Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosis and Treatment
Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis are two categories of irritable bowel disease. While many people suffer from digestive complaints in today’s world, gastroenterologists will throw the term “IBS” and “IBD” at many complicated cases. However, most of the traditional medical community cannot explain what these mean beyond excessive irritation and inflammation of the digestive tract. An estimated 1.6 million Americans have been diagnosed with IBD, total medical cost for these cases is reaching several billion dollars per year, and sadly, close to half of those who undergo surgery for their condition will have a recurrence of symptoms within one year! We need to do better than this! It is so true that your digestive health begins at birth. We get our first inoculation of what should be healthy digestive flora from our mother as we move through the vaginal canal. For those who were born via cesarean section, unfortunately the digestive flora likely did not start strong. Then when we consider the excessive use of antibiotics throughout our lifetime causing damage to the gut bacteria balance as well as the intestinal lining, it is a perfect scenario for inflammation and disease! Lastly, the SAD diet (standard American diet) consists of so much highly processed, sugary foods only making the digestive environment worse. The foundation for digestive healing is found in the 4 “R’s”: Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, and Repair. But we also know that every case is different, meaning that every patient’s care should be individualized. Detailed testing such as a Comprehensive Stool Analysis can help us identify what each individual’s digestive environment really looks like and how best to move towards healing. The stool test shows us pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites and worms; potential bacteria that may trigger autoimmune disease; normal healthy bacterial flora; and markers of intestinal health such as digestive function, inflammation, detoxification and reactions to foods like gluten. There is no other comparable testing for evaluating our digestive health, and this just might be the next right step in healing any form of IBD or digestive dysfunction!