Treatment of ulcerative colitis starts with the elimination of symptoms and producing remissions. When this stage is completed the next agenda is the sustaining of remission until such time as it could be achieved.
There are three general treatment choices if you want to heal your ulcerative colitis ailment: medication, surgery and alternative forms of treatment.
- Medication. A high proportion of medications that are used to answer ulcerative colitis are generally secure for long-term use, and a number of patients stay on maintenance amount of intake for a long span of time.
- 5-ASA Compounds. The 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) is the active ingredient in most medicines used to treat ulcerative colitis. This includes a compound that can cause side effects such as severe headaches, nausea and throwing up. Scientists have developed five new ASA compounds that do not produce the ugly side effects described above. These are available under the following formulations: Asacol (mesalamine), Pentasa (mesalamine), Rowasa (mesalamine) and Dipentum (osalazine). These drugs have been found to be potent in fighting flare-ups when taken in high dosage and effective for maintenance when in lower dosage.
- Steroids. These are drugs that have been shown to decrease inflammation and contain the body's immune system. Steroids are used to solve moderate to severe symptoms on the occasion of flare ups. Use of steroids for maintenance therapy however has not been recommended.
- Experimental treatments. These are the non-traditional forms of treatment. One of such is the intake of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are known for reducing leukotrienes (which contributes to inflammation).
- Surgery. This involves the removal of the colon or colectomy. This medical procedure will cure the disease since the organ that causes the problem is detached from the body. However, this has some life altering effects in one's body since other procedures will be done to remove waste from the body.
The surgical procedure for ulcerative colitis requires the taking out of the entire colon. This will be performed even if only a small portion of the colon is diseased. With the elimination of the colon, excrement is released as a more liquid product. Depending on the kind of restoration done after the surgery, feces is either released through the anus or through an opening in the side of the abdomen medically referred to as an ostomy.
- Alternative Treatments. These are mind and body therapies that can help you and others suffering from ulcerative colitis handle pain, increase your sense of well being and give you a sense of being in charge in cases where you have minimal control. These alternative forms of treatment include but are not limited to the following: biofeedback, guided imagery, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and acupressure, sound and music therapy and relaxation. Although these techniques have not been proven to undo cellular changes due to ulcerative colitis, still these can be used to help you improve your situation. These should be only used as complementary rather than substitute forms of treatment.
Following these forms of treatment will alleviate your suffering and give you the much needed assurance of treatment. But before going through any of these options, it is best to consult with your doctor who is in the best position to examine and advice you.