Why Do People Look to Natural Treatments?
Complementary and alternative medicine represent a group of diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered part of conventional medicine. People turn to alternative therapies for relief of a number of conditions, including ulcerative colitis
. There are various reasons why some people consider using natural remedies for ulcerative colitis:
- Because conventional treatment is not working as well as they would like
- A wish for greater relief of symptoms and/or disability
- Issues with side effects of ulcerative colitis medications
- A desire to reduce some of the stress that comes from living with a chronic illness, as well as to cope better with stress
- A belief that alternative therapies are safer and more "natural"
- Widespread advertising and attractive claims for many alternative therapy products (such as claims that these products are a natural remedy for ulcerative colitis).
Suggestions When Looking for Natural Ulcerative Colitis Remedies
There are a number of things to think about if you are considering any alternative ulcerative colitis treatments
- Make sure you have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis by a healthcare provider who has substantial conventional medical training and experience with this condition. Ulcerative colitis can be hard to diagnose, since there is no single test for it, and its symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, such as Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome.
- Proven conventional treatments for ulcerative colitis should not be replaced with an alternative therapy that is unproven.
- Tell your healthcare provider(s) about any supplements or medications (prescription or over-the-counter) that you are using or considering. Prescribed medicines may need to be adjusted if you are also using an alternative therapy. Supplements can interact with medications (whether prescription or over-the-counter) and can affect how the body responds to them.
Pharmacists can also be a helpful source of information about dietary supplements
, though their advice is not a substitute for that of your healthcare provider.
- If you decide to use supplements, what you see on the label may not reflect what is in the bottle. For example, some botanical supplements have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs, and some have been found to have much more or much less of the featured ingredient than their label states.
- Women who are pregnant or nursing, or people who are thinking of using an alternative therapy to treat a child, should use extra caution and be sure to consult their healthcare providers.