Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – Causes, Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment.

Treatment for IBD

Treatment for IBD is generally palliative. There is currently no cure for IBD in traditional medicine. The goal of treatment for IBD is to diminish the severity of the symptoms, reach and maintain a long-term remission, and avert complications.

The most common options of treatments for IBD are medicines and surgical intervention, which the sections below will discuss in more detail.

What are the nonsurgical treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

treatment for IBD

The strategy in treatment for IBD differs depending on the specific kind and symptoms. Drugs can reduce inflammation, so you don’t experience symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. IBD medications include the following:

  • Aminosalicylates, an anti-inflammatory drug class that includes sulfasalazine, mesalamine, and Balsalazide, lessen intestinal irritation.
  • Abscesses and infections are treated with antibiotics.
  • Biologics block immune system impulses that lead to inflammation.
  • Prednisone and other corticosteroids regulate immune function and control flare-ups.
  • Immunomodulators reduce immune system overactivity.

These over-the-counter IBD medications may also be helpful for the treatment of IBD:

  • anti-diarrheal drugs.
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).
  • products like probiotics and vitamins.

What surgical procedures are used to treat inflammatory bowel disease?

As many as 7 out of 10 Crohn’s disease patients eventually require surgery when prescription drugs cannot relieve their symptoms. A surgeon performing a gut resection:

  • removes the affected portion of the bowel.
  • ties the healthy bowel’s two ends together (anastomosis).

Following surgery, the residual portion of the gut adjusts and resumes its previous functionality. A recurrence of Crohn’s disease will occur in roughly 6 in 10 patients who have surgery for it within ten years. For you, having another bowel resection might be a smart idea.

surgical treatment for IBD

What surgical procedures are used to treat ulcerative colitis?

About 1 in 3 patients who have had ulcerative colitis for more than 30 years require surgery.

The surgeon may perform the following interventions:

  • Colectomy is the removal of the colon or the colon and rectum (proctocolectomy).
  • Connection of the anus to the small intestine.
  • Building an ileal pouch where feces are stored before leaving the body through the anus.
  • Rarely, an ileostomy may be required instead of an ileal pouch. To collect stool, an ileostomy bag is attached to the outside of the abdomen.
  • Proctocolectomy is a treatment. After surgery to remove the colon and rectum, symptoms won’t come back. However, issues with the ileostomy or ileal pouch, such as paucities, could arise (inflammation and infection).

What is IBD

The term “inflammatory bowel disease” (IBD) refers to conditions where the tissues in your digestive tract have experienced persistent (chronic) inflammation. IBD can have various forms.

Ulcerative colitis The lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum are affected by this disorder, which causes inflammation and sores (ulcers).

Crohn’s disease. The lining of your digestive tract may become inflamed with this type of IBD, which frequently affects the deeper layers of the digestive tract. The small intestine is most frequently impacted by Crohn’s disease. However, it can also harm the upper gastrointestinal tract and, less frequently, the large intestine.

Diarrhea, rectal bleeding, stomach pain, exhaustion, and weight loss are typical symptoms of both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.


What types of inflammatory bowel disease are there?

It is important to differentiate the types of inflammatory bowel disease to choose the best treatment for IBD. The three most common types of IBD are Crohn’s disease, microscopic colitis, and ulcerative colitis.

  • In the digestive tract, Crohn’s disease produces pain and swelling. Any area, including the anus and the mouth, is susceptible. The small intestine and upper large intestine are the organs most frequently affected.
  • The large intestine becomes swollen and painful due to ulcerative colitis (colon and rectum).
  • Intestinal inflammation brought on by microscopic colitis can only be seen under a microscope.

Causes of IBD

The causes of Inflammatory bowel disease are still uncertain. Stress and food were once thought to be contributing factors to IBD, but doctors now understand that food and stress do not actually cause the condition.

Immune system dysfunction is one potential factor. The immune system attacks the cells in the digestive tract when it launches an unusual immune response in an effort to combat an invading virus or bacteria

Several gene mutations have been linked to IBD. IBD appears to be more prevalent in persons who have family members who have the condition, which may be related to heredity. However, this family history is not present in most IBD patients.


