This is a disease where the large intestine becomes ulcerated and inflamed leading to diarrhea often with bleeding and even pus. It is more common in people aged between 15 and 30 and the first sign can be mild lower abdominal cramps. As the disease progresses there can be fatigue and weight loss and there is a risk of colon cancer associated with this problem.
In traditional Chinese medical diagnostic terms, a mechanism known as damp and heat is a common causative factor in ulcerative colitis. Damp and heat can come about because of irregular eating habits involving excess greasy, oily and spicy foods including alcohol. In fact many sufferers of ulcerative colitis remark that the attacks started after a bout of alcohol. The emotions and too much thinking particularly worry and anger can also be considered a precipitating factor in ulcerative colitis.
Acupuncture for ulcerative colitis often involves treating the liver and spleen to help keep anger and worry in check so as to prevent emotions becoming excessive and burdening the body.
Western medicine will advocate an avoidance of raw fruits and vegetables, which ironically is exactly what Chinese medicine would advise as well. This is because stomach and spleen need warm cooked foods that are easily digested.
In 2006, the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterolgy, reported that acupuncture and moxibustion treatment for ulcerative colitis offered additional therapeutic benefit with improvements in well being, quality of life and serum markers of inflammation. These results were achieved with only 10 sessions of acupuncture.
Listen here to Heiko Lade talk on radio Kidnappers about Ulcerative Colitis.
In hospitals in China, the treatment of ulcerative colitis is commonly treated successfully with acupuncture, moxibustion and Chinese herbal medicine.