Lifestyle

Changing to a high-fiber diet with few dairy products may reduce the likelihood of further attacks. Other foods and drinks that are best avoided include refined carbohydrates, those containing caffeine, and alcohol. A nutritionist will be able to advise further. Smoking is inadvisable. When consulting a doctor about infections, colitis sufferers should draw attention to their condition, which may be exacerbated by taking antibiotics. Relaxation techniques and meditation are advisable for those leading stressful lives. During a colitis attack, the most suitable foods are those that are easily digested.

CAUTION

• If there is persistent weight loss of more than about 1 lb (0.5 kg) a week, consult a doctor.

• If there is fever, and blood and mucus in the stools, see a doctor within 12 hours.

CASE HISTORY

David was a 41-year-old stockbroker. Originally diagnosed as having irritable bowel syndrome, his condition had since been identified by a colonoscopy as ulcerative colitis. He believed that an infection picked up while traveling had made his condition worse. He was taking a corticosteroid and a sulfasalazine derivative, before which he had five or six watery bowel movements a day. His anus was raw and sore. He had great flatulence, with some pain, and had to get up in the early morning to empty his bowels.

PERSONAL DETAILS

David's father had died when he was eight, and his mother had relied heavily on him. He felt great relief on going away to college, and did well in his work, although it was his main source of stress. He had lost a nine-month-old daughter, a victim of crib death. David was not sure he had gotten over this. He described himself as solid, but feared being incapacitated by illness.

FOOD PREFERENCES

David had a fairly sweet tooth. He liked vinegar and spices, but avoided them in case they upset him. He believed that milk and cheese upset his bowel. He loved tea, and had not smoked for 12 years.

GENERAL DETAILS

David felt better in dry heat and worse in humid conditions. He slept well and awoke refreshed, but had to get up immediately.

PRESCRIPTION & FOLLOW-UP

David was treated with Sulphur, after which his condition improved, with fewer and firmer bowel movements. The corticosteroid dosage was reduced, and David was able to sleep in later in the mornings. About this time he had dreams concerning his job and family, but he continued to improve, reducing his conventional drugs. He was then prescribed the nosode of measles (see page 20) since he had suffered a bad attack as a child. This remedy worked to good effect, so the potency was increased. David's progress continued and he reduced his drugs further. When last seen, he was on a maintenance dose of mesalazine, and continued to improve.

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