Ulcerative Colitis （UC）is a serious life-long disease that affects thousands of Australians with an estimated 800 new cases of the disease diagnosed each year. Treatments for UC can be very intimidating and hard on the body. At AcuNatural Health we like to work with doctors to reduce the stress of ulcerative colitis on the body in the hopes to reduce the need for drastic surgery.
Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory disease of the large bowel, i.e. colon or rectum. This disease causes long-lasting inflammation that damages the digestive tract. Additionally it causes ulcers in the lining of the bowel, making the act of digestion at times bloody and painful.
There is no known cure for UC and treatments vary from medications (antibiotics, steroids and medicines to suppress the immune system) to surgery to remove the colon, which leads to other lifelong concerns.
Symptoms of UC vary from person to person, especially as ‘flare ups’ or ‘relapses’ are typical of the disease. However, the most common symptoms are：
In TCM Ulcerative Colitis is attributed to two main factors. Firstly is a qi deficiency in either or a combination of the spleen, kidney, or large intestine. To understand the roles of the digestive organ energies in TCM read this article. Secondly is damp heat or damp cold which makes the body sluggish and produce phlegm.
When qi deficiencies occur it means the body is working harder to function, weakening the integrity of our systems, especially our immunity. Accumulated damp, whether with heat or cold, in the case of Ulcerative Colitis breaks down the digestive system allowing for toxins to build up and unhealthy bacteria to foster. Consequently, inflammation and the ‘flare-ups’ associated with UC occur.
Acupuncture and TCM can help with symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis and for some people help go into remission. By building and unblocking qi pathways and helping the body fight off the dampness in the system, the condition should calm down.
In addition to treatments, we can help provide lifestyle advice to manage Ulcerative Colitis. This can include dietary advice, exercises and stress handling techniques.
For example, here are some tips that will help with Ulcerative Colitis:
In conclusion, acupuncture and TCM can help those suffering from Ulcerative Colitis by addressing the symptoms and the underlying causes. Although it is a lifelong disease, working with both western and Chinese medicine can make living with this disease comfortable.