Colitis: symptoms, causes, all remedies

Colitis: symptoms, causes, all remedies

The intestine, our second brain can be strongly influenced by stress as well as by pathogenic infections and colitis is the most evident manifestation of a condition of malaise


Colitis is often misunderstood as irritable bowel syndrome or irritable bowel syndrome, to indicate a disorder which is often accompanied by pain in the lower abdomen and changes in defecation. It is a specific form of colitis, spastic colitis, colitis 

sufferers can experience diarrhea or constipation or both disorders alternately.

  • What is colitis
  • Types of colitis
  • Main symptoms
  • Causes
  • How long does colitis last
  • Diagnosis
  • How to cure it
  • Diet
  • Herbal remedies
  • Bach flowers
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Exercises
  • Homeopathy

What is colitis

Colitis is inflammation of the intestinal mucosa . There are various types of colitis.

The disease is called functional , because it refers to an incorrect functioning of the organ. Indicated by the acronym  IBS  (from English, Irritable Bowel Syndrome ), it is frequent especially in women aged 20 to 40 and is due to a combination of factors: 

  • Eating habits;
  • sedentary lifestyle; 
  • genetic predisposition;
  • emotionality.

Types of ColitisColitis is distinguished in:

  1. Primitive , when it originates directly from the colon
  2. secondary , when it is caused by a disorder that lurks elsewhere

Based on the persistence and recurrence of inflammation, colitis can be classified as

  • Acute colitis , if it occurs in a single episode
  • Chronic colitis , if the manifestation is recurrent, cyclical and is classified as a real pathology.

There is a real classification of colitis based on the cause that triggers its onset:

  • Ulcerative colitis : starts in the rectum and spreads to the colon, and is a response of the immune system to the presence of bacteria in the digestive tract. It belongs to the group of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). 
  • Pseudomembranous colitis: sees the formation of pseudomembranes on the intestinal mucosa, which can be caused by an ischemic form or due to the presence of the bacterium Colistridium difficile, which takes over when the immune system weakens and depletes its probiotic charge, often after the taking antibiotics and produces 3 different toxins that attack the cells of the intestinal wall and give rise to inflammatory processes.
  • Ischemic colitis : caused by an interruption or restriction of blood flow to the colon due to vascular changes. The inflammation in this case is localized, and the intestinal mucosa undergoes ulceration, with the lumen of the intestine narrowing.

How to tell if you have colitis: the main symptoms

When the intestine is subject to frequent episodes of colitis , there are alterations in intestinal motility combined with an altered perception of visceral pain.

Along with abdominal pain and discomfort in defecation, changes in the shape and consistency of stool are common consequences.

Symptoms of spastic colitis , the most common and often psychosomatic form , otherwise known as anxious colitis, includes abdominal swelling, abdominal pain with cramps, halitosis, nausea, slow digestion, halitosis, diarrhea alternating with constipation, but sometimes it can also present as colitis without diarrhea, but with typical colitis cramps and pains.


The causes of colitis are mostly related to psychological factors . An incorrect diet, the alteration of the intestinal flora, the sensitivity of the intestine during the menstrual cycle can be decisive and favor the onset of this pathology, but colitis is closely linked to psychological stress. A person who experiences particular periods of stress , who holds back anger, who experiences intense emotions and anxiety is

more likely to suffer from it . We often speak of nervous colitis, specifically of spastic nervous colitis, characterized by spasms that occur in particularly stressful periods. 

How long does colitis last

The duration of an attack of colitis can vary from time to time, spastic pains, abdominal pains can last a few hours, and leave aftershocks for days, with fatigue, reluctance, pain in the legs, with persistent colitis.Diagnosis

A good gastroenterologist will also be able to understand if there are strong psychological discomforts that originate the disorder. The diagnosis is made with tests such as  normal blood tests , plus a test to exclude gluten intolerance ; the examination of the faeces with the search for occult blood; the lactose tolerance test . Some specialists in the most uncertain cases offer rectosigmoscopy, which allows you to study the inside of the abdomen.

