A fairly rare condition in which lining of rectum and colon become progressively ulcerated, causing periodic attacks of left-sided Abdominal Pain, Diarrhoea, mucus and blood in faeces, and in severe cases Fever and Nausea. Complications include Anaemia, as ulcers bleed, and Septicaemia, as toxins from ulcers get into bloodstream; risk of developing cancer of the colon or rectum - see Cancer is slight. Cause is not known, but condition can be aggravated by broad spectrum antibiotics. Diagnosis is by barium enema and endoscopy of the rectum and lower colon. Conventionally treated by steroids; in severe cases steroids and nutrients may have to be given intravenously to rest colon and allow it to heal; colostomy, or surgical removal of affected part of colon, is a last resort.
After a first attack, constitutional homeopathic treatment is recommended.
Specific remedies to be given every 2 hours for up to 10 doses during acute attack while constitutional treatment is being sought
- Hot stools which smell offensive and have blood and mucus in them, cutting pains on passing them, abdominal pain not relieved by passing stools Mercurius corr. 30c
- Person chilly, restless, and anxious, burning pain in abdomen accompanied by vomiting, symptoms worse after midnight, wanting warm drinks and sipping them at frequent intervals Arsenicum 30c
- Blood in stools, passing stools relieves pain but anus feels wide open afterwards Phosphorus 30c
Self-help: Further attacks may be prevented by changing to a high-fibre diet and reducing intake of milk and dairy products. Be very wary of antibiotics; if you have a bacterial infection and consult your medical doctor, remind him or her that you have a history of ulcerative colitis. Stop smoking!