Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
World IBD Awareness day falls in May and is an opportunity to raise awareness about Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and support those living with these conditions. IBD is a generalised umbrella term used for conditions including Ulcerative Colitis and Chron's Disease. These are both chronic inflammatory conditions affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
While symptoms of both consitions can present with generalised inflammation, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, weight loss and fatigue, they tend to manifest in varying parts of the GI tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the colon and large intestine, while Chron's disease can impact any part of the GI tract.
Continuous research into pinpointing the exact causes of these conditions is being conducted and there are several factors believed to be at play in regards to the onset and development of IBD. The most commonly accepted causes of IBD are believed to be a genetic predisposition, an immune reaction to food or exposure to pathogenic organisms or environmental factors. It is believed that certain foods and imbalances in the gut microbiome interact with the immune system causing dysregulation and stimulating inflammation and IBD.
Factors such as diet and increased stress are also believed to be compounding factors which can exacerbate symptoms. It is now well known that a Western diet and various nutritional factors can influence IBD. Diets rich in fats, refined carbohydrates and processed foods and low in fibre and known to cause an inflammatory response in the body.
Dysbiosis is another contributing factor believed to be associated with IBD. An imbalance in gut microbial components can lead to increased inflammation which, in turn, increases susceptibility for IBD, leading to further distruption in microbial balance.
While IBD is considered a lifelong condition with no direct cure, with appropriate treatment and managhement of the disease with medications, lifestyle and dietary changes can make it possible to significantly reduce inflammation and increase the duration of periods of remission.
Testing for IBD
While there is no specific diagnostic test for IBD, we recommend the following:
- C-Reactive Protein
- Faecal Calprotectin
- Food Sensitivity Testing
If you would like any further information or to discuss your patient's requirements, you can book a Technical Call with our Naturopath on 1300 55 44 80.
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