IBD risk factors

  • The majority of IBD sufferers are identified before they are 30. However, some people don’t start showing symptoms until their 50s or 60s.
  • Ethnicity or race. IBD can affect persons of any race, even though it is more common among white people. Other races and ethnicities are also experiencing an increase in cases.
  • Family background. Suppose you have a close relative who has a condition, such as a parent, brother, or kid, and your risk increases.
  • Smoking cigarettes. The greatest significant preventable risk factor for Crohn’s disease is cigarette smoking. Using tobacco may help to prevent ulcerative colitis; however, smoking has more negative effects on your health as a whole than positive ones, and quitting can help your digestive tract in general as well as many other health benefits.
  • Pharmaceutical drugs, such as naproxen sodium (Aleve), and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, among others). These drugs could worsen IBD for those who already have it or raise the risk of getting it.

Symptoms of IBD

Inflamatory Bowel Disease symptoms

While the treatment for IBD is mostly palliative, it is important to consider all symptoms specific to the patient. Depending on the level of inflammation and the location of the inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease symptoms can vary. Mild to severe symptoms of IBD are possible. Periods of active sickness are likely to be followed by intervals of remission.

The following signs and symptoms of IBD are shared by both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis:

IBD is simply a minor ailment for some individuals. Others suffer from a life-threatening ailment that makes them very weak.

Complications of IBD

The treatment for IBD aims to prevent complications of this condition. Certain consequences are similar between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and others that are unique to each illness. Both disorders may have the following complications:

  • Colon cancer. Your chance of developing colon cancer may increase if you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis that mostly affects your colon. The first colonoscopy for cancer screening usually happens roughly 8 to 10 years following the initial diagnosis. Find out from your doctor how often and when you should get this test done.
  • Joint, skin, and eye inflammation. IBD flare-ups can bring on a number of conditions, such as arthritis, skin sores, and eye inflammation (uveitis).
  • Adverse effects of medication. There is a risk of infections with some IBD treatments. Some people have a slight chance of getting certain malignancies. In addition to other diseases, corticosteroids have been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis and high blood pressure.
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis. In this relatively uncommon disorder, the bile ducts become scarred as a result of inflammation in IBD patients. The ducts gradually get smaller due to this scarring, which limits bile flow. This may potentially harm the liver.
  • Clots of blood. Blood clots in veins and arteries are more likely in people with IBD.
  • Severe dehydration. Dehydration can arise from persistent diarrhea.

Crohn’s disease complications include:

  • Intestinal blockage Intestinal wall thickness is affected by Crohn’s disease. The flow of digestive contents may be obstructed by the thickening and narrowing of some colon segments over time. The affected part of your bowel may need to be surgically removed.
  • You may find it challenging to eat or for your intestine to absorb enough nutrients to keep you nourished if you have diarrhea, abdominal pain, or cramping. Anemia is also frequently brought on by the disease’s low iron or vitamin B-12 levels.
  • A fistula is an unusual connection between several bodily organs that can occur when inflammation completely penetrates the intestinal wall. The most typical type of fistula is perianal or located close to or around the anal area. However, they can also develop internally or in the direction of the abdominal wall. A fistula may occasionally become an abscess, which is an infected pocket of pus.
  • Anal fissure. This is a little tear in the skin or tissue surrounding the anus where an infection may develop. It frequently results in uncomfortable bowel movements and can cause a perianal fistula.

Ulcerative colitis complications can include:

  • Toxic megacolon. Toxic megacolon is a dangerous disorder where the colon quickly widens and swells due to ulcerative colitis.
  • Colonic fissure (perforated colon). Toxic megacolon is the most prevalent cause of a perforated colon; however, it can also happen on its own.

What distinguishes inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

While both disorders impact the intestine, there are some significant distinctions between IBD and IBS that you should be aware of. It is important to differentiate between IBS and IBD to choose the best treatment for IBD in each clinical case.

