Researchers have learned that although emotional distress does not cause ulcerative colitis it does have the potential to exacerbate symptoms. Alternative and natural treatments are becoming popular to treat a large variety of disorders and conditions and to prevent future ailments. Even those with more serious conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease are replacing conventional therapy with natural medicine. It is not recommended that you stop your current treatment as prescribed by your physician but there are several alternatives you can add to your already ongoing treatment as a supplement.
A natural remedy that doctors are using in addition to their conventional methods is probiotics. Probiotics consist of live microorganisms that occur naturally in the gut flora. These bacteria aid in digestion, help the body to absorb nutrients and may help to sustain a strong immune system. Introducing probiotics that may be missing into the human bionetwork helps maintain healthy gastrointestinal function.
The two most common strains used in medicine are lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium. It has been maintained that bifidobacterium stimulates the immune system, may avert the growth of some forms of tumors and prevent diarrhea, which is a common symptom of ulcerative colitis. Some strains of lactobacillus acidophilus that inhabit the intestine are said to strengthen the immune system and prevent yeast infections. Probiotics are found in foods that are fermented or “cultured.” The most common foods that contain probiotics are found in the dairy group.
Yogurt is the most familiar food consisting of probiotics. Yogurt can be bought in several different forms and flavors making it the most desirable way to get the bacteria we need into our systems. Available assortments include low-fat and frozen yogurt, drinkable yogurt or fruit-flavored yogurt and more recently on the market is yogurt in squeeze tubes that are meant to be likable to children. It is important to note that not all yogurts are the same and not all yogurts are beneficial. Some manufacturers will pasteurize and homogenize their products after putting the cultures in. This has the potential to kill off some of the bacteria that may be good for the body. Other foods in the dairy family include kefir, which is a drinkable product that is fermented and contains probiotics; sour cream and cheeses; buttermilk, which is a by-product of the butter-making process; soy milk, rice milk and whey drinks. There are other foods outside of the dairy family that include fermented cabbage, soybeans, miso and tempeh.