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What is Inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the collective term for a group of different inflammatory conditions of the digestive system, primarily ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. About 3 million Americans suffer from IBD.

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammation in the inner lining of the colon and/or rectum.

Crohn’s disease can strike any area of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus, but it usually affects the lower section of the small intestine where it connects to the colon (known as the ileum).


Causes of IBD

IBD is an autoimmune condition, meaning the immune system is hypersensitive and mistakenly sees normal tissue in the intestinal tract as a “foe” and launches an inflammatory response.


A primary cause of autoimmunity is leaky gut. When the gut wall is too porous, fragments of food, wastes, viruses and bacteria can get into the bloodstream and trigger the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to autoimmunity, as vitamin D helps control the immune system’s inflammatory responses.


Studies have also shown that a person with a first-degree relative with IBD is up to 10 times more likely to develop the disease. Long term use of NSAIDS, antibiotics and oral contraceptives can also be a factor, as these medications can upset the microbiome balance.


Symptoms of IBD

UC symptoms include rectal bleeding and pain, extreme bowel urgency, frequent bowel movements (sometimes 30 or more per day), diarrhea, abdominal pain and weight loss.

Crohn’s disease symptoms include cramping and abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, bloating, anal pain, skin lesions, rectal abscess, fissures (tears in the rectal tissue) and joint pain.


Long-term effects of IBD

Anemia, osteoporosis, fatigue and malnutrition are common as inflamed areas of the intestinal tract struggle to absorb nutrients. Bowel obstruction may also occur as IBD can block the flow of wastes as they travel through the intestines. Fistulas (abnormal tunnels between organs) and ulcers may also develop. In serious cases, the disease can lead to colon cancer or liver disease.


Natural remedies for IBD

Food combining has been shown to help support more efficient digestion and elimination of wastes, which in turn can help curb IBD symptoms. Food combining centers on pairing foods together that require similar digestive enzymes to ease the overall burden on the GI tract and promote better digestion.


Super Shield Plus Multi-Strain Probiotic Formula can help ease gas and bloating, promote more efficient digestion and support a healthy intestinal flora balance.


Optimal Turmeric Blend can be helpful in curbing inflammation. Turmeric has even been shown in studies to help maintain remission in both Crohn’s disease and UC sufferers.


Stress reduction is also important, as stress can exacerbate IBD symptoms.


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