There are several key similarities and distinctions between IBS and IBD, two distinct intestinal disorders. IBD encompasses ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, two structural autoimmune conditions that inflame and harm the gut. In cases where the illness is severe, they can need surgery and hospital stays. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional illness or syndrome that affects gut motility—the rate at which food moves through the digestive system—and very infrequently necessitates hospitalization.

Both IBD and IBS are gastrointestinal disorders that have the ability to significantly disturb your day-to-day activities and cause stomach pain, bowel problems, and nausea. IBD, however, damages the digestive tract permanently through inflammation and raises the chance of colon cancer in patients. It is a structural illness as opposed to a symptom.

When doctors do a colonoscopy, they can see observable indications of IBD in the intestines (which is how IBD is generally diagnosed). IBS, on the other hand, does not cause damage that can be seen, is not inflammatory, and does not enhance a person’s risk of developing bowel cancer. The latter is a particular danger for those with IBD, according to a review in Clinics in Colorectal Surgery.

According to Dr. Deborah Lee, “IBS is a functional disorder affecting the gastrointestinal tract that causes a wide range of unpleasant symptoms such stomach pain, bloating, passing wind, diarrhea, and constipation.” “The precise source of the disease is unclear, but the gut-brain axis is not functioning properly. Certain foods cause the gut to become hypersensitive.

IBD and IBS share several characteristics. Both illnesses result in bloating, diarrhea, mucous stools, and stomach pain; however, only IBD can cause rectal bleeding, anemia, and unexplained weight loss. IBD can also cause swelling of the joints, eyes, skin, and even baldness because it is an autoimmune disease.

We don’t fully understand why hair loss is connected to IBD, but a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology indicated that it is a typical symptom. Another World Journal of Gastroenterology study found that those with IBD may also develop secondary autoimmune diseases.

Because of how they affect the body, IBS and IBD require different treatment strategies. Since there is no physical harm being done, IBS therapies often focus on managing symptoms. Therefore, dietary adjustments like a low-FODMAP diet may be advised.

If the disease is severe, surgical procedures or prescription medications may be used to treat IBD. In the most extreme circumstances, ostomies that temporarily or permanently bypass the bowel might be explored. If a patient is experiencing a flare-up, this surgery may be carried out in an emergency.

Because IBS and IBD are frequently linked to poor mental health, both patients can benefit from therapies to help them manage stress and anxiety. Research in Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology indicated that up to 40% of IBD patients had abnormal anxiety levels. Another study published in the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience indicated that patients with IBS had considerably greater levels of anxiety and depression compared to healthy control subjects.

Natural treatment for IBD

One of the two main kinds of inflammatory bowel disease is ulcerative colitis. The large intestine is where the symptoms appear, and they can be so severe as to complicate even routine everyday tasks.

Natural cures for UC are not possible, but they may offer some relief from symptoms and flare-ups. Anemia, a quick heartbeat, digestive issues, blood or pus in the stool, fever, and loss of appetite are among the frequent symptoms. Additionally, IBD may harm a person’s work, relationships, and self-worth.

Chronic symptoms of UC, including discomfort and digestive issues including vomiting, diarrhea, and a constant need to go to the toilet, can occur in its most severe forms. People who experience severe UC episodes could become dehydrated or lose a lot of blood. These IBD types can be lethal if untreated.

We present several all-natural treatments for IBD symptoms in this article.

Natural treatment for IBD

Probiotics as a form of treatment for IBD

Living microorganisms called probiotics to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Some foods, including yogurt, naturally contain probiotics. Probiotics are also available without a prescription at the majority of big-box grocery stores and pharmacies.

In a 2019 study, the effects of probiotic use on persons with UC were examined. The study’s findings revealed that 57% of people who used the probiotics said they had a good overall experience. Additionally, 50% of respondents reported that the frequency and texture of their stools had improved.

It is significant to remember that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements and that they are not considered drugs. Due to a lack of control, quality might differ greatly between brands or even within product batches.

A person should read the label of any supplements before buying them to find out what is in them. They could also want to look at the company’s reputation and customer feedback.

