A Definitive Guide to Inflammatory Bowel Disease
02 November 2022
What is IBD
IBD stands for inflammatory bowel disease, an umbrella term used for describing several chronic disorders that cause inflammation in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
IBD has two forms: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The main difference between these two is that ulcerative colitis is limited to the lining of the colon and rectum while Crohn’s disease involves the deeper layers and any part of the digestive tract.
Are IBS and IBD Both the Same?
Many people often confuse IBS and IBD as both conditions involve the digestive system, however, IBS is a disorder within the gastrointestinal tract, whereas IBD is caused due to inflammation in the bowel wall which can lead to the narrowing and sores in the intestines.
How Is IBD Diagnosed?
If you are experiencing symptoms associated with IBD such as diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, or bloating, seek professional medical guidance. In many cases, the IBD is derived as a result of excluding other explanations for the symptoms, including an inflammatory bowel disease.
Your gastroenterologist will perform a diagnosis through endoscopic procedures which involve sending a camera into your stomach or colon through imaging studies such as lab tests, X-rays, or CT scans.
Because IBD can occur in any part of the digestive tract, there is no single test that can completely rule it out.
How is IBD treated?
The goal of IBD treatment is not only to provide relief from the symptoms but also to reduce the underlying inflammation that causes the symptoms, as inflammation also drives the long-term complications associated with IBD.
The treatment begins with anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals that are prescribed by your physician. If the inflammation is only within the colon or rectum, then these pharmaceuticals, including corticosteroids such as aminosalicylates and prednisone, are taken orally either in the form of a pill or as a suppository enema.
In some cases, antibiotics such as metronidazole and ciprofloxacin are also used in combination with corticosteroids.
If the first-line anti-inflammatory medications are not effective enough, then your doctor will prescribe medications that suppress the immune system. These medications include mercaptopurine, azathioprine, and methotrexate.
When comes to IBD there is no standard medication protocol that works the same for every person and in some cases, one medication that has been working effectively for a particular person can stop working.
How AIP Can Help People with IBD?
No evidence in changing one’s diet can do anything more than help you manage the symptoms.
A study conducted in 2016 by the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California on the efficacy of the autoimmune protocol in the case of IBD showed that participants all had confirmed diagnoses of either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis with a mean IBD duration of 19 years.
Qualifying for participation in the study required consuming a western or standard American diet at the beginning of the study while on medication and under the guidance of a gastroenterologist.
Later, a study on AIP dietary intervention begins which consists of the elimination of grains, nightshades, grains, coffee, dairy, eggs, nuts, and seeds, refined oils, processed sugars, and food additives, with the course of six weeks, followed by a five-week maintenance phase.
Clinical remission was achieved by the sixth week by 73% of the study participants and the results indicated that the AIP diet was effective in treating active IBD.
Other Than AIP Diet, Are There Any Other Dietary Strategies That Can Help a Person with IBD?
There is no single dietary strategy that works for everyone. AIP works for many people but other dietary protocols can also work too. The specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) diet has been also shown to help in managing the symptoms. (Also read: Understanding The Importance Of Specific Carbohydrate Diet)
Researchers also looked at the efficiency of the Mediterranean diet and have found that the paleo and SCD diets both have appeared to improve the quality of life.
Additionally, a low-FODMAP diet can also help relieve symptoms in patients with IBD who also have IBS. A low residue or a low fiber diet has also been proven to induce remission in children with Crohn’s disease.
Although researchers have not proven that a gluten-free diet reduces inflammation, in the absence of celiac disease, most IBD patients find that avoiding gluten relieves symptoms.
By following the AIP diet and using paleo diet supplements, you can see a massive change in your symptoms.
Autoimmune Health & Nutrition provides an AIP protein powder that is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, allergen-free, Non-GMO, and with zero sugar added. These supplements are sourced from the bones of grass-fed beef and are the clean and healthiest way to induce the pack of nutrients and relieve your symptoms.