An inflamed colon is symptomatic of inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These serious conditions cause inflammation in the colon and other areas of the digestive tract that results in unpleasant symptoms like significant cramping, pain and diarrhea. Nutritional deficiencies are also a possibility due to poor absorption of nutrients. To manage this inflammation, you can do several things that include a combination of medication and lifestyle modifications, which are particularly important to managing these conditions. You cannot cure these conditions, but you can achieve long-term remission.
Talk to your doctor about medications. Several different drugs are available that treat the inflammation that triggers the symptoms. They include Azulfidine, Asacol and Rowasa. In severe cases that do not respond to these treatments, your doctor might give you corticosteroid injections. Your doctor might also prescribe immunosuppressants; they do not address the inflammation directly, but their effect on the immune system suppresses the inflammation. Commonly prescribed medications include Humira, Sandimmune and Tysabri. Your doctor can determine the best course of treatment for you.
Stay away from beverages that aggravate diarrhea; these include alcohol and carbonated drinks.
Avoid dairy products and other food high in fat. If you have inflammatory bowel problems, you cannot digest these foods properly and they will worsen your symptoms.
Manage stress. It will not trigger a flare-up, but it can make symptoms significantly worse. Experiment with different relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation, positive visualization or yoga. Exercise is also a great stress reliever.
Experiment with the amount of fiber in your diet. Normally, a high-fiber diet is considered a cornerstone of healthy eating and reduces your chances of getting an inflammatory bowel disease, but it can actually worsen the symptoms of these conditions. You might need to reduce your intake of high-fiber foods during a flare-up to reduce symptoms.
Consider using natural supplements that support intestinal health and reduce symptoms of colon inflammation. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that the following treatments might be beneficial. Zinc (25 mg daily), folic acid (800 mcg daily) and vitamin B12 (800 mcg daily) help fix damaged intestinal cells. Fish oil (2.7 g daily) can ease inflammation. Probiotics containing the strain saccharomyces boulardi (250 to 500 mg, four times a day) can lessen the occurrence of diarrhea. Glutamin (400 mg, four times a day) is beneficial for overall intestinal health.