Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) is an presumed autoimmune disease that attacks the lining of the bowels and causes enormous pain, stress and life alterations for those who suffer from it. Western medicine compounds the problem by treating IBD with steroids, antibiotics and immune modulators who often provide acute relief, but are actually more harmful over chronic use. There are a couple distinct disorders that compromise the IBD category.
CHROHNS DISEASE- is a form of IBD, or presumed autoimmune disease that affects that bowels, producing inflammation anywhere from the mouth to the anus and causing significant of abdominal pain, ulcerations, fistulas, bloody and mucuoid diarrhea, fever, weight loss,emotional distress, and arthritis. Tissue appears to have a cobblestoned appearance under microscope. Bowel obstruction is a common complication and no western medicine drugs or surgery can cure this disease, In fact, little is known as to what causes it.
ULCERATIVE COLITIS- Ulcerative colitis, or UC, is an intermittent inflammatory bowel disease that is just like Chrohns, with the same symptoms. The only difference is the location. UC does not occur in the length of the entire GI tract, but occurs only in the large intestines. UC is usually a better prognosis than Chrohns due to this and Western medicine often employs surgery, like a colectomy to remove the diseased large intestines. This can sometimes cure the disease.
WHAT CAUSES IBD?
BOTH of these conditions are the same, just in different places. BOTH are caused by inflammation of unknown etiology. So here we have Western medicine dolling out steroids, immunosuppressants and modulators and antibiotics for what they label an autoimmune disease. Is this correct? First of all it is known FACT that antibiotics disrupt cell membrane gut integrity and kill off not only bad, but good intestinal bacteria. Pills and intravenous antibiotics are given out like candy to the masses. I’m not even covering the amount of antibiotics (80%!!!) that are given to the livestock industry in this country. Steroids also eat away at the intestinal lining, causing ulcers and indigestion problems for chronic users. 85% of our immunity lies in our gut. Can you imagine how influential everthing that we eat or put in our guts is? IT IS VITAL.
Manufactured medicines like chemotherapy, antibiotics, steroids and gmo wreak havoc in the immunity in the gut leading permeable membranes, better known as leaky gut syndrome. Once the good bacteria is wiped out, whatever goes in our bodies next will help determine much of the gut’s flora. With 80% of our food riddled with gmo, the outcome is inevitable. Gyphosate, routinely used in GE crops, has been shown to increase gut pathogenic gut bacteria by the simple means of killing off all bacteria, good or bad, within the GI tract. THIS IS ON OUR FOOD. Moreover, glyphosate is not the only pesticide routinely used on our food. Don’t forget Monsanto’s Bt toxin corn and the neonicotinoid pesticide, whose repercussions are still not fully known. Eliminating wheat, corn, soy and dairy can have a huge impact. I want to point out a specific GMO product that should technically be labeled a drug like alcohol due to the millions of death and obesity it produces alone. It is sugar. Most of it is genetically modified from sugar beets unless it says otherwise. Refined white sugar crack is known to pose a significant risk to those with GI and gut inflammation. First, it produces an acidic pH in the body which leads to a cascade of disease and cancer. Avoid any product labeled with high fructose corn syrup, sugar or molasses. Whats most unfortunate about these inflammatory bowel diseases is that they are on the rise, especially in the young population-study in Journal of Investigative Medicine.
With the diets of young children being influenced heavily by a few corporations who promote the use of gmo, the numbers are not in the future generation’s favor. The choice foods of our school systems are also absysmal. I am not, however, suggesting diet is the only culprit. Some genetics, emotional stressors, environmental and immune issues are all at play here. This is also why I believe this disease is not fully autoimmune and can have great success stories with proper holistic treatment.
It is also quite telling to speak with veternarians who acknowledge that nearly every pet with IBD has had emotional trauma or a scarring event in their young lives. This is also true for humans, however, some of us are not forthcoming with our true emotions.
Western medicine doesn’t help either. The access to mental health in this country is poor and pills are also passed out readily in that field. Little responsibility is given to the patient to cure themselves. Pills and synthetic medicines are the answer for everything. Emotional traumas, life stressors and hardships are rarely discussed in the doctor’s office. Honestly, it is the system. We are so strapped for time that we too, feel rushed and stressed. Western medicine will make huge strides when it begins to acknowledge how emotions play an enormous role in our physical health. Just think of how much your tummy bothers you before a huge exam or after a break up!
