To the Person Just Diagnosed With Ulcerative Colitis

So, you were just diagnosed with ulcerative colitis? Hey, I know what you’re feeling. I’ve been where you are right now. You might be young, maybe in your teens. You might be older, with children and grandchildren. Maybe it’s your child who’s been diagnosed with UC. Regardless of where you’re at we’ve all been there, all of us with UC, and it’s OK to be scared, shocked, indifferent or whatever you’re feeling right now. It’s all valid.

I would like to tell you a bit about my story from where I started my UC journey to where I am today because I want to share with you how it’s possible to have an amazing life with this chronic illness.

I was diagnosed when in December of 2008 when I was 15 years old. When I got diagnosed I felt, well, nothing, really. I felt kind of indifferent. I had gone to my school nurse with pain in my lower left side and I got an emergency appointment with the doctor since they suspected it might be the appendix. When that was quickly ruled out, the doctor kept asking me questions.

pensive beautiful young girl standing near a brick wall

One question required an answer I had never spoken out loud before.

“When you go to the bathroom, is there blood when you poop?”

I answered yes.

Then, he asked, “How often?”

“Every single time.”

Then, he asked, “For how long?”

“For about 10 months.”

I still remember his reaction before he managed to get his face under control: his eyes widened in shock.

I was sent to the hospital in a bigger city nearby; my mom drove me there. They did some tests, and my mom and I stayed the night. Results from the blood tests showed my red blood cell count was about half of what you’re supposed to have, and the nurses were amazed I was even standing. They said they had never seen anyone walk around with such a low blood cell count. At this point, I was going to the bathroom 20+ times a day. At one point in time I had pooped my pants and washed myself off in a middle school bathroom, then took a 25-minute bus trip home.

I know it sounds amazing that I wasn’t understanding something was very, very off, but I really didn’t. It had all become so normal at this point.

I was diagnosed within a few days of first going to the doctor, got some basic information about the illness and was then sent home with a doctor’s appointment scheduled a few days later. I was still indifferent. I remember saying to my mom, “Hey, so what if I need to take a few pills a day if that means I stay well for the rest of my life?” My mom took it way harder than I did.

A few days after that, I completely crashed and ended up spending three weeks in a hospital bed not being able to eat or drink. I was in constant excruciating pain, and I was too weak to properly walk the maybe 10 steps needed to get from my bed to the bathroom. I got out of the hospital the day before Christmas, and the coming months were a long, hard struggle to get, literally, back on my feet. I couldn’t stand up while showering because it was too exhausting. My mood swings were horrible because of the high doses of cortisone I was taking: I once had a meltdown because my mom asked me what kind of juice I’d prefer. If you’ve been there, you know what it’s like. It was hard. It took me another eight months to fully recover from my three-week hospital stay.

The seven years since then have been filled with ups and downs. I’ve tried different medicines, been away from school for months at a time, been screaming from pain. I’ve matured in ways you only do if you’re combating a chronic illness.

I am a hopeless optimist. I honestly believe things will turn out well in the end. Ulcerative colitis is a part of me, and I’m doing the best I can. I can honestly tell you that living a meaningful life is possible. Right now, I have a full-time job in broadband customer support. I play roller derby, a full contact sport on roller skates. I am active in different volunteer organizations. I play video games, I’m in a book club and I am writing a science fiction novel in my spare time. I go to events and pop culture conventions and music festivals. I have friends I can talk to and who appreciate me for who I am, regardless of me having UC.

I do this even with my recent switch to the medicine Humira, a bi-weekly shot that, even with numbing salve, makes me scream in pain when I take it. (And I have a high pain threshold) I do this even with the possibility of having to get a stoma in the near future. I do this despite doses of cortisone, despite eczema, despite normal colds knocking me out completely because of my lowered immune system. You can also do this.

