The usual treatment of colitis with suppressive drugs is based on the assumption that colitis is due to germ infection, which it is not. The suppressive drugs drive back into the system the toxic matter in the colon which nature is endeavouring to eliminate in the form of mucus. They suppress the symptoms temporarily, without removing the cause. In such cases, the symptoms recur and colitis becomes chronic. Plain warm water or warm water with a little olive oil used as a wash-out is the only method of softening and removing the accumulations of hardened matter sticking to the walls of the colon.
Diet plays an important part in the treatment of colitis. It is advisable to observe a juice fast for five days or so in most cases of ulcerative colitis. The juices may be diluted with a little boiled water. Papaya juice, raw cabbage and carrot juices will be especially beneficial. Citrus juices should be avoided. The bowel should be cleansed daily with a warm water enema.
After the juice fast, the patient should gradually adopt a diet of small, frequent meals of soft cooked or steamed vegetables, rice, dalia (coarsely broken wheat), well ripened fruits like banana and papaya, yogurt and home-made cottage cheese. Sprouted seeds and grains, whole meal bread and raw vegetables may be added gradually to this diet after about 10 days. All food must be eaten slowly and chewed thoroughly.
Foods which should be excluded from the diet are white sugar, white bread and white flour products, highly seasoned foods, highly salted foods,strong tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages and foods cooked in aluminium pans. Ripe bananas are highly beneficial in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, being bland, smooth, easily digested and slightly laxative.
They relieve acute symptoms and promote the healing process. An effective remedy for ulcerative colitis is the use of butter- milk. It is the residual milk left after the fat has been removed from yogurt by churning. Buttermilk enema twice a week is also soothing and helps in re-installing a healthy flora in the colon. Another valuable remedy for colitis is tender coconut water, it is soothing to the soft mucosa of the colon. Cooked apple also aids the healing of ulcerative conditions because of its ample concentration of iron and phosphorous. The patient should have a bowel movement at the same time each day and spend 10 to 15 minutes in the endeavour.
Straining at stools should be avoided. Drinking two glasses of water the first thing in the morning will stimulate a normal bowel movement. An enema may be used if no bowel movement occurs. Complete bed rest and plenty of liquids are very important. The patient should eliminate all causes of tension, adjust to his disability and face his discomfort with patience.