IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, IBD and Crohn’s Disease
By Dr. Randy Martin, OMD, LAc, CCH, QME
One of the most effective types of treatments I have ever done over the past thirty+ years in private practice has been treatment of the range of digestive problems called inflammatory bowel disorders (IBD). The range of diagnoses’ that are treated include colitis, IBS, Crohn’s disease, indigestion, gas, bloating, inflammation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and fatigue.
I have lectured extensively to support groups and I always emphasis the incredible effectiveness of holistic treatment. I have had patients who were unable to leave home for longer than a few hours at a time, who, after treatment had absolutely zero limitations on their travel from home. I have had many patients state that their lives had been totally transformed with holistic treatment.
Most of my patients had been living with these problems for many years, and had not realized there were safe, natural, and effective methods for treating their problems.
Although many patients respond to traditional Western treatment, some fail to respond to these drugs. In addition, there are always risk factors and side effects from the Western pharmaceutacal drugs; in contrast, natural treatments have no side effects and are risk free.
Smoking, nicotine, coffee, and steroidal drugs are known to make Ulcerative Colits and IBS much worse, although there is also a genetic factor to consider. Diet has also been shown to play a large role in the causation of IBS.
In Chinese medicine, we have our own methods for determining which dietary factors are involved in exacerbating IBS.
We use the tongue and pulse diagnosis in Chinese medicine. According to these methods, we can determine which diet would be the best for each unique person.
Common foods which should always be avoided in IBD are ice cream, iced drinks, wheat and gluten containing foods, corn, cow’s dairy products, peanuts, red meat, sugar containing foods, cold, raw or frozen foods, coffee, caffeine, oranges, alcohol, spicy foods, fried foods, and other foods which we label as “Yin” or “Damp” in Chinese medicine.
Correcting nutritional deficiencies is a major portion of the treatment as well. By analyzing blood, saliva, urine, stool, and/or hair tests, we can see where the problems arise, and gain an additional understanding in developing the individualized treatment plans.
Supplements which are often needed include Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, DHEA, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, and the essential fatty acids, including omega-3, 6 and 9. Probiotics, such as Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacteria are also very helpful.
Also, we use Glutamine, Phosphatidylcholine and anti-inflammatory supplements such as Curcumin, Quercetin and Rutin.
We also use Chinese herbs and acupuncture to heal the digestive tract and strengthen the lining of the stomach and small intestines.
Please be sure to never take yourself off any prescribed medications without your doctor’s supervision. The quantities for supplements and herbs vary with each individual. Not all supplements work for everyone. This holistic program should be individually prescribed by your doctor to meet your particular needs.
In summary, the combined use of both Western and natural methods of treating IBD is quite effective. Some people respond better to one or more types of treatment, but everyone will do well with some combination.