Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A variety of related disorders which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, come under a generic term medically known as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD in short, these diseases commonly affect a younger demography of patients usually between their twenties and thirty years of age.

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A common physical symptom observed during the disease is the chronic inflammation of the digestive tract leading to the formation of ulcers or small erosions on its surface. Apparent remission from the disease occurs in a vast number of cases that can be in turn punctuated by abrupt bouts of inflammation as the disease suddenly reappears.

Though it is ascertained that hereditary factors seem to have a role in the possible origin of the disease, the absolute reasons or causes for the development of IBD in many individuals remains far from certain. The disease as such is four times more likely to occur in Caucasians and in Jewish families, and a family member seems to have been afflicted with the disease in at least one third of all individuals suffering from IBD.

Some of the reasons the disease arises in the affected individual can be because of an infection by a virus or a bacterium that triggers an attack, or because of a dysfunctional immune system increasing the body's susceptibility to it. Hypersensitivity to certain kinds of food items and psychological factors such as the presence of stress and anxiety can all contribute to the direct appearance of the disease in an individual.

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Supplements and herbs

Nutritional deficiencies are the first symptoms induced in the individual because of an attack of IBD. The disease affects the ability of the intestine to absorb sufficient quantities of nutrients like the vitamins from the consumed food, supplementation using a potent multi vitamin supplement is commonly required to address this imbalance. With particular reference to the time of acute and abrupt attacks of IBD, benefits can also be from the use of additional supplements taken in combination to provide other nutrients besides the vitamins.

Insufficient levels of important B complex vitamins such as cynocobalamine or B12, folate or folic acid, and other B vitamins are commonly observed as a symptom during cases of IBD. A proper and fully functional digestive system and lost vitamins of the B type can be effected through the consumption of the vitamin B complex in supplemental form.

Another important supplement that cannot be given a miss because of its anti-inflammatory property is the PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), akin to the common prescription medication sulfasalazine in action, it can reduce and bring down the inflammation in the intestines. The healing and restorative properties of the licorice (DGL) as well as the vitamins E and A can be used to great benefit in restoring a functional absorptive capacity in the intestines.

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Initial use of these supplements can be made and as symptoms show signs of abatement, a long term prophylactic use can be made of some high-potency antioxidants, such as those in the grape seed extract at a dosage regimen of 100 mg taken one or two times daily or this can be substituted with the amino acid N-acetylcysteine, or NAC taken at a dosage regimen of 500 mg two times daily, both of these antioxidants must be concurrently used with the two vitamins A and E in the long term preventive treatment of the individual.

Another cheaper and equally effective alternative antioxidant to the NAC and the grape fruit extracts is the use of vitamin C taken at a dosage regimen of 1,000 mg two times daily.

When used regularly, benefits can also be gleaned from the use of a variety of other supplements when dealing with the symptoms of IBD. For example, the inflammation can be reduced and the digestive tract can be protected and restored to its normal function through the supplemental use of the essential fatty acids found in sources such as the oil of the flaxseed or in fish oils.

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The replenishment of the helpful bacterial complement of the intestinal tract can be achieved through supplementation with Acidophilus that can restore populations of healthy bacteria. Another important mineral supplement to include is zinc, which is one of the nutrients whose absorption rates are affected by the disease, copper supplements may be needed along with the supplements of zinc, as an increase in the concentration of zinc can impede the absorption of copper.

A variety of digestive ailments have been traditionally remedied through the use of an herbal tea made from the chamomile, this tea may be useful and effective against this disease as well.

Additional things you may do

Leave out and avoid all food items from your diet that can possibly cause a sudden attack of IBD. Incidences of cramps in the affected area can also be reduced through the use of topical hot compresses to massage the affected region. Take part in daily and regular exercises, and reduce the levels of stress with alternative techniques like yoga and through meditation.

Usual dosage

Chamomile, one cup of tea up to thrice daily. Use two tsp of dried herb per cup of hot water.

Licorice (DGL), 2 deglycyrrhizinated licorice wafers (380 mg) thrice daily, between meals.

Vitamin A, 25,000 IU daily for flare-ups; reduce to 10,000 IU daily for maintenance. If you consider pregnancy, take only 5,000 IU daily.

Vitamin B complex, one pill two times daily for flare-ups; then reduce to one pill every morning for maintenance. Should be taken with food. (B-100 complex with 400 mcg folic acid; 100 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin;  and 100 mg all other B vitamins).

Vitamin E, 400 IU two times daily for maintenance or flare-ups or. If you take anticoagulant medications, check with the doctor.

Copper / Zinc, 2 mg copper and 30 mg zinc daily.

Acidophilus, take one pill two times daily between meals.

PABA, 1,000 mg thrice daily for flare-ups. Reduce to 1,000 mg two times daily for maintenance.

Essential fatty acids, one tbsp (14 gr) of flaxseed oil or 5,000 mg fish oils daily. As a maintenance, use enteric-coated form of fish oils.

Other beneficial herbs


From Sheri
Marshmallow root, taken in capsule form or tea, will help ease the stomach when dealing with inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn's disease. Sweeten the tea with honey, which also has healing properties.
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