Complementary medicine may be a good bet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
A chronic inflammatory condition of the bowel is generally painful and frightening. People who suffer from such conditions would like to think it has occurred from food poisoning or an infection and that it will quickly pass away. However, when the condition is not due to these factors concerns set in due to chronic discomfort and pain leading to a great deal of disability.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) as being a term which describes conditions with chronic or recurring immune response and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two most common inflammatory bowel diseases.
IBD has been ranked as being among the five most prevalent gastrointestinal disease burdens in the United States, with an overall health care cost of greater than $1.7 billion. There is no medical cure for this chronic condition which commonly requires a lifetime of care. There are greater than 700,000 physician visits, 100,000 hospitalizations, and disability in 119,000 patients every year from this condition. Greater than 75 percent of patients with Crohn’s disease and 25 percent of those with ulcerative colitis will eventually require surgery.
Many people living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in order to supplement conventional interventions to assist in easing their symptoms, writes The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. CAM is an umbrella term which is used to encompass many treatment options. This is defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) as a group of "diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered part of conventional medicine."
It is generally advised that complementary therapies be used together with conventional treatment. The term “alternative” generally means replacing the treatment you receive from your doctor with one or more interventions which fall outside of mainstream medicine. It is recommended by The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (CCFA) that anyone considering the use of CAM interventions should discuss them with their doctor, and use CAM as a complement to prescribed medications instead of as an alternative to other treatments recommended by physicians. CAM therapies may help to control symptoms and ease pain, while enhancing feelings of well-being and quality of life. CAM and may also improve the immune system response.