Feeling Bloated and Fatigued? Manage Your Abdominal Symptoms
What is IBD?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The gut houses approximately 70-80% of the immune system. When the microbial balance of the gut is off, it can lead to serious and even life threatening issues. In the link to Jill Carnahan’s article “Cure IBD Without Medication” below, it is explained that IBD is partly cause by forceful responses of T-cell mediated cytokine response upon certain bacteria in the gut, causing an imbalance. Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis also fall under IBD. In those with Chron’s disease, the immune system macrophages cannot discern between bad and good bacteria, leading them to attack the good bacteria that live on the lining of the stomach. In Ulcerative Colitis (UC), the distal colon has inflammation that can lead to ulcers. Both have painful symptoms such as diarrhea, bloody stool, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal pain and cramping.
If you are diagnosed with IBD, the first step to heal is to change your diet. Certain foods can cause intestinal inflammation and should be avoided, others can soothe and should be included in your diet. Visit our recent blog post on an anti-inflammatory diet for specific guidelines. An elemental diet can also be recommended by a physician. This diet is a very strict diet of a meal replacement drinks that is done for a short period of time because the drink lacks sufficient nutrients. An elemental diet is used to jump start treatment for about 2 weeks. PIM suggests always working with a healthcare provider when making major changes to your diet. At PIM, we offer support from a Physician in conjunction with our Nutritionist, Rachel Hershberger, MS, CNS, LDN. Another diet that can support those with IBD is a Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). The SCD diet can be a long term solution to managing IBD. SCD eliminates sugars, starches, grains and unprocessed food in turn starves harmful bacteria within the gut by controlling what your gut microbiota can access.
Supplementation and Herbal Therapy
The use of herbal supplements can help not only soothe, but strengthen and shorten the process of healing from IBD. Supplements that support immune regulation, antioxidant activity and provide anti-inflammatory effects work best. Specific supplements work in treatment for UC or Chron’s Disease.
Aloe Vera gel (eaten)
Andrographis Paniculata Extract
Tripterygium wolfordii or “thunder god vine”
In general, low levels on vitamin D has only been linked to IBD. Make sure to get sunlight and take 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 with K2. Probiotics are also essential to a gut healing protocol. The good news is that you have the power to manage and even heal your IBD through lifestyle and diet!
Stress and anxiety can take a toll on the body, especially the stomach acids in the gut. Managing stress and anxiety through Mindfulness and Meditation can help reduce and prevent further symptoms from stress. PIM is offering an 8 week Mindfulness Course on Mondays at 6:00 pm starting 9/10 that is a great place to start or pick back up the routine of a daily practice.
PIM wants to hear from you! Do you have an experience with bloating and fatigue? Do you find this article helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Register for upcoming events - FREE Group Classes at Cabrini College (please RSVP online). Join us on 8/15 at 6:30 pm for the Essentials of Immune Health.
If you or your loved one are tired, not sleeping well, or perhaps are suffering from the effects of ongoing stress, mood or hormone imbalance, including thyroid imbalance schedule your a 20 minute free consultation or an appointment with Annmarie McManus, MMSc, PA-C, PT, IFMCP or Lauren Houser, MS, MSN, CRNP today. Not quite ready to schedule and have questions, quickly get in touch here. Many of our patients are educated health care consumers who may already be working with a practitioner but want a more comprehensive, empowering approach--and to partner with a provider who listens, cares and gets the root cause.