Some natural remedies and suggestions to help manage ulcerative colitis (UC) include lifestyle and dietary changes, exercise, probiotics, and acupuncture.

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UC is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation in the digestive system.

Treatment for UC aims to help:

  • reduce inflammation
  • provide symptom relief
  • support remission
  • slow progression of the disease

Medications are the typical first-line treatment for UC.

However, some natural remedies and suggestions like those below may complement these treatments and help you manage UC.

Diet may play a role in whether UC stays in remission or you experience periods when your symptoms worsen or reappear, known as flare-ups.

Eliminating or reducing the following common trigger foods may help you prevent or reduce symptoms of UC:

  • whole grains
  • nuts, legumes, and seeds
  • lactose
  • gluten
  • raw, unpeeled fruits and vegetables
  • cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower
  • added sugars
  • ultra-processed, fried, and fatty foods
  • sugar-sweetened beverages
  • alcohol, if applicable

A 2021 review notes that some diets for UC may also help you maintain or achieve remission, such as:

However, the authors note that more research is needed to fully support the beneficial roles of these diets in managing UC.

Low fiber diets may be recommended for the short term if you’re experiencing a UC flare-up. It’s important to reintroduce fiber when your symptoms improve, as this may help you stay in remission and improve bowel regularity and gut health.

It’s advisable to speak with a healthcare professional before eliminating any foods from your diet, as this may lead to complications like malnutrition.

Research suggests some herbal remedies may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could help promote gut health, relieve UC symptoms, and prolong remission.

These may include:

It’s important to note that more research and long-term studies are needed to fully support the benefits of herbal remedies as complementary to other treatments for UC.

You may want to speak with a healthcare professional before adding herbal remedies to your treatment plan, as they may have side effects.

Probiotics introduce healthy gut bacteria to help restore and maintain a natural microbial flora in the gut. This may help reduce harmful inflammatory responses caused by UC and maintain remission.

A 2023 review looked at the effects of probiotics for treating Crohn’s disease and UC, the two types of IBD. The authors found that only 4 out of 11 studies showed benefits of taking probiotics for Crohn’s disease.

However, 21 of 25 studies showed that probiotics helped promote and maintain remission for UC.

Probiotics are widely available in grocery stores and pharmacies, but certain probiotics may have more benefits. For example, the authors of the review above note that Bifidobacterium sp. is the most effective probiotic for UC.

Consider speaking with a healthcare professional before taking probiotics. They may recommend an alternative based on your health condition.

A 2018 review found that exercise may have a variety of health benefits for people living with IBD, including:

  • reducing disease progression and activity
  • boosting immune health
  • improving mood and quality of life
  • strengthening bones

If you’re not sure where to start, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation recommends these low impact, UC-friendly workout options:

  • walking
  • cycling
  • swimming
  • rowing
  • yoga

When UC-related digestive symptoms crop up, working out can feel like the last thing on your mind. It’s important to take it easy during a flare-up and listen to your body.

Managing a chronic condition like UC can feel stressful, and research from 2019 shows that stress may trigger a UC flare.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following steps to help manage and relieve stress:

  • getting regular physical activity
  • practicing deep breathing exercises
  • meditating
  • going outside
  • stretching
  • limiting or avoiding alcohol, if applicable
  • making time for a hobby, like reading or listening to music
  • speaking with a friend, family member, or healthcare professional about your feelings
  • joining a support group

You can experiment with various stress-relief strategies to determine which ones work best for you.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy. It involves inserting thin needles into specific “pressure points” in the body to help stimulate circulation and boost endorphins.

A 2020 review found that acupuncture may help improve UC symptoms and disease biomarkers when used alone or in combination with other treatments, such as medication.

It’s best to speak with a healthcare professional before trying acupuncture. They can recommend a licensed professional who may have experience treating people with UC.

How do I heal my gut ulcerative colitis?

Treatment for ulcerative colitis may include natural remedies, medications, or surgery. Consider speaking with a healthcare professional, as they can help develop the best treatment plan for your condition.

What is the fastest way to calm ulcerative colitis symptoms?

Treatment for UC depends on several factors, such as the type and severity of symptoms and individual restrictions. For mild to severe UC, a healthcare professional may prescribe aminosalicylates to help reduce inflammation and provide symptom relief. For severe UC, you may need a short course of corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.

What is the ultimate cure for ulcerative colitis?

There’s no cure for UC. However, a combination of medications, lifestyle and dietary changes, natural remedies, and sometimes surgery may help you stay in remission.

How do you reduce inflammation in ulcerative colitis?

Some ways to help reduce inflammation include medications like aminosalicylates and corticosteroids. Some natural remedies may also help when combined with medications, such as exercise and stress-relieving activities.

UC is a chronic inflammatory condition that can cause digestive symptoms such as diarrhea and bloating.

Treatment typically involves medications, but some natural remedies may also help you stay in remission.

It’s advisable to speak with a healthcare professional if your symptoms frequently flare up. They can help adjust your treatment plan.

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