Ulcerative Colitis, Varicose Veins and Wound Healing
Ulcerative colitis is a disorder that causes inflammation of the inner lining of the digestive tract, along with sores (ulcers). This disorder is referred to as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is a general term for conditions that cause inflammation of the small intestine and colon. More than 500,000 Americans have ulcerative colitis.
There are several types of this disorder, with each form occurring in a specific location. The different forms include ulcerative prostates, in which inflammation is confined to the rectum, causing rectal bleeding and /or pain; left-sided colitis, which extends from the rectum to the left side of the colon, resulting in bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and pain, and weight loss; pan colitis, which affects the entire colon, causing bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, weight loss, fatigue, and night sweats; and fulminant colitis, a rare form that affects the entire colon and causes severe pain, diarrhea, and sometimes dehydration.
No one know exactly what causes ulcerative colitis, but researchers are exploring possible connections to viral or bacterial infection, poor diet, heredity, and use of antibiotics. Until the cause is found, treatments aim at reducing inflammation. Medications, including anti-inflammatory drugs, are often prescribed, and surgery is sometimes needed. Supplements can play an important role in relieving inflammation and helping the digestive tract to heal.
• EPA/DHA (fish oil)
• Fiber, soluble – Choose a fiber supplement with no added sugar. Supplement with several glasses of water.
• Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
• Methylsulfonyl-methane (MSM)
• N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
• Pancreatic enzymes – Use with caution if you have severe ulcer
• Vitamin A and mixed carotenoids
• Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
Dark blue or purple in color, varicose veins are veins that are swollen, bulging, and often appear twisted – like cords. They are unsightly and can form anywhere from the groin to the ankles, although they usually appear on the back of the calves or the inner legs. Usually accompanied by dull aches and a heavy feeling in the legs, varicose veins can also cause swollen feet and ankles, as well as severe pain.
To understand how varicose veins are formed, it’s important to first be aware of how veins are designed, as well as their purpose. If a vein’s one-way valves, which keep the blood flowing back to the heart, fail to work properly, the blood will back up and overfill the vein. Eventually, the blood-clogged vein will begin to bulge. Varicose veins occur in the legs because the blood coursing through the leg veins has to work against gravity to get back to the heart.
Although varicose veins seem to run in families, the exact reason for their development is not known. Certain contributing factors can include lack of regular exercise, standing or sitting for extended periods, heavy lifting, chronic constipation, obesity, and pregnancy. Generally, varicose veins do not cause serious health problems. In some cases, however, they can cause complications as bleeding under the skin or blood clot formation. It is important to speak with your doctor for treatment recommendations.
Supplements to treat varicose veins
• EPA/DHA (fish oil)
• Gotu kola
• Grape seed extract
• Horse chestnut
• Pine bark extract
• Vessel Max – Ortho Molecular product
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
The job of the circulatory system – the heart, lungs, and blood vessels – is to keep blood continually traveling through the body. Basically, the heart pumps fresh nutrient-rich oxygenated blood through the arteries to various parts of the body. When the blood makes the return trip to the heart, it does so through the veins. On this return trip, the blood is no longer powered by the pumping heart – instead, the muscles surrounding the veins expand and contract, squeezing the veins and pushing the blood along. The veins themselves are designed with one-way valves that keep the blood flowing in the right direction.
Wound healing is the body’s natural process of regenerating dermal and epidermal tissue – in other words, the skin – when physical injury occurs. The events that constitute the wound-healing process overlap in time, but include blood clotting, platelet aggregation, inflammation, the formation of new capillaries and collagen, contraction of the wound edges, and formation of scar tissue. This process begins at the moment of injury, and can continue for months or years.
The ability of wounds to heal properly is determined by adequate blood supply, appropriate wound-care techniques, and control of any existing medical problems. For healthy people, wound healing usually progresses well. People who are vulnerable to problems with wound healing include the elderly, diabetics, those with congestive heart failure, and those with suppressed immune systems.
The most important aspect of wound care is constant attention to the wound with frequent cleansing and changing of dressings. It has also been found that a supplement program which combines antioxidant nutrients can speed wound healing by 20 percent.