Colitis refers to the inflammation of gut usually large intestine. Though the earliest explanations of colitis can be dated back to ancient Greek history, pharmacologic interventions of the disease started after Following World War II. The medical term “ulcerative colitis” was first recorded in a case report written by Sir Samuel Wilks in 1859, while describing a similar condition.
Before 2006 in Australian population colitis cases used to be small hospital-based condition. But now the population-based studies shows more prevalence of the disease between 16-60 years of age mostly in females and the number is increasing at an alarming rate . Usually further investigation of anaemia, dehydration and inflammation leads into diagnosis of colitis. After initial blood tests to assess these conditions, structure of the colon can be analysed through colonoscopy, barium enema and CT scans.
The causes and classification of the colitis can be concised as Infectious, Inflammatory, Allergic, Psycological, Ischemic, Genetic, Microscopic and due to overuse of antibiotics. Remission and relapses are common in this chronic condition.
Colon is the lower part of abdominal cavity which has a mucosal lining where the product after digestion from small intestine is processed. Water and electrolytes are absorbed back to blood vessels and left over is removed as faeces. The colon has got many friendly bacteria which can produce vitamin K and aminoacids. There is a homeostasis between this gut flora, gut cells and tissues. The disruption of this homeostasis due to the above said reasons lead to prolonged uncontrolled inflammations. Usually things get better soon but care has to be taken if the symptoms get worse.
Ayurveda considers Colitis as a metabolic derangement which needs correction from the cellular level. Ayurveda says that derangement of Agni (digestive fire) plays a major role in the gastrointestinal diseases. Digestive fire (Agni) with the help of Vata (air factors), Pitta (fire factors) and Kapha (water factors) helps in maintaining the homeostasis of gut and a healthy metabolism. Imbalanced Agni can result into tissue derangement (dhatu paka) which in turn can cause pathologic and autoimmune reactions.
Well! Care has to be taken if you find these symptoms intermittently persisting for weeks or months!
Colitis is a result of imbalanced digestive fire resulting into poor digestion, imbalanced fire factors causing ulcerations and destroying gut flora and imbalanced air factors causing loss of immunity. Imbalance of these factors affect tissues resulting into inflammations, anaemia, weight loss, diarrhoea, anxiety and so on. Holistic approach of Ayurveda considering all these factors and individual differences help in treating the disease from root causes.