A potential new treatment for ulcerative colitis has possibly emerged, according to findings published in the journal Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. Colitis treatment may one day be possible using an oral microparticle from curcumin, an anti inflammatory agent extracted from herbs.
Biomedical researchers at Georgia State University used animal models of ulcerative colitis and introduced a drug comprised of a biocompatible polymer and filled with curcumin. Previous research showed curcumin decreased inflammation in animal model of colities, and has been found to reduce the rate of relapse in animals.
“Orally administered microparticles may offer an efficient drug delivery system because they are characterized by a high drug loading capacity and may target colitis tissues based on abnormalities,” said study researcher Didier Merlin in a press release.
Because there hasn’t been a carrier system that can reach the inflamed colon, colitis treatment is usually administered using intravenous therapy. The drugs are dispersed throughout the body instead of directly to the colon.
Developing a carrier using the curcumin as a carrier could help new oral medications reach the colon easier and for a prolonged length of time.
Drug advancements for the treatment of colitis are underway, but according to Merlin, a delivery system is required to get them to the inflammed area for a longer duration of time. Otherwise, extremely high doses are required which come with serious side effects.
While curcumin holds promise as a carrier that would help immune-suppressive drugs to the inflamed colon, development is still years away. Until it creates a viable treatment option, patients with ulcerative colitis will need to consider other options.
Drug therapy and dietary management work for some, but surgical removal of the colon is often necessary for complete alleviation of symptoms. If removal is required, you’ll need to manage waste elimination through an ileostomy.
There are three types of ileostomies:
Each type of ileostomy has advantages and disadvantages which you’ll need to consider before moving forward with surgery. To learn more about any of these options, please contact Dr. Don Schiller, an expert in BCIR surgical procedures. Schedule a consultation by called 323-473-9931.