Let’s Talk about Gut Health and IBD

It’s not a general topic of conversation and nobody really wants to discuss IBD. It may not be pleasant, but it’s a fact of life.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of those subjects that many are living with but few want to talk about. It’s a close cousin to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and you may already know the symptoms: bloating, gas, cramps, constipation, and sometimes diarrhea. IBD is an umbrella term that encompasses illnesses the affect the gut such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Digestive health is often overlooked until it starts causing chronic distress, but did you know that your gut supports many bodily functions such as the immune system, sleep, your mood, skin clarity and much more?

Let’s unpack the specifics and learn more about IBD and gut health.

What exactly is IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease refers to long-term disorders that cause the digestive tract to become irritated. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the most common and names you may recognize.

Doctors can’t say for sure yet what causes inflammatory bowel disease. They know that your risk goes up if you smoke, take certain anti-inflammatory medications, or live in a highly industrialized area. This suggests that there might be environmental factors that contribute.

However, professionals have also discovered that many people diagnosed with IBD are younger and that risk goes up if someone else in your family has the disease. This points to genetic or biological components.

Symptoms
If you have inflammatory bowel disease, you might experience:

  • Abdominal pain and/or cramping
  • Bloating and frequent gas
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea

All of these issues can cause you to shed pounds without trying. Irritated bowel tissue also can bleed, which can show up as bloody stool. And because the immune system and your metabolism are so closely tied to your gut, it’s also common to experience fever and fatigue with IBD, too.

A better approach to IBD
IBD is nothing to be ignored, and getting an accurate diagnosis and early treatment is essential.

At her functional medicine practice in Sugar Land, Dr. Julia Ward may prescribe a variety of diagnostic procedures such as blood tests, a colonoscopy, or an imaging test like an MRI.

If Dr. Ward confirms IBD, you might benefit from medications, supplements or, in the worst case scenario, surgery. But as a physician who believes in a holistic approach, Dr. Ward may also incorporate options such as IV nutritional therapy and micronutrient testing into IBD care.

Stress relief techniques and dietary changes may be included, as well. These choices can help analyze gut performance and support faster healing, all while taking your individual biology and lifestyle into consideration.

To make your appointment with Dr. Ward and reclaim your intestinal health, contact Balanced Body Image today at (281) 710-3380.