Working for your Health


Living with and preventing symptoms of IBD

Posted at 5:52 AM, Sep 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-11 11:07:45-04

IBD … three letters that if you’re diagnosed with can ruin your life.

Three million Americans are living with the pain of inflammatory bowel disease. IBD is actually a term that encompasses several diseases. A recent study has found there may be a simple and natural way to treat or even prevent one of IBD’s most common diseases.

Whether it’s at work, hanging out with the family, or even at the doctor’s office IBD can have people always on the go.

“When the disease is active, depending on which parts of their bowel are inflamed, it causes a lot of symptoms that can be very disruptive to their daily activities,” David Rubin, Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago said.

Some of those symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and the inability to eat. But research from the Australian National University has found that just a half hour of outside sun exposure for kids, can lower their risk of ever developing IBD by almost 20 percent.

But what about if you already have IBD? Number one recommendation from doctors is to quit smoking.

Rubin says, “People who smoke cigarettes are more likely to have Crohn’s, they’re more likely to be resistant to medical therapies, and they are more likely to relapse or need surgery.”

Dietary changes may also help. Eating a more anti-inflammatory diet, such as a Mediterranean-style diet may alleviate symptoms.

“In general that means more olive oil, fish, and some healthy nuts,” he advised.

And stay away from red meat and processed foods to help relieve your pain.

Doctor Rubin says, in general, people with IBD tend to have low levels of vitamin D. He suggests this can lead to potential areas of medication to explore, as always consult with your doctor.