IBD Awareness and Natural Treatment

worldibdday

As today is IBD awareness day here’s some information about it including symptoms and natural treatments available.

IBD is short for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and refers to a group of diseases where part of the digestive tract becomes inflamed. It mainly refers to Crohn’s Disease, which can affect the whole digestive tract, and Ulcerative Colitis which affects the colon. There are other differences between the two diseases but symptoms and treatment can often be similar. IBD is an autoimmune disease where the gut starts to attack itself which causes ulcers and lesions in the gut wall which can lead to a number of nasty symptoms.

Symptoms can include pain in the abdomen,  intense internal cramps and muscle spasms,  diarrhoea, vomiting, rectal bleeding and weight loss. It is quite common for these conditions to cause issues outside of the digestive tract as well such as anaemia, liver problems, skin complaints and arthritis. As you can see it’s a very unpleasant thing to suffer from so the more treatments available the better. Natural treatments are great for this condition as they enhance your wellbeing, don’t irritate the digestive tract further and don’t interfere with any other treatments being received – they often help them work better!

A great natural treatment for IBD is Abdominal-Sacral Massage. It works in several ways to improve the symptoms and overall wellbeing of anyone suffering with this condition. It gently re-aligns the organs within the abdomen which can often shift when a part of the gut becomes inflamed. Even after the inflammation has reduced the organs do not always automatically go back into their natural position but through a series of careful manipulations done during this massage they can be eased back into position. This often reduces abdominal pain and helps stop future flare ups and complications.

Massaging the abdomen also increases the blood, nerve and lymph supply to the area. This helps lesions and ulcers heal more quickly. At the same time it works on the other areas of the abdomen that are effected by this disease and helps speed up their healing too.

The colon massage during this treatment can play a very important role in helping the body to heal. This massage helps the body clear out blockages that build up in the colon. Blockages can form due to poor diet but also if the colon is not working at 100%. These blockages can cause serious problems. One function of the colon is to reabsorb moisture but if the colon is full of this debris it also absorbs the toxins that the body is trying to eliminate, which drastically raises the body’s toxicity level and causes a number of IBD symptoms and associated problems. More and more harmful bacteria also starts to build up the longer these blockages are in there causing further complications. Gently but throughly clearing this debris stops the toxins from being absorbed and removes the harmful bacteria that causes the body to attack itself and create ulcers. Once the colon is clear it can start to heal itself and absorb nutrients better. This strengthens the colon and boosts the immune system reducing the frequency and severity of further flare ups.

The massage also works on the muscle tension in the abdomen caused by cramps and spasms. This tension reduces blood flow in the abdomen making it harder for the body to repair itself. Muscle tension also puts pressure on the abdominal organs which make it hard for them to function effectively. Massaging the area helps the muscles to release and strengthens them which relieves cramps and spasms and can stop them happening so much.

Another way to naturally treat IBD is with prebiotics and probiotics. Both are found naturally in some foods. There is good bacteria in our gut which helps us break down food and synthesise vitamins. Probiotics contain this bacteria and prebiotics contain the food the bacteria eats which helps them multiply. Taking a combination of these through food and in pill form (found in health food shops) can really boost the natural productivity of your gut which helps it cleanse and heal quicker. I would avoid the little probiotic yogurt drinks though as they contain a lot of sugar and dairy which is hard for your system to digest so they are not very effective. Taking probiotics and prebiotics is often found to be as effective as taking medication. It is also essential to do this if you are taking antibiotics for IBD to keep your colon as healthy as possible.

Diet plays an important role in IBD and is the suggested cause. Although genetics is thought to be a factor this predisposition alone isn’t enough to cause the disease so a good diet is essential in both treatment and prevention. Foods that are harder to digest such as wheat/gluten, dairy and sugar should be avoided and substituted for healthier things for everyone to maintain a healthier gut. In IBD sufferers it is particularly important as it helps avoid the blockages described above and their associated problems. Plenty of water is essential too as you can’t have a healthy gut without a lot of moisture for it to use. Sweetened and sugary drinks are both difficult for your body to digest (even if they say sugar-free) and caffeine and alcohol are diuretics which flush out fluids so they are all best to avoid. Drinking 2 + litres of water a day helps maintain a happy, healthy gut. See Nutritional Therapy for more information.

Using these natural treatments you can improve the health of your digestive tract, boost your immunity and reduce the toxicity in your body. Having a healthier digestive system helps your immune system and gut work in harmony rather than working against each other. This reduces abdominal pain, relieves other symptoms and can drastically reduce the number of flare ups and their intensity, so why not book an appointment today?

I am currently offering 3 treatments for just £120 (saving £55). To book email me at jo-medhurst@live.co.uk or call 07973 186288.

Jo Medhurst

This article is part of a series of articles about IBD for  World IBD Day 19th May 2013. Posting later today, articles about how Nutritional Therapy and Kinesiology can help. Subscribe to the blog, follow us on facebook or twitter or simply check back here later for further updates…

Jo offers Abdominal-Sacral Massage, EFT and Reiki here at The Wellbeing Centre. She is a herbal tea aficionado and is currently studying Herbalism.

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