Every health condition has a corresponding conventional treatment. Conventional treatments include prescriptions, physical therapy, behavioral therapy, dietary changes, and, in some cases, surgery. For many health conditions, you can find alternative or complementary treatments. These treatments include massage, exercise, and herbal remedies, to name a few. People suffering from a range of health problems, including ulcerative colitis, may find relief from using medical marijuana in Illinois. Read on to explore your treatment options, especially in the area of pain management, for this inflammatory bowel disease.
What Is Ulcerative Colitis?
The medical community uses acronyms for just about everything. When you’re diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, you may hear it called UC. UC is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There you have it, two acronyms that will make it easier to talk about this challenging disease. IBDs cause inflammation in the digestive tract. People with UC experience inflammation and ulcers, or sores, in the lining of the large intestine and rectum. Unlike many other disorders of the digestive system, the symptoms of UC don’t happen all of a sudden. Instead, over time, your body may give you clues that something in your digestive system is out of order.
Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
If you have UC, you’ll likely experience a range of symptoms. Some are mildly irritating, while others can put your daily life on hold until you find ways to manage them. For example, UC patients may fluctuate between diarrhea and an urgent need to have a bowel movement with no results. They also usually suffer from extreme abdominal pain with cramping, rectal pain, and rectal bleeding. Many UC patients also deal with weight loss and fatigue. Over time, if not treated, UC can cause irreversible damage to your digestive system.
UC and the Endocannabinoid System
Your body has a built-in system responsible for regulating many of its natural functions such as appetite, mood, sleep, metabolism, and pain. It’s the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and it also handles inflammation in the gut, which is where symptoms of UC get started. Cannabinoid receptors work with endocannabinoids in the intestines to go after inflammation. If you have a weak ECS, your body can’t adequately manage inflammation. Using medical marijuana can play a role in treating UC symptoms. Like the human body, the cannabis plant contains natural cannabinoids, which stimulate the ECS and help relieve many UC symptoms.
Medical Marijuana and Ulcerative Colitis Treatment
So far, medical research hasn’t found a cure for UC, but treatment can help you manage the symptoms. One of the key benefits of using medical marijuana as part of a UC treatment plan is pain reduction. Pain is closely associated with inflammation. Because of its ability to reduce inflammation, medical marijuana packs a double punch for UC patients. Certain strains of medical marijuana also help with two other UC symptoms: loss of appetite and fatigue. Proper nutrition and adequate rest are essential anytime you’re dealing with illness. Some patients even find relief from diarrhea when they use medical marijuana.
Before you use medical marijuana as a pain management treatment option for UC in Highland Park, IL, contact the staff at Elevele Medical Cannabis Dispensary, and they can help you choose the best strains for your specific UC symptoms. Visit the clinic or give us a call at 847-780-3942.