Ulcerative colitis is a condition in which the large intestine or the colon becomes inflamed. The exact reasons for this inflammation are varied and even disputed; though, the governing theory regarding the causes of the disease is that autoimmunity is the cause. Symptoms of the disease are repeated trips to the bathroom with stools that contain blood and mucus from the colon. It is quite a serious disease and sufferers could even die from it if the disease is not managed and treated. Nearly all autoimmune diseases have no cure and have to be treated symptomatically. For ulcerative colitis, the drugs used are corticosteroids, aminosalicylates, and immunosuppressants. Alcohol is a contributing danger in the disease and can potentially cause a relapse of the disease once in remission.
Autoimmune disorders are disorders in which the body's immune system launches an attack on itself, killing off cells. In ulcerative colitis, the immune system attacks the cells of the colon destroying the entire colon, progressively. There are two factors that this and most other autoimmune disorders require, a genetic predisposition to the disease and a trigger that generates the response for an attack. One of the alternative theories for the cause of ulcerative colitis is that sulfate-reducing bacteria are higher in patients suffering from ulcerative colitis and these bacteria create hydrogen sulfide in the gut, destroying the cells and capillaries of the human colon.
Treating oneself of the condition requires a dietary modification that includes a high intake of dietary fiber. The sources of dietary fiber are whole-wheat foods, bran, tough vegetables, and legumes. In addition to this, oatmeal should be a staple in the diet. Herbal remedies involve the intake of natural anti-inflammatory remedies like ginger, feverfew and turmeric. The use of black pepper is also advised so as to improve absorption. Some of the other radical treatments that are used in treating ulcerative colitis include enemas. Two types of enemas are used; one that injects colonic bacteria and the other is an enema of human feces that is rich in colonic bacteria. There is some evidence to support the fact that intestinal parasites play a great role in reducing the inflammatory response of the body. This gives rise to the super-hygiene theory that states that an extremely hygienic environment is probably not the best thing. Smoking could also be a cause for quelling the hydrogen sulfide released because of the reaction between hydrogen cyanide and hydrogen sulfide.