IBD – Inflammatory bowel disease is the general term for a group of chronic inflammatory disorders of the bowel.
Ulcerative Colitis is restricted to the large bowel and mucus lining the bowel.
Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis
It is divided into two major categories, Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
Reside in Different Locations
They are very similar in aetiology and symptoms, but while Ulcerative Colitis is restricted to the large bowel and the mucus membrane lining the bowel, Crohn’s disease can appear any part of the digestive tract (even affect the eyes) and it affects deeper layers.
Genetic Basis for IBD
Both diseases believed to have a genetic basis, which does not appear until triggered by the presence of pathogenic bacteria or viruses that provoke an abnormal activation of the immune system.
Modern Diet Coincide with Increasing Incidences of IBD
Whilst conventional medicine disagrees with the notion of bad nutrition being a cause of IBDs, naturopaths understand that the incidences are ever increasing in cultures consuming primarily a ‘western’ diet including fast foods high in red meat, overheated fats, processed, refined foods, sugars, etc.
Modern Diet = Gut Irritation
This type of diet can lead to constipation and/or diarrhoea causing irritation in the gut by altering the bowel flora (the ratio between beneficial and pathogenic – bad micro-organisms).
Immune System Regulated by Bowel Flora
Once we understand that 70% of our immune system is found in the digestive tract, and a well balanced bowel flora is crucial in its regulation, we can understand the pattern of altered bowel flora and auto-immunity.
Food Allergies are Triggers
Food allergies are strongly considered as a cause of inflammatory bowel diseases. If someone is genetically predisposed to inflammatory bowel diseases, these triggers are enough to result in auto-immunity.
Interestingly, while smoking seems to contribute to the development or exacerbation of Crohn’s disease, it seems to decrease Ulcerative Colitis symptoms.
Do You Need More Carcinogens?
In any case, long term irritation in the intestines can lead to cancerous mutations, and the last thing the patients need is more carcinogens in their system.
Find & Remove Irritants
The most important in treatment of IBDs is the removal of all irritants – e.g. finding and eliminating food allergies, while re-balancing the bowel flora.
Prevent Flare ups to Soothe & Calm
Treatments vary according to the state of the disease. The goal is to soothe the digestive tract and calm the immune system, thus preventing flare ups is important, not just for the quality of the patient’s life, but also to avoid complications.
Beside the above mentioned cancer formation, new research reveals that IBDs more than double the risk of venous thrombo-embolism (VTE) in the legs or lungs, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.
First Check with GP
If you suffer from long term digestive discomforts, especially if you find blood and mucus in your bowel movements, do not hesitate to get a thorough check up with your GP then get your digestive health back on track the natural way: contact Éva
A naturopathic treatment always starts with a thorough investigation to find the root of the problem, whatever the health concern may be. We are all very individual: as there are no two snowflakes alike, neither are any two human bodies. Once we found the cause, with a tailor made menu plan and herbal supplement regime your body can be gently ushered back to health – without side effects.