But you know what? It’s OK even if you don’t do all of this, or half of this, or even any of this. If you got out of bed today: congratulations! You’ve done great today. If you didn’t make it out of bed today, that is also fine. You’re doing great for hanging in there, and tomorrow is another day.


ulcerative colitis

Turmeric Benefits for Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is one of the two major forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) along with Crohn’s disease. It is a serious disease and if left untreated, an individual runs the risk of contracting colon cancer. Generally it happens in mature age but there are studies proving its incidence increasing among children too in the US.

Let me talk a bit about what exactly this disorder is. When the colon or large intestine gets chronically inflamed, we are said to suffer from ulcerative colitis. Ulcers are formed on the colon’s inner lining and this accompanied by inflammation causes symptoms like rectal bleeding, diarrhea and abdominal pain. The disease could also cause inflammation of the spine, joints, skin, liver, eyes and bile duct. Along with Crohn’s, both diseases are called inflammatory bowel disease. The actual cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown although it could be due to abnormal behavior of the immune system.

Depending on the part of the colon that is affected, there are different types of this disease like ulcerative proctitis, proctosigmoiditis, pancolitis, left-sided colitis, or fulminant colitis. A barium enema or colonoscopy may be used to detect ulcerative colitis. Medicines are usually given as treatment and surgery is reserved for severe cases.

Turmeric and Ulcerative Colitis

Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It is no wonder that results of studies conducted to see if turmeric can help in ulcerative colitis have mostly been positive. Here I present summaries of some of these studies:

A study was conducted on the active photochemical compound in turmeric – curcumin and its pharmacologic benefits for patients with ulcerative colitis. 89 patients were selected, all suffering from quiescent ulcerative colitis. This was a randomized, double-blind, multi-center trial. 45 patients were given 1g curcumin after breakfast and a similar dosage after the evening meal. They were also given mesalamine or sulfasalazine (SZ). 44 patients were given a placebo and mesalamine or SZ. The treatment was given for 6 months with endoscopic and clinical activity index (CAI) checked every 2 months for 6 months and after a 6-month follow-up period.

ulcerative colitis and turmeric

Eliminating protocol violators, it was determined of the remaining that 2 / 43 (5%) patients in the curcumin group had a relapse after therapy and 8 / 39 (20%) of the placebo group. Recurrence rates were lower in the curcumin group and they also had an improved CAI. It was also determined based on endoscopy findings and symptom rating scale that those treated with curcumin experienced less disease symptoms on an average compared to those given the placebo. The conclusion was that turmeric seemed to be a safe and promising medication that could be used in the treatment of quiescent ulcerative colitis.

Another study was conducted to determine the prophylactic effect of turmeric for ulcerative colitis. Male Swiss albino rats were given dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) for 5 days to induce colitis. One group was given 100mg/kg curcumin for 7 days before being given DSS. The rats being given curcumin suffered less weight loss than the control group. Typical symptoms of ulcerative colitis that were induced by DSS like infiltration of inflammatory cells, thickening of intestinal walls and mucosal ulceration were much reduced. Researchers believed that the reason could be the antioxidant properties of turmeric and inhibition of NF kappa-B a cellular inflammatory agent. Curcumin could play a protective role by regulating anti-oxidant balance and modulating release of certain inflammatory endocoids in cases of ulcerative colitis. It was also found that even small doses of < 0.25% turmeric was sufficient to provide protection and this could be got by including this spice in food.

As I have already mentioned, curcumin offers anti-inflammatory benefits and thus could improve ulcerative colitis symptoms. In a clinical trial, patients with ulcerative proctitis showed an improvement in symptoms after being given 550mg of curcumin twice daily for a month and then thrice daily for a month. In another study, patients given 1g curcumin twice daily for 6 months suffered from lesser remission rates of ulcerative colitis. In the placebo group there was 20.5% remission rate and 4.7% in the turmeric group. The patients also received conventional medications.

Curcumin combined with sulfasalazine or corticosteroids seemed to help patients with ulcerative colitis in some clinical trials. Since turmeric offered benefits, smaller doses of standard drugs needed to be used by the patients.

