Ulcerative colitis is a chronic, or long-lasting, disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the inner lining of the large intestine, which includes the colon and the rectum – the end part of the colon. UC is one of the two main forms of chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract, called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The other form is called Crohn’s disease. Normally, the large intestine absorbs water from stool and changes it from a liquid to a solid. In UC, the inflammation causes loss of the lining of the colon, leading to bleeding, production of pus, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort… NIH – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
- Abdominal pain/tenderness (lower right side for Crohn’s – lower left side for Ulcerative colitis)
- Bloody stools
- Mucus in stools
- Joint pain
- Fever; potentially very elevated
- Colon disfigurement
- Mouth ulcers
- Rectal Pain
- Weight loss/Anorexia
- Chronic fatigue
- Failure to thrive in children
The Institute for Functional Medicine defines functional medicine as personalized treatment that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for serious and chronic disease. It is a science-based field of health care that follows a set of principles; focusing on each person’s biochemical individuality.
A functional assessment will look at your particular system and review your medical history. Have you taken many rounds of antibiotics or anti-depressants? These can very seriously compromise your beneficial gut flora and you must restore what they have diminished or destroyed. Have you been on steroids? Do you have an underlying infection such as SIBO ? Make sure to pay attention to all side-effects of any drugs you may be taking, or have taken in the past. Some symptoms can be a result of medications. Were you traveling or working with animals or children and particularly susceptible to parasites? Parasites are a very common cause of IBD. Do you have undiagnosed food allergies, or have you ever attempted or completed an elimination diet? Have you kept a food diary before? Dr Hagmeyer often relies on the the use a Comprehensive Stool and Digestive Analysis test, which can help you determine the root of your problems. The CDSA and an elimination diet are two powerful tools to use in determining the cause of IBD.