Ulcerative Colitis Medicine - Is it a Cure or just masking Symptoms?

Is modern Ulcerative Colitis medicine providing a cure, or at least a treatment for the underlying causes of this disease, or it is simply masking the symptoms, while leaving the disease unchecked?

I have been asking myself this question over the last weeks and months. Let us hypothesize for a moment that Ulcerative Colitis and it's cousin Crohn's Disease are actually caused by exposure to compounds that are harmful to your digestive tract, may it be foods, or they way those foods were treated, both in life as well as after. Therefore, the lining of the digestive tract is under continuing stress from being in contact with these harmful agents, which break down it's cohesive structure, causing it to bleed. The more damage, the more blood, until the point when the whole system collapses, like it did in my case.

Now lets say that we go to drug company ABC, and we buy drug XYZ, and take this on a daily basis. The symptoms go away, the bleeding stops, and we are able to continue doing what we have always been doing, which is to expose our digestive tract to agents that are harmful to it.

There are, in my mind, three possible reasons why the bleeding stopped. Either we provided out intestine with something to protect it against the harmful agents, to the point where it no longer bleeds, i.e. it can heal itself faster than the damage is done; or we told our intestine that, although contact with these agents is harmful, under no circumstances may it bleed, i.e. we have taken away it's ability to bleed; or we actually did find something to neutralize the harmfulness of the agent, and it no longer does damage. The third scenario is of course the one that ABC is trying to convince us of, and the one that we are hoping for. We prefer not to have to change our lifestyle if we don't have to. People hate change.

The question is, what if it is the first or the second scenario, and the agents are still damaging our bodies, but we have either given our digestive tract enough to be able to 'cope' with it, or told it to shut up and keep working. Either way, there must be some damage done somewhere. In my experience, if you ignore a problem in one place, it will eventually show up in another. Consequently, the best way of dealing with a problem is to always resolve the issue, rather than mask the symptoms. Rather than saying "Stop this", one could also try the "why are you doing this" route, and then resolve the actual problem. The drawback in this is that it most likely requires change on our side, we cannot just enforce our will on others. It is not the Agents fault that it is harmful to our digestive tract, and it's not our digestive tracts fault that it is harmed by contact with this agent. The fault lies entirely with us for bringing these entities into close proximity even though we know they don't get along with each other.

So once we have accepted that we have made a conscious choice to bring these two together, we must consider the long term effect of doing so. Will our intestine one day just roll over and die? Will we develop cancer somewhere in our body? Are there by-products or toxins that develop because of this contact that cause us to have other health issues in the long run? And of course, the biggest question is what exactly 20, 30, 40, 50 years of exposure of Drug XYZ does to our system? Will it increase our changes of heart attacks or strokes? Will it interfere with our other bodily functions? Will it cause depression, psychological issues, memory loss, or a hundred other problems? What exactly happens when we introduce something artificial to our bodies for 30 years, and keep taking it day after day after day? Does testing 30 years? Yes, it might not kill us, but there are other side effects that we could suffer in that time that rats and rabbits don't. What effect will it have on us?

Alternatively, we could try to identify the Compound that is harmful to our digestive tract, and then simply cut it out of our Diet.

Don't get me wrong, I strongly believe that there is a time and place for conventional Medicine in the treatment of Ulerative Colitis, Crohns, Pouchitis, and a whole slew of other diseases, but I look at them as a way of treating accute health issues, not chronic ones. I don't expect people to think about their diet when they are in a huge amount of pain or close to death, this is when action is needed, and now. I am talking about the other 99% of the time. Western Medicine is excellent in dealing with accute health issues, but in my own experience is fails at curing chronic health problems, it prefers to only treat them.

Just a though of course, to make you think.

Living with(out) Ulcerative Colitis, a new hope ...
Living with Ulcerative Colitis - Details of the pull-through surgery
Pouchitis - ten non-medical ways of avoiding and fighting it

For more interaction check out ... My Colitis / IBD / Pouchitis Blog


Disclaimer: These as well as all the other documents on this website are based on my own personal experiences, and are not a replacement of a professional opinion by a qualified physician, for all that this was worth in my case. The purpose of sharing my experiences with you is to help you get through this, and to learn of other ways of dealing with your condition. I am not a medical doctor, I don't have any sort of formal training in this or any other medical field. The only thing I can offer you is what it was like for the past 20+ years and what it is like now, and in the future. Any advice I give is to be taken into consideration, and you are welcome to act upon it at your own risk. I am not saying it will help you, or that it will not hurt you, all I am saying is that this is what I learned, and I am wanting to share it with you. After that, you have my best wishes for success and happiness. And if you find something that works for you, please, share it with the world, because we need to know more than what modern medicine is telling us, which is not enough. Be well.
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