People who are curious about probiotics should consult a medical expert. Reputable supplement brands can frequently be suggested by healthcare practitioners.

Probiotics cannot, however, take the place of conventional medicine. People should keep taking their current drugs as directed by their doctors.

Herbal treatment for IBD

A 2019 analysis cited a number of organic compounds that could lessen UC symptoms, including Plantago Ovata seeds, aloe vera gel, wheatgrass juice, and Boswellia serrata gum resin are among the ingredients of Andrographis paniculate extract.

The authors of the review contend that certain ingredients in these herbal treatments enhance immune function and offer anti-inflammatory antioxidants.

The review, however, does not suggest any of these drugs as a stand-alone cure. The study’s authors advise those who have UC to only utilize them in addition to standard medical care.

Diet treatment for IBD

Diet treatment for ulcerative colitis

People may benefit from specific dietary modifications in reducing symptoms and flare-ups. These modifications could involve:

  • Ingesting electrolyte drinks, which can assist a person in maintaining an electrolyte balance should diarrhea lead to dehydration, to prevent dehydration, especially during an episode of diarrhea.
  • Taking calcium and vitamin D pills to prevent calcium insufficiency and bone loss, as many people with UC do not absorb enough of these nutrients, and eating multiple little meals rather than three large ones throughout the day to prevent calcium deficiency and bone loss.
  • Even fast food is preferable to no meal at all for patients with UC, especially those with malnourishment consuming a low fiber diet. Eating healthy and avoiding restrictive diets
  • Lowering intake of fatty, buttery meals and avoiding milk products because many UC patients have lactose intolerance
  • Some people might find it beneficial to keep a dietary journal. A person can identify the items that cause flare-ups and then cut those things out of their diet by keeping track of their food consumption and symptoms.

There is no evidence to back up any particular diet for IBD. However, some studies suggest that specific chemical plant ingredients known as phytochemicals can help reduce IBD symptoms.

Phytochemicals from foods and supplements, including apples, chocolate, green tea, and others, have been shown to lessen the signs of UC in animals, according to a review of research conducted in 2014. The analysis does, however, point to the need for more research to ascertain the advantages of these substances in humans.

Homeopathic treatment for IBD

Given that homeopathic remedies are made of natural ingredients and have no side effects, the homeopathic treatment for inflammatory bowel disease is both very effective and fully safe. Homeopathic treatment for IBD, commonly known as inflammatory bowel disease, can provide comfort to the patient while also eradicating the fundamental cause.


Top Homeopathic Remedies for IBD treatment.

  1. Mercurius Corrosivus: For Ulcerative Colitis Stool Blood and Mucus

The best natural remedy for treating Ulcerative Colitis sufferers is Mercurius Corrosivus. The best treatment for patients whose stool contains bits of mucus membrane and blood is this. The patients who need this medication have a persistent urge to urinate, but only little amounts of hot, foul-smelling excrement are expelled. The need returns after passing the stool, leaving the patient unsatisfied. The transit of feces is accompanied by cutting pains in the rectum.

  1. Colchicum Autumnale: To Treat Ulcerative Colitis with Jelly-Like Stool Mucus

Colchicum autumnale is a natural treatment used to treat Ulcerative Colitis patients who complain of having too much stool mucus that resembles jelly. The smell of preparing food, primarily eggs, and meat, causes the sufferers to feel extremely nauseous and even faint.

  1. For Ulcerative Colitis with Stool of Offensive Odor and Blood, Arsenicum Album

An effective natural remedy for the treatment of ulcerative colitis is Arsenicum album. A stool containing dark-colored blood and an awful odor is the primary sign that should prompt its use. The patient experiences significant weakness, and the problems worsen at night. When alcoholic beverages, watery fruit, or cold drinks aggravate the problem, this medication can provide significant relief. Constant accompanying symptoms include burning discomfort in the rectum and abdomen. Patients who require the medication Arsenicum Album typically find relief from warm beverages.

