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Suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease? A healthy diet may help ease your pain


(NaturalNews) Not to be confused with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is a non-inflammatory condition, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) now affects an estimated 1.4 million Americans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. IBD, which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, is a chronic, life-long condition that can be treated but not necessarily cured.

Conventional doctors typically prescribe medication; however, diet and lifestyle factors are strongly believed to reduce the symptoms associated with IBD, including poor food and water digestion, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping.

For those affected by IBD, James Scala's book, Eating Right for a Bad Gut, teaches readers how to combat their symptoms, and in some instances, send the disease into remission. The following is an excerpt from the book:

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the name given to diseases that cause the bowel wall to become inflamed. Your doctor may call the disease by a number of terms, such as colitis, proctitis, enteritis, or ileitis; however, you'll probably be told you have ulcerative colitis, colitis, Crohn's disease, or a combination of them.

Symptoms of IBD

Whether it involves the large or small intestine, IBD produces diarrhea and serious abdominal pain. Both Crohn's disease and colitis frequently cause rectal bleeding, while ulcerative colitis often causes serious bleeding. Persistent loss of blood can lead to anemia, or a shortage of red blood cells, because red blood cells are lost faster than your body can make them.

Intestinal inflammation can result in poor absorption of nutrients, and the diarrhea causes an actual loss of nutrients, especially minerals, through the stools. Together, these symptoms can cause weight loss and poor nutrition; in young people, it can even slow growth.

Persistent intestinal inflammation can require aggressive medical nutrition treatment, because the patient can actually be starving to death. While it seems impossible for starvation to happen in a modern society with such obvious abundance, it can occur in these patients because their intestinal tracts are not working. In addition, they avoid food because it causes severe pain, discomfort, and even bloody stools.

IBD is often characterized by other symptoms that precede the intestinal flare-up. These warning signs include one or more small canker sores in the mouth; inflammation of the eyes; inflammation of a joint, such as a knee or a wrist; and ulcerlike sores and red nodules on the skin, especially on the abdomen and legs and even on the head.

What causes IBD?

No one knows the exact cause of IBD, but the most prevalent theory puts it in the same league with other inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation is actually a type of defense mounted by the body when a tissue is attacked by a virus or something else.

This theory teaches that the inflammatory disease is initiated by a virus and accelerated when the immune system mistakenly attacks one or several of its own tissues where the virus resides. In IBD, the intestine is the target; in rheumatoid arthritis, it's the joint tissue; in multiple sclerosis, it's the nerves.

IBD can go into remission for years, especially if you follow an appropriate diet, even though you may always seem to have watery stools unless you can control this symptom with dietary fiber. The return of IBD with all its symptoms is called a flare-up.

The term flare-up covers a wide range of symptoms, from abdominal cramps and diarrhea to the need for hospitalization.

Research has confirmed that sensible diet and supplements can help IBD go into remission and remain that way. These findings are consistent with the extensive research scientists have done on rheumatoid arthritis (a more common inflammatory disease) and multiple sclerosis, which proved that both of these diseases are improved by a correct diet and sensible omega-3 oil supplements.

Examples of how diet can help manage chronic disease

Diabetics must take insulin every day. They can reduce insulin intake to a minimum if they follow a diet rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) can be controlled by medication. Hypertensives can also reduce their medication by about 85 percent through diet alone.

Rheumatoid arthritis and its variations can't be cured, not even by the "right" diet. However, diet can minimize inflammation and reduce medication up to 70 percent, and make life much better.

Gout, a buildup of uric acid in the system, can be treated more effectively by diet than by medication. Medication is the treatment of last resort.

For more information on how to treat IBD through diet and nutrition, click here to order a copy of Scala's book today.






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