Many patients often overlook the benefits that natural remedies can provide. There are several items that can be purchased from natural food stores that aid in reducing the ailments caused by inflammatory bowel diseases. In the list below we have identified and demystified three alternative medicines that have been tested to treat IBD. Read on to find out whether or not these natural IBD treatments are a good fit for you. Probiotics: Ulcerative colitis consists of an imbalance of bacteria in the digestive system; scientists believe that the use of probiotics can help balance out the amount of bacteria present in the intestines. Probiotics act as “good” bacteria that can potentially fight the disease, ultimately maintaining stability and restoring intestinal balance. Probiotics are found in foods, especially yogurt and milk, and come in several forms including powders, capsules, and tablets.
Fish Oil: Filled with high doses of omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that can benefit patients suffering from Crohn's disease. While fish oil capsules are an option, you can also try incorporating cold-water fish, such as salmon or herring, into your diet 2-3 times per week. Not a fish lover? Fish oil can also be found in some nuts and green vegetables. Unfortunately, fish oil studies have been unsuccessful in proving beneficial results for people with ulcerative colitis.
Aloe Vera: Known for having anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera juice has been proven to reduce symptoms in some patients with mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis. On the other hand, scientists are struggling to support this claim with a sufficient amount of strong evidence to say aloe vera is purely beneficial. The laxative effect of aloe vera juice is something patients should be aware of when ingesting; aloe vera also possesses some “immune booster” qualities that may cause painful abdominal cramps or disrupt an already overactive immune system.
Remember, natural treatments can have side effects too, so it is important that you discuss these alternatives with your doctor before testing them out.