A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Hemorrhagic Colitis
I had a question the other day about hemorrhagic colitis.
Hemorrhagic colitis is a gastrointestinal illness caused by a particular strain of bacteria known as E. coli.
It’s actually a type of food poisoning.
In fact, it’s also known as “hamburger disease” or “barbecue season syndrome” because outbreaks often are due to consuming grilled hamburger and other beef products not thoroughly or properly cooked or handled.
E. coli has also come from fruits and vegetables (especially lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, and unpasteurized apple cider and other juices), and has even been found in a refrigerated cookie dough.
While other types of E. coli are common in your gastrointestinal tract, this strain normally isn’t.
This strain of bacteria produces extremely potent toxins, which are the main cause of the symptoms related to the gastrointestinal illness.
The most common symptoms of this E. coli colitis include:
>Diarrhea (often with blood in your stools)
>Severe abdominal cramps
These symptoms usually start within 24 hours of eating contaminated food, but can take as long as 2 days to appear, and can continue for as long as 2 weeks.
Some individuals develop fever as well with this infection.
People can get hamburger disease at any age; however, young children, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems tend to develop severe symptoms.
Thousands of people become infected each year, with many local outbreaks reported in Canada, Japan, the United States, and Europe.
E. coli bacteria infect the intestines of cattle and, less frequently, the gastrointestinal tracts of other animals.
Typically carried in feces, they can contaminate the meat during and after slaughtering.
In addition to beef, these bacteria are associated with consuming unpasteurized milk and cheese and using contaminated water sources.
The infection is highly contagious.
Once someone has eaten contaminated food, hamburger disease can pass from person to person by hand-to-mouth contact.
Poor hand washing and improper food handling lead to the spread of these bacteria.
While E. coli bacteria can be killed with antibiotics, the toxins they produce – and that cause the illness – remain unaffected, and there’s no evidence these drugs do anything to relieve symptoms or shorten the illness in most cases.
Treatment for hemorrhagic colitis therefore focuses on supportive measures, trying to ease symptoms, and being careful to prevent the spread of the infection.
To deal with hemorrhagic colitis it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to keep hydrated.
*Astragalus boosts your immune system and is a powerful antioxidant (don’t use if you have a fever).
*Optiflora may be taken after each bout of diarrhea to replenish the “good” bacteria.
*Begin a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic and raw) plus nuts, seeds, grains, and other foods high in fiber.
*Include in your diet chlorella, garlic, and pearl barley. Also add kelp to your diet, in the form of giant red kelp or brown kelp.
*Consume “green drinks” daily. The best contain a wide variety of plants and are organic.
*Avoid animal products, processed foods, sugar, and soda.
*Be sure to get sufficient sleep.
*As much as possible avoid stress.
*Get regular moderate exercise.
*Don’t smoke or consume beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
*Don’t take any recreational drugs.
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