Medication is often not enough for helping with ulcerative colitis flareups, supplementing with psyllium husk can go a long way in helping with remission.
By Dawn Flemming
Irritable bowel diseases (IBD) are skyrocketing around the globe. There are about 1.6 million people in America alone who suffer from IBD. The most common form of IBD is a disease known as ulcerative colitis (UC) which is an autoimmune disease and a chronic inflammation of the larger intestine. The disease is characterized by bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and blood as a result of ulcers in the gut.
There is no known cure for the disease, but its symptoms are manageable with conventional anti-inflammatory medication like prednisone.
Medication is not enough to control and manage UC symptoms. Many chronic sufferers of the disease must cut back on milk, fried foods, spicy foods, certain kinds of seeds (like flax seed) etc as they may exacerbate symptoms or take people out of remission.
Does Psyllium Husk (Metamucil) Help with Ulcerative Colitis?
There are, however, some natural supplements that have shown much promise in treating IBDs, particularly ulcerative colitis. From our experience, the most effective natural supplement to help with UC is psyllium husk. Psyllium husk is a smooth insoluble form of fiber. It not only helps with constipation but it also helps with diarrhea. In this sense, psyllium husk acts as a colon cleans which may remove certain toxic and non-toxic elements that may be contributing to your flare-up.
Psyllium husk also functions as a powerful anti-inflammatory which happens to be the most important feature of this fiber. Some important studies have been done on the effects of psyllium husk on ulcerative colitis. One study has concluded the following about these kinds of fiber diets:
Several trials performed in animal models of IBD and human studies have reported that supplementation of some types of dietary fibre can prolong remission and reduce lesions of the intestinal mucosa during the course of the disease.
Not only does it help prolong remission, but it also has a healing effect on the colon by repairing the protective lining system in the colon which also reduces flare-ups.
Psyllium husk also acts a prebiotic according to Health Line:
Psyllium is a prebiotic — a substance needed for healthy colonies of probiotics to grow in the gut. A healthy colony of good bacteria in the digestive system is essential for healthy immune function. Your body is better able to fight infection, reduce inflammation, and maintain healthy tissue and cells.
Not all psyllium husk is equal. In our experience, the more refined psyllium husk is, the better its effects. Try taking it once a day and gradually increase it to three times a day if your symptoms are mild or severe. Before you try anything though, make sure to talk to your doctor first.
Dawn Flemming is Director of Business Services at Geriatric In-Home Care in Fresno, California.