Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis)
“Inflammatory bowel disease” describes a collection of conditions affecting the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are by far the most prevalent and thus are the focus of this protocol.
Inflammatory bowel disease is a result of immunologic imbalances at the interface of the intestinal lumen (the “hollow” part of the digestive tract through which food passes) and the intestinal epithelium (the inward-facing surface of the intestinal wall). Suppressing inflammation is the chief goal of both conventional and integrative treatment. However, potent immunosuppressive medications employed in inflammatory bowel disease, such as glucocorticoids, are laden with side effects; which greatly limits their long-term efficacy (Bernstein 2011; Cosnes 2009; Rutgeerts 1994).
On the other hand, several natural interventions such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and probiotics modulate immune cell function without impairing infection-fighting ability, which is one of the many side effects of TNF-inhibitors, another class of drugs used in inflammatory bowel disease (Cosnes 2009).
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are predisposed to colon cancer. Even between disease flares, low-level inflammation irritates and damages intestinal tissue, which can lead to malignancy. This sub-clinical inflammation also propagates systemically, which can increase cardiovascular risk (Ruffolo 2010; Henriksen 2008). Therefore, not only is it imperative that patients with inflammatory bowel disease have regular colon cancer screenings, but also that they monitor inflammatory markers in their blood such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). In this protocol, you will learn how several natural ingredients powerfully regulate gut immunity and complement the action of conventional treatments to quench the fires of inflammatory bowel disease. You will also discover several convenient blood tests that can help identify nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorption – a common problem in inflammatory bowel disease. By integrating dietary strategies, evidence-based nutritional support, and pharmaceutical therapeutics one can develop a comprehensive program to help manage inflammatory bowel disease during both disease flares and periods of remission.