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Alternative Medicine for IBD

| September 1, 2014 Comment

Alternative Medicine for IBD  – Since inflammatory bowel disease can be severe, it makes sense that a person with the disease will want to explore all possible treatments. Some people have tried unconventional relief methods such as herbs and mind-body techniques. Watch this video to learn more.

Expert: David Carr-Locke, FASGE Beth Israel Medical Center, New York


Inflammatory bowel disease is manageable with the help of medication and lifestyle changes. But people with the two main forms of IBD – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis –  have also found that complementary and alternative treatments can help reduce the severity of symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, and more.

For example, acupuncture has long been used in China as an IBD treatment, and it’s now gaining in popularity in other countries. It can help reduce stress, which is a known trigger of flares. Some mind-body treatments such as biofeedback, Yoga, breathing techniques, meditation, and tai chi may also reduce stress, bring about a sense of calm and relieve tense muscles. However, there isn’t much research to back up the claim that mind-body therapy actually alleviates IBD symptoms.

Probiotics may be the most promising form of complementary therapy. They are beneficial bacteria, similar to those already found in the bowels. They’re consumed in tablet, powder, capsule form or in foods such as yogurt, miso, tempeh, and some juices. Taking probiotics can help restore a healthy balance of good versus harmful bacteria. More and more researchers believe an imbalance in gut bacteria may be responsible for the development of IBD.

While many people with IBD take vitamins to treat and prevent deficiencies, they may also turn to additional supplements for help. There is limited evidence that fish oil, which is an anti-inflammatory, is effective, and no solid data to support the use of other supplements such as glucosamine, and glutamine.

HERBAL therapies are also a popular complement to treatment. Herbs commonly taken for IBD include turmeric, boswellia, slippery elm, and evening primrose oil. Again, there is limited evidence that they have an effect on symptoms. And you should always tell your doctor if you take supplements or herbs to make sure they do not conflict with medications or cause harmful side effects.

Although many doctors are skeptical about the efficacy of non-conventional treatments, exploring your options can help you feel more in control of your disease-and if they work without negative side effects, there’s no reason not to try them out.

Last Modified: 2013-12-17

Source: healthguru.com

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Category: Alternative Remedies, Health and Nutrition, Videos

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