May 13, 2021

Holistic Approach to Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis

About 1 million people in the United States suffer from ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowl disease that causes inflammation and sores in the digestive tract. Gastroenterologist Dr. Oleg Shulik recently worked with a patient to develop a holistic approach to treatment that allowed her to stop taking medications for the management of her symptoms.

In late September 2020, Lisa A., 31, started experiencing unusual bowel movements, unlike anything she’d dealt with before. Lisa was shocked to see blood and mucus in her stool and described her pain as a level 10 on a scale of one to 10. These symptoms were affecting her daily life as she was unable to go to go about her normal routine without feeling uncertain if she’d have an incident.

“I was constantly feeling an urgent need to use the restroom,” Lisa said. “I was grateful I was working from home at the time, otherwise I don’t think I would’ve been able to work.”

In December, Lisa made an appointment to see her primary care physician, Crystal Tank, M.D., who quickly referred her to Oleg Shulik, M.D.

“Right off the bat, I found Dr. Shulik to be super knowledgeable,” Lisa said. “He got me in for a colonoscopy right away and I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It was a pretty swift process, but the staff was supportive, and the nurses in the procedure room were very kind and made sure I was comfortable, so that helped.”

After prescribing two medications to help manage the disease, Lisa told Dr. Shulik she’d like to try a holistic approach before taking any prescription drugs. Dr. Shulik recommended she start taking a vitamin D supplement and suggested a specialized diet. “We talked about the autoimmune nutritional protocol, a diet used to control inflammation,” said Dr. Shulik.  After reading about the diet, Lisa changed her eating habits completely.

“The main things I cut out were gluten, rice, soy and white potatoes,” Lisa said. “I was actually vegan for two years before my diagnosis, but recently, I had started reintroducing grass-fed and organic meat products, including salmon, shrimp and chicken. I stopped eating sugar and fried foods and I’m taking additional vitamin supplements to ensure I’m getting the necessary nutrients. I’ve been cooking all my meals at home, so I have full control of everything I’m putting into my body.”

One month after her colonoscopy and diagnosis, with Dr. Shulik’s support and recommendations, Lisa was feeling better. And now, nearly six months later, she and her doctors have noticed incredible progress.  “To this day, Lisa remains symptom free, and has not required medication to control her condition,” Dr. Shulik shares.

“Dr. Shulik is a very well-educated doctor who takes the time to listen and was very supportive of my decision to go the natural route before starting medication. He allowed me to participate in my treatment and was very collaborative,” Lisa says of her experience. “I am so truly thankful for him. I learned so much and was able to turn my health around so quickly. In just a matter of months, I am feeling almost 100% back to normal.”

Dr. Shulik sees patients at 799 Bloomfield Avenue in Verona, New Jersey. To schedule an appointment, visit www.MountainsideMedicalGroup.com/gastroenterology or call us at 866-999-5162.

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