I want to stress that you can heal yourself. Here are some treatments that have been shown to work with promising results.
1) God vine root-I have mentioned this before in my rheumatoid arthritis post. Studies show it to be more effective than sulfasalsine, which is a mainstay in IBD.
2)Volcanic clays like bentonite clay or zeolite clay are negatively charged and can pull heavy metals and toxins from the sytem. It acts like fiber, encouraging digestion and bulking the waste in the canal. It does a fairly good job of cleaning out the bowels while stimulating peristalsis.
3)Pre and probiotics-A prebiotic is a non digestable plant fiber that aids in promoting the good bacterial growth in the large intestines. Its sort of like a fertilizer. It’s not digested and aids by acting as a suitable substrate for beneficial bacterial growth. Sources in food include oats, bananas, beans, jicama, inulin, artichoke, raw onion, asparagus, leeks and raw garlic. A probiotic is more tenuous than a prebiotic. Heat and acid can denature and deactivate them. A probiotic is live cultures of bacteria, usually in yogurt and dairy that competes with intestinal bacteria, good and bad. Both are beneficial but prebiotics are the most important.You can get supplements of both, but be sure to research the best products. My personal favorite is Renew probiotics
4)Cognitive Feedback (CBT) and meditation-Numerous studies have shown emotional trauma or stressors pent up in the subtle body lead to disease. One example of this is Tsouksobo cardiomyopathy where the death of a loved one can lead to sudden cardiac failure. This alone means IBD is not just a glandular or endocrine disorder, but also a cognitive brain disorder. All of our endocrine glands are regulated by a giant feedback loop in the brain called the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. If this becomes dysregulated, so do the glands and hormones that are released from these glands. It is all connected. The thyroid is connected to the adrenals which are connected to the hypothalamus and pituitary in the brain. It is imperative to have your thoughts and life situation aligned properly so sometimes to break out of all paradigms we may need help with CBT or general therapy.
5) No gmo, all organic diet– I recommend eliminating soy, dairy, wheat and corn. Many patients have seen improvement with that alone. However, full non gmo and a lifestyle change is really the answer here. Eating whole food not stripped off vitamins, minerals or sprayed with pesticides is really how to treat your body properly. Also be patient. This does not occur overnight and often the mucosal membranes of the GI tract will need to heal properly before absorption can occur. Often holistic remedies fail because the gut is so leaky that nothing is absorbed into the bloodstream. OFten patience is required while the gut membrane is healed. Only then can proper absorption of vitamins and supplements occur. A sign of malabsorption is when pills pass completely throught the GI tract unscathed. It is also important to note that spirulina and chlorella along with other organic, non gmo superfood/algae should be incorporated into the diet once absorption can be achieved. Superfoods show great promise in healing the gut. Also be wary of gums and candies that contain aspartame or mannitol which are hard to digest and unnatural.
6) Infared treatments-using heat and light helps rid the body of toxins and relaxes tight and tired abdominal cells.
7)Magnesium-espom salt baths and eating foods or taking supplements high in all natural magensium help greatly. Magnesium deficiency is the precursor to inflammation and are often linked to high C reactive proteins and chronic conditions. Magnesium is necessary in cardiac conduction and health and also modulates cellular processes. Massage with magnesium oil is also effective.
8) Acupuncture-just like meditation, CBT, yoga and Tai Chi, acupuncture relieves stress and connects the mental, spiritual l and physical body. Unity in the physical and mental is wellbeing. Acupuncture works to relief stress and toxins by stimulating meridians in the body. It has been shown to improve abdominal bloating and pain
9)Oils and herbs-oils like primrose and borage oils that come from natural plants have shown tremendous benefit. Peppermint herbs and oils also have helped many. Use tinctures or try them in tea too.
10)Avoid GI influencing meds-Narcotics and caffeine both have opposing effects on peristalsus or digestion. Narcotics cause potent constipation and caffeine can increase contractions leading to diarrhea or cramping. Avoid both.
11) GINGER-basically a cure-all, this fresh root helps with spasticity of IBD. Always use the fresh root. Try steeping some in tea.
12) Stop smoking! It is always related to flare ups and has a laxative effect. Hope this helps any IBD sufferers. You don’t have to run to a pill or surgery. You can heal yourself, but you must take personal responsibility for your health.