I’ve suffered from colitis for the past 15 years. Everything from severe diarrhea to bloody stool to a lack of energy to do anything.
When I’ve been at my worst, here are the top 5 ways I managed my symptoms naturally.
More Energy with Yoga
Yoga is the ancient Indian practice of stretching that helps align the mind and body. The practice of yoga is a natural means of boosting energy and reducing stress. The most simple way to get started with your own practice is to do Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) at least once a day. Within three days of regular practice, I’m absolutely certain you will understand the benefits. Check out this video to get started.
Manage Stress with Pranayama (meditation)
Pranayama is a meditative practice in which you focus on your breath. Being constantly sick takes its toll. This disease traps you in a vicious cycle - you are stressed because you are sick and you are sick because you are stressed. How do you manage stress before it consumes you? The answer lies in Pranayama. This easy home remedy is the most effective way to allow time for your battered body and spirit to heal. By simply taking 15 minutes out of your morning to focus on your breath, you can change your life. It may take a few weeks to start seeing the benefits of Pranayama, but trust me - the benefits are absolutely worth it. This video will help you get started with Pranayama.
Manage Immediate Urgency with Kapal Bhati
Although Kapal Bhati is a move in Yoga, it merits its own spot for its impact. Kapal Bhati is a breathing technique that immediately removes urgency. One of the worst scenarios for me is when I’m in public and I feel the urge to go to the bathroom. My mind starts racing with fear - where’s the nearest bathroom? What if I don’t make it in time? The stress only makes my urgency worse, which in turn makes me stress even more. Now, when I’m out and have the urge to go to the bathroom, I use Kapal Bhati to immediately reduce my urgency. In the moment when you need to manage the urge to go to the bathroom, Kapal Bhati will be your best friend. Try this now :
Focus on "exhaling". Inhale as normal. Exhale forcefully by contracting the abdomen muscles with each exhalation.
Do this 15-20 times over a span of a minute and watch your urge to go to the bathroom significantly reduce or even disappear. Here's a video that explains how to do Kapal Bhati.
Vitamin Support with Vitamin D
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease sap your body’s vitamin and mineral supply. One vitamin that is typically low in IBD patients is Vitamin D.
“When we look at patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and check their Vitamin D levels, they are usually deficient in Vitamin D,” notes Dr. Kaplan in this article.
According to a study conducted in 2013, researchers concluded that 5,000 IU per day of vitamin D may help lower disease activity. More experimentation needs to be done to be sure, but adding Vitamin D is a natural no-brainer.
Herbal Support with Boswellia
Boswellia is an Ayurvedic herb shown to have beneficial outcomes in patients with IBD. In fact, I’ve used boswellia to help manage my symptoms in the past. Of course, I continue to work with a qualified physician to monitor and maintain my remission, but I believe boswellia and other herbs have played a critical role in bringing me to remission. In a study published in the European Journal of Medical Research, boswellia outperformed a pharmaceutical drug at inducing remission in colitis patients. Read more about boswellia here.
Our supplement contains boswellia along with 7 other Ayurvedic herbs used for inflammation and diarrhea.
Pic Credit: Bill Gracey