Maria Mitchell Aromatic & Herbal Medical Practioner

“Amanda” Female, 24 Years Old

Amanda presented with Ulcerative Colitis, her symptoms were poor digestion, blood loss, anemia and stress. Her health was occupying much of her time as she sought to manage her symptoms as naturally as possible. In her last appointment, Amanda’s said: “I feel settled with my health at the moment. I had focused so much on my health and now there is space for other things in my life”.

Presenting symptoms

  • Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at age 16 and Anaemia
  • Light headedness worsening with anxiety, Low energy at end of day
  • Pale lips, Bloating, Diarrhoea, Dry mouth, Pimples, Candida
  • Symptoms worsen with stress and on first day of periods (uses painkillers)
  • Amanda is currently off all medication and supplements. Most recently she has been using homeopathic remedies, but has now ceased using these also. She manages her symptoms through diet and meditation, but would like to improve her condition further.
  • Diet is mostly vegetarian. Amanda also had a 3 week menstrual cycle.

Treatment priority

Treat the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis to improve digestion, reduce inflammation and reduce blood loss. As Amanda feels she is currently managing her symptoms reasonably well with diet and stress management techniques, I am focusing the treatment on the healing of the bowel to reduce blood loss and anaemia, and also reduction of long term inflammation.

Rebalance intestinal flora.

Assist Amanda with her stress levels.

In the longer term, consider the impact of hormonal imbalance on both the menstrual cycle and symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis.

Aromatics/herbs indicated

Essential Oils:

  • German chamomile – Matricara recutita – Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, bactericidal, carminative, hepatic, stomachic, vulnerary
  • Rock rose – Cistus ladaniferus – Antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, vulnerary
  • Rosemary verbenone – Rosmarinus officinalis CT verbenone – tissue healing, antiinflammatory

Possible Carrier oils:

  • Calendula infused – Calendula officinalis – Anti-inflammatory, vulnerary
  • Calophyllum – Calophyllum inophyllum – healing, anti-viral, circulatory regenerating and anti-inflammatory
  • Formula is to be used 21 days on and 7 days off consistent with safety requirements for a chronic treatment with essential oils.

Herbs:

  • Calendula – Calendula officinalis – Vulnerary, anti-inflammatory, styptic, antimicrobial
  • Echinacea – Echinacea angustifolia/E. purpurea – Immune enhancing, immune modulating, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary
  • Golden seal – Hydrastis canadensis – Antihaemorrhagic, mucous membrane trophorestorative, antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary
  • Licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra – Anti-inflammatory,mucoprotective, adrenal tonic, mild laxative
  • Pau d’ arco – Tabebuia avellanedae – Immune enhancing, antitumor, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic
  • Withania (Ashwaganda) – Withania somnifera – Tonic, adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, immune modulating, antianaemic

Treatment formulae

Not published here as they require administration and supervision of a qualified therapist.

Supplements recommended

  • Slippery elm
  • Withania capsules
  • Fish oils
  • liquid multivitamin and mineral supplement
  • Iron supplement
  • Probiotics
  • Evening primrose oil

Other considerations

Increase water intake and herbal teas – lemon verbena, peppermint, chamomile, green tea (antioxidants)

Provide Amanda with information on how to combine foods for complete proteins. Increase parsley and sesame (in the form of tahini) in the diet for iron.

Recommend getting a blood test for anemia to determine levels and provide treatment measure.

Maintain a food and symptom diary for the first few weeks to monitor treatment.

Follow up 1

Aim: to ensure Amanda is comfortable with instructions and prescribed remedies, that there are no adverse effects.

1 week after Amanda commenced using her liquid herbs, fish oils and suppositories, she reports the following changes in her symptoms:

There were no physical adverse reactions but some mood swings

Her scalp feels less itchy

There is more bulk to her stool and her bowel motions are fewer

There is a decrease in blood spotting

Follow up 2

Aim: to assess efficacy of treatment, to adjust dosage of suppositories and to provide support and encouragement to Amanda.

1 month after Amanda commenced using her treatment, she is just completing the 1 week off the suppositories. During this week she has noticed an increase in blood and looser stools and feels that the suppositories are making a significant difference and is looking forward to commencing another 3 weeks on them.

Amanda has not been using the Withania, probiotics or the Floradix. She has used the slippery elm just twice. She is taking her herbs twice per day, and also the fish oils and evening primrose.

Reviewing progress against her initial symptoms:

Light headedness – only 1 occurrence after a head cold

Low energy at end of day – no longer feels fatigued at bed time

Pale lips – there is a visible improvement in the colour

Bloating – has decreased

Diarrhea – has decreased

Dry mouth – much better, now dry throat – possible food sensitivies?

Pimples – visible improvement but still cyclical

Candida – no symptoms

Symptoms worsen with first day of periods – no pain killers since starting treatment

Other changes reported are:

Menstrual cycle has increased to 24 days

There has been no real pain, just some urgency when stressed

Has had days not thinking about her condition

For the first time she had not defined herself by the disease

I suggested that adding slippery elm to her regime be her next priority and perhaps the withania would be helpful in the 1 week off the suppositories at the very least, although daily would be better. Amanda has agreed to start taking the slippery elm, withania and other supplements.

Follow up 3

Aim: to ensure Amanda is remaining compliant and to make any adjustments necessary.

2 months after commencing treatment, her progress against her initial symptoms is:

Light headedness – no occurrences in the past month

Low energy at end of day – no longer feels fatigued at bed time

Pale lips – there is further improvement in the colour in both the lips and face

Bloating – now occurs only with stress

Diarrhea – stools are passed with decreasing frequency and are more formed, only once noticed blood in the stool

Dry mouth – only when dehydrated

Pimples – looked cleared at the appointment

Candida – no symptoms

Symptoms worsen with first day of periods – continues not to require painkillers since commencing treatment

Other changes reported are:

Menstrual cycle has increased to 26 days

Only occasionally thinks about her condition

The week without suppositories was not as noticeably different as the previous break in suppositories. This may be due to increased healing of the bowel and the actions of the supplement.

Has been repeated exposed to cold viruses without contracting the virus herself.

Amanda is feeling comfortable with her treatment and will continue it. We discussed reviewing her case again in 6 months to review herbs and essential oils according to her health status at that time.

Conclusion

The first 3 aims were to treat the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis, to improve digestion, reduce inflammation and reduce blood loss, rebalance intestinal flora and assist Amanda with her stress levels. Looking at the progress and improvement in her symptoms in the last appointment, I believe that these 3 aims are being met by the prescribed treatment.

Finally, I had listed a longer term consideration: the impact of hormonal imbalance on both the menstrual cycle and symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis. As Amanda’s menstrual cycle has been extended to 26 days after only 2 months, it would seem that this may no longer be an issue.

In the last appointment, Amanda’s said: “I feel settled with my health at the moment. I had focused so much on my health and now there is space for other things in my life”. Amanda’s words show that the treatment has been successful not only on a physical level but on a wholistic level that has brought a better quality of life to Amanda.

2 Thoughts to “Case Study: Ulcerative Colitis”

  1. Amanda

    I have just read through my case study again after three years! It has reminded me what great improvements I had then and also my continuing good health from that time. I still have ups and downs but not how I used to. The improvements to my diet for example increasing protein was only picked up by Maria and the combination of supplements, herbs and oils was very thorough and healing for my condition and for this I am forever grateful!

  2. Hey Amanda
    lovely to hear from you and to know the health improvements have continued. 🙂

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