How to cure colitis

In the most severe cases of ulcerative colitis , pharmacological treatments and periodic checks must be put in place: drugs for colitis are not always effective and sometimes it is necessary to resort to surgical resection of the colon.

For all cases of inflamed intestine ,  healthier lifestyles must be activated , starting with nutrition, to mitigate colitis disorders, also because recovering from colitis definitively is not so simple, but it is certainly possible to improve conditions and quality of life.Nutrition for colitis

Colitis usually occurs with stools immediately after meals or after the ingestion of certain foods, but it is not always related to a particular food. There is a general irritation of the colon that can be prevented first of all by reducing the foods that inflame it : red meats, cheeses, sausages, packaged foods and alcohol. 

On the other hand, the foods to avoid are milk and cheese and foods containing yeast, especially when the attacks of colitis are preceded by a swollen belly . 

The fibers, which are often recommended in other disorders , in the case of colitis are to be reduced in the acute phase together with legumes, since both increase the irritability of the colon. Also useful is the reduction in the use of spices, including chilli.

When the symptoms improve, it is possible to take pureed legumes and centrifuged fruit, in order to reduce intestinal fermentation. Nutrition for colitis also includes investigating the  correct food combinations against irritable bowel syndrome , such as those identified in Shelton’s hygiene.

Give preference to cereals, soups with potatoes , fish and seasonal vegetables, cooked or raw, except those with green leaves in the acute phase.

A food intolerance test is useful in order to exclude the presence of particular foods that may trigger the attack.

Find out more about proper nutrition to fight colitis

Herbal remedies

The remedies for colitis are: 

  • Mallow : ( Malva sylvestris ) the flowers and leaves are used for their emollient and anti-inflammatory properties for the mucous membranes. These active ingredients work by coating the mucous membranes with a viscous layer that protects them from irritants. For this reason, the use of mallow is indicated to hydrate and relieve the intestine, and to regulate its functionality;
  • Aloe vera Aloe barbadensis miller ) the juice extracted from the leaves, for internal use, carries out a protective and anti-inflammatory action on the mucous membranes, because, adhering to the walls of the digestive tract, it forms a sort of protective film, able to defend the tissues of the intestine from irritants, and from bacteria. Aloe also has a rebalancing action of the pH and bacterial flora, useful in cases of constipation and diarrhea and has immunomodulating properties, i.e. able to regulate the immune responses to infectious or sensitizing agents, in case of allergies intolerances food or autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease .
  • Angelica Angelica Archangelica ) the root has an antispasmodic, calming, carminative and anti-inflammatory action, indicated in case of menstrual pain, neuralgia, digestive disorders, nauseas, flatulence, abdominal cramps and colitis;
  • Lemon balm Melissa officinalis ) the leaves are used in states of anxiety with somatization of the gastrointestinal system. The antispasmodic action aimed at the muscles, useful in case of cramps, spasms and abdominal tension, is combined with the carminative effect which facilitates digestion, avoiding the formation of intestinal gas;
  • Chamomile the flowers have mainly antispasmodic properties, useful in case of irritable bowel syndrome, muscle spasms.

Among the herbal remedies,  medicinal mushrooms are also included, suitable for the treatment of gastro-enteric disorders, such as colitis , thanks to their anti-inflammatory effects and the regenerating and healing properties of the intestinal mucosa .

Bach flowers for colitis

Bach flowers have a positive effect on the emotional state  and colitis is one of those pathologies whose psychosomatic component has a certain relevance, especially with regard to irritable bowel syndrome.

The expression ” stomach ache ” is used indifferently both to express physical discomfort and to evoke something we cannot bear. This disorder tends to occur when we are afraid of the reaction of others towards our annoyances or concerns. Thus, to avoid conflicts and discussions, bitterness and strong inner torment are hidden behind a mask of apparent serenity. 

For this type of emotional imbalance , the remedy of choice is Agrimony , used effectively in the treatment of colitis, duodenitis, and irritable colon , as it helps to release tensions and teaches us to show ourselves as we are, without fear of not being accepted.

