Colonoscopy with biopsy is generally used to diagnose ulcerative colitis.
Other tests that may be done to help diagnose this condition include:
Complete blood count (CBC)
C-reactive protein (CRP)
Sedimentation rate (ESR)
Liver function test (LFT)
Electrolytes, Renal function tests
X – ray
The different types of ulcerative colitis are classified according to the location and the extent of inflammation:
Ulcerative proctitis – In this form of ulcerative colitis, inflammation is confined to the area closest to the anus (rectum), and for some people, rectal bleeding may be the only sign of the disease. Others may have rectal pain and a feeling of urgency. This form of ulcerative colitis tends to be the mildest.
Proctosigmoiditis – This form involves the rectum and the lower end of the colon, known as the sigmoid colon. Bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, and an inability to move the bowels in spite of the urge to do so (tenesmus) are common problems associated with this form of the disease.
Left-sided colitis – As the name suggests, inflammation extends from the rectum up through the sigmoid and descending colon, which are located in the upper left part of the abdomen. Signs and symptoms include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and pain on the left side, and unintended weight loss.
Pancolitis or universal colitis – refers to inflammation affecting the entire colon (right colon, left colon, transverse colon and the rectum). Symptoms of pancolitis include bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, significant weight loss, fatigue, fever, and night sweats. Patients of this type suffer more severe disease and are more difficult to treat than those with more limited forms of ulcerative colitis.
Fulminant colitis This rare, life-threatening form of colitis affects the entire colon and causes severe pain, profuse diarrhea and, sometimes, dehydration and shock. People with fulminant colitis are at risk of serious complications, including colon rupture and toxic megacolon, a condition that causes the colon to rapidly expand.
Ayurveda Treatment for colitis
Ayurveda is a natural system of healing and health maintenance. According to Ayurvedic medicine, healthy digestion plays an integral part in establishing good health and well-being. When the digestive system fails to function optimally, the body becomes congested, blocking circulation and inhibiting movement of toxins out of the body. Therefore, it is imperative that people work to establish good digestion.
As per Ayurveda, Ulcerative colitis can be considered as ‘Pittaja Grahani’.
In Ayurveda, it is known that perfect health exists when the three fundamental energies (doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha) are in balance. Out of these three, when Pitta dosha gets imbalnced, vitiates intestines and causes Pittaja Grahani.
Pitta energy fuels all the biochemical activities, including transformation, digestion, metabolism and assimilation. Pitta is responsible for all the enzymatic and endocrine activity, regulation of body temperature, pigmentation, vision, intelligence, vitality, ambition, courage and understanding. The key qualities of pitta are hot, quick, light, liquid, spreading, slightly oily and fleshy smelling.
Causes of Pittaja Grahani disease are Mandagi (poor appetite and poor digestion), irregular, improper and irrelevant diet habits, heavy to digest or indigestible foods, junk food, Pitta aggravating diets like excess of spicy, pungent, acidic, sour, alkaline nature foods, food items which produces burning sensation in the body, exposure to excess hot climate, alcohol, smoking, excess anger etc. Non-following of the healthy diet habits (Pathya) in certain digestive disorders, especially the conditions of post diarrhea and irritable bowels, are also one of the causes of this disease.
Pittaja Grahani produces the classical symptoms of Ulcerative colitis. Vitiation of Pitta, when reaches extreme will causes severe inflammation, ulceration and rectal bleeding (active phase or flare-up).
At CHARAKA, we offer very effective treatment for Ulcerative colitis based on the classical principle of Ayurveda and our research. Our treatment of Ulcerative colitis is focused in healing the ulcers and restoring the normal function of colon and maintaining the overall health of the digestive system.
Treatment involves Shamana chikitsa (internal medicines), Shodana chikitsa (Panchakarma therapy), life style modifications and very strict diet regime. In more severe case Panchakarma therapy plays a vital role as it quickly detoxifies & rejuvenates the digestive system, controls the inflammation, rectal bleeding and heals the ulcerations.
Usually results are very good with Ayurvedic line of treatment. Early cases tend to respond quickly than chronic. If patient can stick to all the guidelines as advised, even complete cure can also be achieved.