Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum answered:Natural therapies can be very effective to both treat the cause of the inflammation and the inflammation itself.
Recommended nutritional supplements:
- Zinc: Low zinc has been associated with markedly increased complications from inflammatory bowel disease. Take an extra 25-30 mg of zinc a day for 3 months and then at least 15 mg a day.
- Vitamin D: A recent study showed vitamin D deficiency plays a role in Crohn's. Take 2,000-4,000 units a day for at least 6 months.
- Multi-nutrient supplement: Try a good multi-nutrient supplement to get the necessary zinc and vitamin D.
- Boswellia: The herb boswellia 1,000 mg plus a day is helpful for inflammatory bowel disease in general. Use an herbal mix that also contains willow bark.
- Fish oil: Fish oil is a good general anti-inflammatory, so eat salmon or tuna 3-4 times a week (or more).
Treat food allergies. Doing a "Multiple Food Elimination Diet" after the bowel infections and nutritional deficiencies are treated would be a good screen for the role of food allergies. Though the food allergies may not be causing the inflammation, the inflammation will result in "leaky gut" and secondary food allergies which may then cause more problems.
By using the natural treatments discussed above, you may avoid the need for both the cost and toxicity of medications. But if you need meds, the following may help:
- Natural cortisol: Though high dose prednisone is toxic over time, the bioidentical cortisol (Cortef by prescription) can be used safely long term.
- Asacol and antibiotics: Your doctor might recommend Asacol (salicylates) and occasionally antibiotics, which are good medications for these illnesses and not very expensive.
- Remicade: Your doctor might also recommend "biological modifiers" like Remicade. This can cost over $2,000-$5,000 per injection and only works for about 2 months and then needs repeating. By 1 year it is only still effective in about 20% of cases.
Natural therapies can be very effective to both treat the cause of the inflammation and the inflammation itself.Recommended nutritional supplements: Zinc: Low zinc has been associated with markedly increased complications from inflammatory bowel... More
Probiotics: E. coli Nissle 1917 appears to be as effective as the drug mesalamine in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. However, it is not currently available in the United States. A variety of bifidophilus preparations have shown effects of preventing relapse or maintaining remission. These include bifidophilus alone, bifidophilus in fermented milk products, and a synbiotic preparation. A probiotic combination consisting of VSL#3 plus balsalazide may be more effective than balsalazide or mesalamine alone. More studies are needed to more clearly determine what outcomes can be expected.
Probiotics are generally regarded as safe for human consumption. Long-term consumption of probiotics is considered safe and well tolerated. Avoid if allergic or hypersensitive to probiotics. Use cautiously if lactose intolerant.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.Probiotics: E. coli Nissle 1917 appears to be as effective as the drug mesalamine in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. However, it is not currently available in the United States. A variety of bifidophilus preparations have shown effects of... More