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Managing Pancolitis

Updated: Dec 24, 2023

What is Pancolitis?

Pancolitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the large intestine, or colon, and causes inflammation and ulcers throughout the entire colon. It is considered a more severe form of Ulcerative colitis, which is another type of IBD that can affect different parts of the colon.

The symptoms of pancolitis can include diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, bloody stools, fatigue, weight loss, and fever. These symptoms can be chronic and can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life.

The exact cause of pancolitis is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to an abnormal immune system response in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the colon. There may also be a genetic component to the development of pancolitis.

Treatment for pancolitis typically involves medications to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressants. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the affected part of the colon. It is important for individuals with pancolitis to work closely with their healthcare providers to manage their symptoms and maintain their overall health.

Natural treatment for pancolitis

There are some natural treatments that may help manage symptoms of pancolitis and improve overall health. It is important to note that these treatments should not replace medical treatment, but rather should be used in conjunction with medical care.

1. Diet: A healthy diet can help manage symptoms of pancolitis. Foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can help regulate bowel movements. It is also important to avoid foods that can trigger inflammation, such as dairy products, spicy foods, and caffeine.

2. Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help improve gut health and reduce inflammation. They are available in supplement form or can be found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut.

3. Exercise: Regular exercise can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health. It is important to choose low-impact activities that do not put stress on the body, such as swimming, cycling, or yoga.

4. Stress reduction: Stress can worsen symptoms of pancolitis, so it is important to find ways to manage stress. This can include practices such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga.

5. Herbal supplements: Some herbal supplements, such as turmeric and aloe vera, have anti-inflammatory properties and may help manage symptoms of pancolitis. However, it is important to consult with a qualified Naturopath before taking any herbal supplements, as they can interact with other medications and may not be appropriate for all individuals.

Nutrition for pancolitis

Proper nutrition is an important aspect of managing pancolitis, as it can help reduce inflammation, promote healing, and improve overall health. Here are some dietary tips that may be helpful for individuals with pancolitis:

1. High-fiber foods: It is important to eat a diet that is high in fiber, as this can help regulate bowel movements and improve gut health. However, some individuals with pancolitis may have difficulty digesting certain types of fiber, so it is important to experiment and see what works best. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

2. Low-residue diet: In some cases, a low-residue diet may be recommended to reduce the amount of undigested food in the colon. This can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. A low-residue diet typically involves avoiding high-fiber foods and sticking to more easily digestible foods like white rice, potatoes, and well-cooked vegetables.

3. Omega fatty acids: Omega fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation in the colon. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish like salmon and tuna, flaxseed, and chia seeds. The problem with these foods is that they are not always tolerated with pancolitis, therefore my recommendation is to consume a good quality supplement that includes at least three types of Omega (3,6,9) to make sure you are getting enough of these important fatty acids.

4. Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help improve gut health and reduce inflammation. They can be found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, or taken in supplement form.

5. Avoid trigger foods: Certain foods can trigger inflammation and worsen symptoms of pancolitis. Common trigger foods include dairy products, spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol. It is important to identify your own trigger foods and avoid them as much as possible.

6. Stay hydrated: It is important to stay hydrated, as dehydration can worsen symptoms of pancolitis. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and consider drinking other hydrating fluids like herbal tea or coconut water.

As a qualified Naturopath, who specializes in natural treatment for Crohn's, Ulcerative colitis, pancolitis, and many other digestive disorders I work closely with my patients on developing personalized nutrition plans and herbal prescriptions that aim to treat the root cause of their health condition and meet their individual needs and preferences.



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