Few side effects and more benefits

Those who have inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are usually treated with antibiotics, steroids, 5-aninosalicylates and immunomodulators. Long term usage of these can create many unwanted side effects. Preclinical trials have found that turmeric is effective in preventing inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis. Several IBD experimental models have found that turmeric could inhibit the damage caused by free radicals by increasing antioxidant levels and provide other clinical benefits. Since turmeric produces few if any side effects, it can be used for longer and help maintain remission.


There is no pediatric dose of turmeric supplements. For adults, the dosage depends on the medical condition. General dosage of standard curcumin powder used in tablets is 400-600mg thrice daily. Other types of turmeric supplements that can be used and their dosage are – cut root – 1.5 -3g daily, dried powdered root – 1-3g daily, tincture – 30 drops four times a day and liquid extract – 30-90 drops daily.

1-2g daily of turmeric had anti-inflammatory properties in test tube studies.


Turmeric is usually safe when included in food. When taken in excess, turmeric supplements can cause nausea, stomach upsets, diarrhea and dizziness. Pregnant and breastfeeding women must avoid turmeric supplements for they can stimulate the uterus and may cause menstrual bleeding that could risk a pregnancy. Gall bladder problems could worsen with turmeric. Turmeric could slow blood clotting, hence those requiring surgery must avoid it. Diabetic and anti-coagulant medications could interact with turmeric supplements.



5 Natural Cure For Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis also known as inflammatory bowel disease is the inflammation of the inner lining of the large intestine and the rectum. This is a chronic disease in which the symptoms can persist for years and years. The colon or the large intestine stores the waste product of the food that we eat and the rectum is the lower end of the 5 Natural Cure For Ulcerative Colitis

When the mucous membranes get inflamed and ulcerated it results in diarrhea, bleeding from the rectum and abdominal pain. The likeliest cause of this condition is considered to be an overactive immune system in the intestines.

The immune system which consists of cells and proteins which defend the body against harmful viruses, bacteria and fungi becomes active when these organisms invade the body and cause infection. But in this condition, the immune system becomes abnormally active in the absence of any invasion by harmful organisms causing inflammation and ulcers.

Natural Ways to Cure Ulcerative Colitis


Bananas have mild laxative properties and relieve constipation. They are easy to digest and are a powerhouse of nutrition.Their healing properties soothe and heal the colon lining and mitigate acute symptoms. Eat two ripe bananas daily after breakfast. Daily consumption will form the stool and relieve diarrhea


Buttermilk reduces the swelling and cleanses the colon. It promotes healthy bacteria in the gut and helps in the evacuation of stool easily. Churn curd till the butter comes up. Skim off the butter and use the buttermilk. Drink three glasses of buttermilk daily. Do not add any salt to it


Coconut Water

Tender coconut water has many healing properties and is commonly given to patients suffering from all kinds of diseases. Its health giving properties give a boost to energy levels in the body and quicken the healing process.

It is very effective in all kinds of digestive disorders. It not only soothes the mucous membranes of the colon and rectum but also reduces its swelling. Drink two glasses of coconut water twice daily

coconut water


Apple is considered to be the most nutritious fruit. It is a reservoir of essential vitamins and minerals. Its pectin content serves a dual role; that of a laxative and of relieving diarrhea. The acids and enzymes found in apple prevent the fermentation of food in the stomach and aid digestion. It is rich in iron and phosphorus which prevent ulcers. Pare and dice an apple. Place it in a bowl and place the bowl in a pan of boiling water. Steam till the pieces become tender. Eat steamed apples twice a day on a regular basis.


Chamomile Tea

Chamomile has been used since ages for its medicinal qualities. It soothes the colon and the rectum and alleviates swelling. It has great calming properties which secure a feeling of well being.

Boil a cup of water and steep two teaspoons of chamomile leaves into it for ten minutes. Strain, add some honey and drink. Drink two or three cups daily. The pain in the abdomen will go away and ulcers will heal and stop from being developed again.

Chamomile Tea