According to The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada over 200,000 Canadian men, women and children have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis) (Jan 25, 2011). An often debilitating disorder, IBD is not only physically painful, but can wreak havoc on sufferer’s personal and professional lives as well.
Researchers found that the highest prevalence of IBD worldwide was reported in Canada and Europe, whereas Asia had a lower prevalence of IBD. In developing nations, IBD was a rare occurrence; however, as these nations have become more industrialized, the incidence of IBD has increased.
What causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?
It is likely caused by a combination of factors:
- There may be a genetic predisposition and some trigger in the environment sets up the inflammation.
- In the predisposed individual, inflammation does not go away. Instead of helping, the intestinal immune system may allow the inflammation to persist.
- Recent research suggests that an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the intestinal tract may be a contributing cause. Many sufferers have found that certain medications such as antibiotics have triggered attacks (this is possible if the antibiotics have killed off the good bacteria in their intestinal tract, which allows for bad bacteria to overgrow)
IBD Diet for Crohn’s Disease and Colitis
The dietary recommendations for both Crohn’s and Colitis is similar:
- Drink lots of good quality water (8 – 10 glasses daily) to keep the body hydrated and prevent constipation.
- Take a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement to replace lost nutrients.
- Eat a high fibre diet when IBD is under control. Some people find cooking and steaming vegetables more tolerable than eating them raw.
- During a flare up, limit high fibre foods and follow a low fibre diet to give the bowel a rest and minimize symptoms.
- It is very important to continue nourishing your body even during a flare-up. Try small frequent meals. Eating a high protein diet with lean meats, fish and eggs, may help relieve symptoms of IBD.
- Limit caffeine, alcohol and artificial sweeteners as these may exacerbate IBD symptoms.
- Studies have found that omega 3’s may be helpful in managing IBD. You can find this in supplement form or get it from fish.
- Probiotics are imperative to maintain the good bacteria in the intestinal tract and aids in the recovery of the intestines.
There are also natural supplements that you can find in your local health food store to help with Crohn’s disease and colitis. Look for a formula which contains a combination of ingredients to help rebuild and repair the intestinal tract such as L-glutamine and n-acetyl glucosamine. Renew Life has a product called IntestiNEW that does just that. Each serving provides 5000 mg of L-Glutamine and 200 mg of N-Acetyl D-Glucosamine. IntestiNEW also includes ingredients to soothe the intestinal tract lining, to reduce inflammation and to reduce diarrhea. These include:
- Ginger Root which has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as carminative properties which help to expel gas from the stomach and intestines.
- Marigold Flower which helps to alleviate mucous membrane inflammation.
- Marshmallow root has demulcent properties which help to alleviate local irritation.
- Gamma Oryzanol enhances gastric & illeal movement.
IntestiNEW has been approved by Health Canada’s Natural Health Product Directorate to “help the body to repair and maintain a healthy intestinal lining” and has been given the NPN number 80002822. IntestiNEW is also helpful for those with GERD, IBS, candida or parasites, leaky gut syndrome or anyone who just wants to renew the health of their gut.