The floral essence allows you to assert yourself in relationships of love and work and helps to face problems , rather than hide them.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

According to traditional Chinese medicine , irritable bowel disorder is due to an energy imbalance that affects the Spleen, Stomach, Kidney, Liver or it can depend on food contamination, or on external agents such as Cold-Humid, Humidity-Heat. In these cases the points to be treated are:

  • TIAN SHU (2 cun to the side of the navel), regulates the circulation of energy in the intestines; 
  • ZU SAN LI (under the lower edge of the patella, next to the anterior tibial crest), tones the Spleen and Stomach;  
  • NEI TING (0.5 cun behind the edge of the interdigital membrane, between the 2nd and 3rd toes), regulates cardial qi, blocks pain.

Aromatherapy for colitis

The essences used for the treatment of colitis carry out an antispasmodic action on the muscles and carminative on the fermentation gases that cause swelling, meteorism, aerophagia. These essential oils can be taken 2 drops in a teaspoon of honey or diluted in a vegetable oil to massage the belly. 

  • Fennel essential oil :  the carminative properties depend on its ability to inhibit fermentation processes in the large intestine and on the antispastic action on the smooth muscles of the colon. In fact, during intestinal fermentation, in particular that of sugars, high quantities of biogas are produced, which cause the intestine to swell and stimulate the contractions of its smooth muscles, causing a sense of swelling, flatulence and pain in the abdomen; 
  • Lavender essential oil has antispasmodic properties, soothes abdominal pain and spasms and can be beneficial in case of nervous tension and irritable bowel syndrome ;  
  • Chamomile essential oil helps to relax tense muscles due to nervousness, irritable bowel, spasms, colitis and gas colic of newborns. Although chamomile essential oil is an antibacterial, antiseptic, disinfectant and pesticide, its use is mostly due to its anti-inflammatory properties.


Homeopathic preparations for the treatment of colitis aim to attenuate the localized functional manifestations and to act on a deep, emotional level. These are: Carbo vegetabilis 5 CH (5 granules, 3 times a day), recommended in case of swelling, abdominal tension, cramps and flatulence.

In case of ailments accompanied by pain, swelling and diarrhea China 9 CH (5 granules, 1-3 times a day) is useful. Colocynthis 9 CH (5 granules, 1-3 times a day) is indicated in case of colic, diarrhea, frequent gas emissions.

Also discover homeopathic remedies for intestinal disorders

Exercises in case of colitis

Indicated by the acronym  IBS  (from the English Irritable Bowel Syndrome ), it is frequent in women aged 20 to 40 and is due to a combination of factors: eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, genetic predisposition, emotionality,  anxiety .

If colitis episodes are frequent, intestinal motility alterations occur together with an altered perception of visceral pain. Along with abdominal pain and discomfort in defecation there are changes in the shape and consistency of the stool. 

A good exercise is to try to let anxiety slip on you, which directly affects the balance of our “second brain”, the intestine. You must avoid giving in to a  sedentary lifestyle  or, on the contrary, get carried away by too pressing rhythms that negatively affect the digestive tract, a system dedicated to “digesting” and “assimilating” not only food but also  emotions Practicing a sport you love regularly will not only facilitate metabolic functions, but will also help you deal with emotional frailty .

Approaching yoga can also do you a lot of good . Look for a teacher who knows how to gently convey discipline to you. Practice will help you get better with everything that lives there.

  • The twists on the ground will be good for your gut, as well as some poses to be performed lying on your back with a knee to body work.
  • Positions with the buttocks against the floor or on a support are also excellent. An example? Try it yourself: in a sitting position (on the heels or cross-legged or on a chair), left hand on the navel. Inhale, let the air flow downwards, inflating the abdomen like a balloon. Exhaling through the nose, imagine emptying it, deflating the belly until the navel approaches the spine. Breathe for at least five minutes. If the mind slips into thoughts or worries, bring it back to the rhythm of the breath .

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