September 23, 2009

Ulcerative Colitis during Pregnancy Causes and Treatments

Posted in Category : Women's Health

Ulcerative colitis is a condition of the large intestines or the colon in which the colon becomes inflamed. The current standard of thought regarding the causes of the disease is that autoimmunity plays a great deal in the disease. The typical symptoms of the disease are continuous bowel movements and stools that contain blood and mucus from the colon. It is a serious condition in which sufferers may even die from it if it progressively gets worse. A complete cure for the disease involves the partial or complete removal of the colon. Being an autoimmune disease, the medicinal treatment for this disease calls for the use of corticosteroids, a class of drugs called aminosalicylates, immunosuppressant drugs, and alpha inhibitors. These drugs all have potentially serious effects for pregnant women; in these cases, the patient would have to wait until their pregnancy is brought to term before they opt for medical treatment. The alternatives would involve a dietary modification.

Ulcerative colitis is a condition that is categorized as an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders occur when the body’s immune system mistakenly launches an attack on itself and kills its own cells. This is the case in ulcerative colitis where the immune system attacks the colon and eventually destroys it. Another autoimmune disorder that is quite famous is diabetes mellitus, in which the immune system attacks the cells that create insulin in the pancreas. The standard belief, in this and most autoimmune disorders, is that there is a large play of genetics in the onset of this disease and also a trigger that generates the response for a specific attack. Apart from this theory, there is also the theory that sulfate-reducing bacteria in the colon are also responsible for ulcerative colitis. The theory is that these bacteria create hydrogen sulfide in the gut, which is toxic to human cells.

Treating oneself involves the intake of natural anti-inflammatory remedies like ginger, feverfew and turmeric. For good measure and absorption, black pepper is also advised. This is because pepper helps to increase the absorption of any other ingested herb. All of these remedies being absolutely natural can be ingested during pregnancy as well but should be discussed with your doctor. The other non-medicinal treatments include the infusion of certain types of intestinal bacteria into the colon by using an enema. Sometimes, the bacterial infusion could also be human feces itself that helps to repopulate the colon.