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Ulcerative Colitis (cont.)

Other Treatment

Even though there is little scientific proof that it works, many people who have ulcerative colitis consider nontraditional or complementary medicine in addition to prescription medicines. They may turn to these other treatments because there is no cure other than removal of the colon.

Other treatment choices

Treatments include:

  • Special diets or nutritional supplements, such as probiotics.
  • Fatty acids found in oily fish, such as salmon and tuna.
  • Vitamin supplements, such as vitamins D and B12.
  • Herbs, such as aloe and ginseng.
  • Massage.
  • Stimulation of the feet, hands, and ears to try to affect parts of the body (reflexology).
  • Chiropractic therapy.

Probiotics and fatty acids are the most promising complementary therapies being studied for ulcerative colitis. But there is still not much known about their value. As with any treatment, talk with your doctor before using any of these treatments.

Nicotine patch

Several studies have shown that the nicotine patch may help treat active ulcerative colitis. It is not yet known how long the benefits of the nicotine patch last or if the patch can help prevent flare-ups. If the patch works, it most likely benefits people whose symptoms began or became worse after quitting smoking.

But because of the addictive power and other harmful effects of nicotine, most doctors still prefer to use traditional medicines to treat ulcerative colitis before trying the nicotine patch.

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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