oil, followed by high dose, therapeutic-grade probiotics and a low-sugar diet to prevent relapse. You may also need targeted supplements to repair the damage done to your mucosal lining and intestinal wall – like L-glutamine, aloe vera, N-acetyl glucosamine, deglycyrrhizinated licorice, slippery elm, marshmallow root, etc.
Lastly, you need to keep in mind that natural healing is not quick. Since it is healing the actual cause(s) of your colitis (which no doubt took a long time to build up in your body), this healing and balancing will take some time. You know that if you cut your finger open, for example, it will not heal immediately, but takes time to heal. In addition, your body will simultaneously be cleansing and detoxing from pathogens, drug residues, and other toxins, and this also takes time.
But if you truly want to ‘cure’ your colitis – not just suppress the symptoms, or experience short-term remissions – then natural, holistic healing is the pathway to success. Yes. it takes time. This is why I call it a “Healing Journey”, but it is so very worth it.