Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) includes Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

The two conditions differ in their presentation and treatment but still share a lot of similarities.

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Common Crohn's Disease Symptoms
  • Diarrhea

  • Urgency associated with bowel movements

  • The sensation of incomplete evacuation

  • Constipation

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Abdominal pain

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Weight loss

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fever

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of your menstrual cycle

You may have all of these symptoms or only a few.

Common Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms

  • Diarrhea

  • Urgency associated with bowel movements

  • The sensation of incomplete evacuation

  • Blood in stool

  • Mucus in stool

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Abdominal pain

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Weight loss

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fever

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of your menstrual cycle

You may have all of these symptoms or only a few.

Common causes of IBD

Both conditions are now recognized as autoimmune conditions. They both also have strong associations with dysbiosis, or an imbalance of the “good” and “bad” organisms in the gut.

Things that perturb or over-work the immune system can cause autoimmunity or dysbiosis. Examples include:

  • Infections
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bugs- bacteria, yeast, parasites)
  • Antibiotic use

Diet:

  • Nutritional (vitamin, mineral) deficiencies
  • Inflammatory potential of food

Usually, people have more than one thing from this list, as some of them cause the other (dysbiosis causing intestinal inflammation and leaky gut, for example).

Diet and IBD

Yes! Eating in a way that decreases gut inflammation, nurtures your immune system and microbiome, and provides you with proper nutrients to heal is critically important for inducing remission in IBD. Herbs, supplements, vitamins, and probiotics are also immensely helpful.

Curing and Helping IBD

Like any autoimmune disease, Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis can be put into remission but (to my knowledge) cannot be cured. However, there is unspeakable value (and symptomatic change) to be had from slowing down the autoimmune process, preventing secondary autoimmune diseases (like Ankylosing spondylitis), and decreasing inflammation.

IBD frequently responds very well to dietary changes, herbal medicine, supplements, vitamins, and life coaching. I feel very lucky to be able to help folks with IBD every day at my office in Chapel Hill.

“Working with Dr. DiNezza has been incredible. She is easy to talk to, listened deeply to my questions and problems, and prescribed supplements that have made my daily life a whole lot better. Not only that: she takes the time to explain test results and treatments, encourages me to take ownership of my own health, and assists in navigating the complex world of health insurance. Her thoroughness and thoughtfulness are exemplary, and I feel so lucky to have found her. 10/10, would recommend!” 

Mary B

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