Get Your Glow Back – Episode 60 – With Aliza Marogy

What is an IBD? 

An umbrella term for inflammatory bowel diseases

The main ones are Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease, autoimmune diseases that are life long but relaxing and remitting

Mostly in the GI tract but you can get extraintestinal symptoms such as inflammation of joint or eyes.

Causes of IBD:

Exact etiology is unknown but there are several factors: 

Genetic factors: plays a part, 20% of IBD patients have a close relative with an IBD. Interestingly there is an increased occurrence in specific jewish populations and a decreased risk in asian populations.

Environmental factors: IBD is on the rise in developed countries and is more prevalent in urban areas

Diet and Lifestyle: Smoking leads to an increased risk of crohn’s disease but also suppresses the symptoms of ulcerative colitis in some patients 

Immune System: an inappropriate immune response to gut microbes is a known factor

Stress: stress is a trigger for the development and relapses of the disease

Symptoms

There are 7 key symptoms with a lot of crossover with other conditions which can lead to late diagnosis/misdiagnosis

Frequent diarrhea – 5-20 times a day

Fatigue – partly related to diarrhea but also if the gut wall is compromised micronutrient deficiency can occur 

Abdominal pain and bloating 

Blood and mucus in stools are key symptoms, indicative of wounding to the gut wall

Eczema can be a sign

Mental health impact: can be quite unsupported

More rarely: 

Where bowl is affected chronic constipation may be a symptom

Environmental triggers

One hypothesis is the hygiene hypothesis

Diet

Lack of sleep 

Microbial diversity and the health of the gut, dysbiosis in the development of the disease

Diet and lifestyle

Eating a wide variety of plant foods and high fibre foods can have a positive effect on the gut

In IBD fibre can exacerbate symptoms in a flare up however the short chain fatty acids are an important part of maintaining a healthy gut lining. Avoid fibre when you’re in a flare up but consume it in remission

For patients in a flare up it’s necessary to increase your fluids and replenishing electrolyte loss

Consuming animal protein can cause a change in the microbiome

Dietary interventions need to be tailored to the client, there are specific triggers for specific patients but there isn’t a one size fits all diet. 

An elimination diet is the clearest way to find out what your triggers are

Foods such as ginger and mint can be soothing for stomach pain and nausea

Emulsifier carrageenan has been linked to the development of IBD

What are some of the treatments for IBDs? 

Medical management is really important to decrease inflammation in the gut and suppress the immune system

Usually patients are started off on anti-inflammatory drugs such as 5ASAs

If those don’t work they are often layered with immunosuppressants such as corticosteroids but usually not for more than a few weeks at a time

There are a new type of drug called biologics however they do come with side effects so usually are more of a later intervention

Last resort is surgery where the bowel or part of the bowel  is removed and recovery occurs either by stitching up the bowel or using a colostomy bag, more commonly in crohns. 

What were the things that helped you manage the physical and emotional side of IBD’s:

Communicate your needs to those around you to get support, especially at work/school

Teleworking is a good option during flare ups

If fatigue is an issue for you it’s important to ask for flexibility with hours

IBD also effects parents who are caring for their children who may have IBD

Managing friends and families expectations can also be difficult, one of the best things you can do if your friend is suffering with IBD and cancels is to offer to go to them.

Tips for dealing with flare ups: 

Be prepared: carry around a spare pair of trousers, underwear, wipes

Incontinence pants – can be a good temporary measure to prepare for accidents

Stress management tools can be great for long term management 

What advice would you give to someone who feels that they are struggling to receive the help they need from their doctor

You can always ask for referral to a different doctor

There are also tons of associations all over the world for support the main one is crohns and colitis UK which have loads of information online as well as phone lines for advice.

If someone is interested in learning more about nutrition to heal an IBD or other health concern, where is a good place to start? 

Some supplements can help some patients, check out Aliza’s supplements brand Inessa

Vitamin D

Zinc

Curcumin

Probiotics

Iron status due to blood loss, iron supplements can cause GI problems so ensure you are taking the right kind for you

Where to Find Aliza:

Website

Instagram

Inessa Instagram

Inessa Website

Follow me on Instagram @madeleine_shaw_

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