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NATUROPATHIC TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE
WHAT IS NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE?
Naturopathic medicine is a systemic approach to health by identifying and treating the root cause of the problem and the associated symptoms using the body’s natural ability to heal, with the support of natural therapies such as:
Who are Naturopathic Doctors?
Naturopathic Doctors are highly educated primary care health care providers that work with their clients to correctly diagnose their health issues using scientific diagnostics and then treat using various natural health modalities.
For more information about naturopathic medicine, please click here...
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR NATUROPATHIC VISIT?
In your initial appointment with the naturopathic doctor, SUSHMA SHAH, you will go through a comprehensive and thorough intake of your health concerns and symptoms, regarding your digestive complaints, along with any other aspects of your well being such as your lifestyle, stress levels, which may be relevant to your health concerns. A standard blood and urine test will accompany this visit.
Our naturopathic practitioner may also recommend additional laboratory tests such as food allergy and sensitivity testing and comprehensive stool testing, that she feels may be important to better physiologically evaluate for your health concerns. She may also recommend some supplements and dietary modifications based on your symptoms.
Following the initial visit, there will a physical exam performed by the naturopathic doctor about a week later. She may discuss some laboratory reports at this appointment.
At your treatment plan visit, our naturopath will give you an individualized treatment recommendations based on your intake at the initial appointment, the physical findings and the laboratory reports. The recommendations may include a combination of natural therapies such as supplements, herbal medicine, and dietary and nutrition changes, along with stress management techniques.
Nutrition related problems associated with inflammatory bowel disease
Diet and inflammatory bowel disease
Food intolerances and inflammatory bowel disease / IBD
In patients with IBD, the permeability of the intestinal wall to molecules of food and cell fragments is usually increased in inflammatory states, allowing a heightened interaction of antigens (food components otherwise harmless in healthy individual) with the host immune system.
Food intolerances of various types occur more than twice as often in persons with inflammatory bowel disease than in the population at large. Food intolerances must be investigated using proper blood tests testing for IgG’s to various foods.
In general, elimination / significant reduction of intolerant foods by following an individualized diet, along with the proper supplementation helps to significantly reduce or eliminate digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and various other extra-intestinal symptoms.
Since malabsorption is a great concern with inflammatory bowel disease, proper intake of food and protein, especially in the acute stages of a flare up, and supplementation with quality vitamins, trace elements and minerals is extremely important.
The importance of correcting nutritional deficiencies in patients with inflammatory bowel disease cannot be overstated, as these can lead to altered GI function and structure leading to further increase in malabsorption and further decreasing nutrient status. Various diets have been proposed for the the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease at different stages. Please talk to your naturopathic doctor before starting any diets.
The most important goal with any diet for inflammatory bowel disease is to:
Minimal residue diet
Elimination / oligo-antigenic diet
The elimination diet is the primary choice of treatment for chronic inflammatory bowel disease. However before one can be put on an elimination diet, the food allergies have to be properly diagnosed since the omission of foods from the diet on the basis of improper diagnosis can and has threatened the nutritional status of the individual. (Altman and Chiaramonte, 1996).
Proper food allergy diagnosis requires:
Once the allergies to food have been established, using laboratory methods (preferably one that measures IgE and IgG mediated reactions), the allergens are avoided from the diet; along with a diverse rotation diet is generally used. Wheat and dairy products have been found to be the most common offending foods.
High-complex carbohydrate, high fiber diet (HCF)
High-complex carbohydrate, high fiber diet has a favorable effect on the course of Crohn’s disease. Having a HCF diet along with an elimination or rotation diet is much more effective than just a high fiber diet alone. Dietary fiber has a profound effect on the intestinal environment and promotes a more optimal intestinal flora composition. Oat bran, psyllium powder, raw vegetables maybe used instead of wheat bran in patients intolerant to wheat.
Benefits of Probiotics:
Saccharomyces boulardii – Pilot study showed that S. boulardii helped reduce the frequency of bowel movements in patients with mildly active Crohn’s disease as well reduce the Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI).
Lactobacillus may have a protective role against pathogenic bacterial within the normal host, as well may have a role in inducing remission in patients with Crohn's Disease.
OMEGA OILS AND INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE / IBD
Omega 3 oils are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are abundant in fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, along with flax seeds, walnuts, soy and canola. Studies over the past 2 decades have demonstrated that omega 3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish oils helps to reduce the inflammation in the body by reducing the synthesis of aggressive inflammatory response cytokines.
STRESS AND EMOTIONAL FACTORS AFFECTING INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE
Effects of cortisol on the body:
While it helps the body adapt to stress, it also:
“YOUR GUT IS YOUR SECOND BRAIN” – during gestation, the same neural tissue that divided to form the brain, also forms the gastrointestinal tract. Hence, whatever your mind is experiencing in terms of emotions– your gut will experience but in a very different way. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract, a well-known contributor to feelings of well-being; it is also known to contribute to happiness.
Approximately 90% of the human body's total serotonin is located in the enterochromaffin cells in the gut, where it is used to regulate intestinal movements. Serotonin directly and indirectly affects intestinal motor and secretory function and abnormalities may lead to either constipation or diarrhea.
The ongoing, bidirectional brain–gut interactions involving serotonin pathways occur that significantly influence the effector systems. Altered serotonin signaling may lead to both intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms such as depression in inflammatory bowel disease / IBD.
The use of 5 HTP – a precursor to serotonin in practice has been shown to improve the symptoms of both depression and to manage intestinal symptoms in some patients, depending on the severity of the disease, however it must be used with caution and under the guidance of your naturopath or health care provider. Talk to your naturopathic doctor about natural stress management techniques.
Simple naturopathic suggestions for inflammatory bowel disease:
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