  1. Phosphorus: For Ulcerative Colitis with Bloody and Greenish Mucus in the Stool

For people with ulcerative colitis, where the stools are extremely foul and contain blood and greenish mucus, phosphorus is a highly helpful treatment. Typically, the condition deteriorates in the morning. The patients exhibit an increased appetite for ice cream, cold beverages, and juicy foods.

  1. Aloe Socotrina: For Loose Stool and Crohn’s Disease

One of the best all-natural treatments for Crohn’s disease is Aloe Socotrina. Patients who need this medication express complaints of loose stools, which worsen right away after eating or drinking anything. The patient suddenly has the urge to urinate and has to run to the bathroom. Aloe Socotrina also provides treatment for lower abdominal cutting pains, which are worse prior to, during, and following bowel movements before getting better. Usually, faintness comes after stools. Additionally, this medication can treat diarrhea that worsens after consuming beer.

  1. Podophyllum: For diarrheal Crohn’s disease

For Crohn’s disease with diarrhea and when the stool is watery, greenish, and extremely foul, Podophyllum is a highly helpful treatment. The stool is usually normal in the evening, but diarrhea typically gets worse in the morning. The patient may also express concerns about rectus prolapse before or after bowel movements. The patient constantly experiences a craving for copious amounts of cold water.

  1. Cinchona Officinalis: For Diarrhea Worse at Night and Crohn’s Disease

A natural remedy called Cinchona Officinalis is very effective in treating Crohn’s disease when diarrhea gets worse at night. Along with diarrhea, the patient experiences considerable flatulence across the entire abdomen. Additionally, those for whom consuming milk or fruits make their diarrhea worse benefit most from this treatment.

  1. Argentum Nitricum: For Crohn’s Disease with Flatulence and Watery Green Stool

The best natural treatment for Crohn’s disease, which is characterized by watery, green stools and a loud, obtrusive flatus discharge, is Argentum nitrate. Overindulging in sweets or experiencing any kind of emotional excitation seems to make diarrhea worse. Patients taking this medication may experience an unusually sweet tooth.

Acupuncture treatment for IBD

It is unclear how effective acupuncture is for IBD treatment and how it works. Researchers looked at how it affected the circulating inflammatory markers, gut flora, and symptoms in IBD patients.

This parallel-group, 48-week, randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial was conducted in a Chinese tertiary outpatient clinic. From April 2015 to November 2019, 66 patients with mild to moderate active CD who were refractory to medication treatment were enrolled and randomly assigned to either an acupuncture group or a sham group (mean age, 40, 62 percent male, all Han Chinese). The treatment group underwent three acupuncture and moxibustion treatments each week for 12 weeks, with a 36-week follow-up.

Crohn's disease acupuncture

Clinical remission rate (the primary outcome) and clinical response rate (the secondary outcome) were significantly higher in the acupuncture group at week 12 than in the sham group, with differences of 424% (95% CI: 201%-640%) and 455% (95% CI: 240%-669%), respectively. Both differences persisted at week 48. The CD activity index and C-reactive protein levels were considerably lower in the acupuncture group at week 12 and remained lower at the 36-week follow-up. The recurrence rate at week 48, histopathological score, and CD endoscopic indicator of severity were all considerably reduced in the acupuncture group. There were more operational taxonomic units in the gut microbiota, and Faecalibacterium Prausnitzii and Roseburia feces had higher relative abundances. In the 12 weeks following acupuncture, plasma levels of diamine oxidase, lipopolysaccharide, and Th1/Th17-related cytokines were reduced.

In patients with active CD, acupuncture was successful in initiating and maintaining remission, which was linked to an increase in the number of intestinal anti-inflammatory bacteria, an improved intestinal barrier, and the control of circulating Th1/Th17-related cytokines.

Holistic treatment for IBD in Philadelphia

If you are suffering from any form of IBD and believe in holistic treatment, contact Philadelphia Holistic Clinic and schedule an appointment for a Holistic evaluation. You will meet with Dr. Tsan and discuss your best treatment options. At the clinic, we have all holistic treatment modalities available under one roof. Our services are provided by licensed and insured medical professionals under the supervision of Victor Tsan, MD.