Gastrointestinal Disorders

Colitis: What is It?

What is colitis, what are its causes and how can it be treated naturally

Colitis, sometimes referred to as ulcerative colitis, is identified as an autoimmune disease in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops tiny open sores, or ulcers, that produce pus and mucous. This can lead to cramps and diarrhea.

Colitis is thought to be an autoimmune illness in which the body’s immune system attacks the colon and causes inflammation. Ulcerative colitis begins in the rectum and may gradually spread throughout the colon. The signs and symptoms include abdominal pain and bloody bowel movements.

Colitis Symptoms

This condition only affects the lining of the colon and no other part of the GI tract, but this does not make the symptoms any less severe than other gastrointestinal disorders. Common colitis symptoms can include:

  • Loose bowel movements which may become increasingly urgent
  • Abdominal pain and blood in the stool
  • Bad cramps and rectal pain
  • An inability to move the bowel despite the urge to do so
  • A constant urge to have a bowel movement
  • Constant pain
  • Fevers, chills and other signs of infection

Causes of Colitis

The main cause of colitis is an exaggerated immune response which leads to colonic inflammation, sometimes it is the immune system reacting to colonies of bacteria or some other antigen.

Diet can also cause colitis since the incidence of colitis is much more common in Europe and North America than in counties like Asia and Africa. The Western diet which relies heavily on meat, dairy, wheat, starch, sugar, preservatives and additives, and low in fiber can lead to irritation and inflammation which are precursors to colitis.

Genetics are also thought to increase risk if a close relative has been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. This is due to several colitis susceptibility genes potentially being passed through different generations.

Viral or bacterial infections can also be causes of colitis, because they trigger an immune response which can lead to inflammation. Even if the infection is cleared up the inflammation may remain and possibly worsen. Long-term use of antibiotics can alter the flora in the gut and make it pro-inflammatory.

Colitis Diagnosis

Irritable bowel syndrome doctors will often order diagnostic procedures which can be invasive and can be somewhat traumatic for the patient as they may involve a lighted scope being inserted into either the patient’s rectum or down their throat. Other IBS diagnosis procedures may involve a fine needle aspiration or biopsy needle being inserted into the patient. These procedures include colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, upper GI endoscopy, ERCP, endoscopic ultrasound and liver biopsy.

At LifeWorks Wellness Center, the IBS diagnosis approach is different. Firstly, the symptoms that the patient is presenting with will be evaluated, and not just the obvious ones such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea and cramps but also the less obvious signs of gastrointestinal disorders such as fatigue, allergies, candida and so on.

Then a functional evaluation will be performed to assess the functioning of each organ that may be potentially contributing to the symptoms. This is important since the dysfunction of an organ can be as symptomatic as a disease of one. The patient will then be evaluated to see what kind of nutritional supplementation will be required to bring the organ function back into alignment. A functional stool test may also be ordered to evaluate the physiology of the gastrointestinal tract, e.g. Is there inflammation in gut, what is the enzyme activity in the pancreas, is bacterial overgrowth or parasites present and what is the immune status in the gut?

Natural Colitis Treatment

At LifeWorks Wellness Center, once the diagnosis described above has been made, natural Colitis treatment will then be offered. Natural IBS treatment is tailored specifically to each individual patient and will involve testing to see which nutritional supplements they will respond best to, in order to rebalance the gastrointestinal tract. There may be multifactorial issues which may be setting off a “chain reaction” throughout the body and so it is important to handle all components of these multiple issues, to ensure the body begins to heal properly.

Clearwater & Tampa’s Best Colitis Doctor

LifeWorks Wellness Center is long recognized as one of the foremost natural health clinics in the US. At our Tampa Bay, Florida alternative medicine office we have been offering treatment for gastrointestinal disorders for a long time and many of our patients have benefitted from it. Our patients fly in from all over the world because they simply can’t find clinics offering solutions to their gastrointestinal disorders and natural medicine for gastrointestinal disorders where they live.

We have helped many patients regain their health and we would love to help you, too. To become a patient, or for more information, feel free to call our New Patient Coordinator at (727) 466-6789 or simply submit an online web inquiry with your request.