Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease fall under the broad umbrella term known as “Inflammatory Bowel Disease” which is characterized by persistent inflammation of the intestines triggered by a defective immune system.
The symptoms include
While there are some fundamental differences between Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, they are both caused by a combination of genetic and environmental triggers. The genetic component is only a small part (20-30%); it is the environmental triggers mainly which lead to the development of these diseases in most patients.
While conventional medicine focuses on treating these diseases with the help of powerful and harmful drugs to suppress the immune system or through major surgeries, we believe in treating the root causes, namely the environmental triggers.
Our comprehensive 5-part treatment plan includes:
Treating the “Leaky Gut”:
“Leaky Gut Syndrome” or “Impaired Gut Barrier” is a condition in which the cells lining the intestinal walls become loose so as to allow harmful bacteria and toxins into the blood stream.
We all know that our intestines are crucial for proper digestion of food and absorption of nutrients but they also protect us from harmful pathogens and toxins by creating a barrier which prevents their entry into the blood.
A healthy gut has a thick mucus layer protecting the cells lining the intestines and strong tight junctions to hold the cells together. These tight junctions make sure that only water and nutrients are absorbed while blocking the passage of harmful toxins. When the mucus layer is destroyed and the tight junctions become loose, the gut becomes more permeable allowing bacteria and toxins to enter the blood stream. Naturally, when pathogens are detected, the immune system gets activated and that’s where the damage begins. While trying to neutralise these toxins and pathogens, the immune cells create a lot of collateral damage and end up destroying the intestinal cells in the process.
Therefore, unless the “Leaky Gut” is fixed, the immune system will keep attacking the intestines leading to chronic inflammation.
Correcting the Diet:
“What we sow is what we reap”. Similarly, the kind of foods we consume on a daily basis plays a major influence on our intestinal and overall health. A large majority of the patients suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are sensitive to the gluten present in grains, dairy products, the lectins present in certain plants and vegetables, and they may have hidden food allergies which cause none of the usual symptoms of allergy like itching, rash, runny nose, etc.
Gluten, lectins, food sensitivities can trigger inflammation and damage the intestinal wall. When the intestinal wall is damaged, it can lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Hence, we prescribe a comprehensive Hypoallergenic Elimination Diet with alternative food choices during the treatment period to enable the gut to heal. Patients need to adhere to the diet only until the damage is healed and the intestinal barrier is re-built.
Re-building the gut microbiome:
Our intestines harbour trillions of bacteria, some beneficial and some harmful. When the balance between the two is disrupted, inflammation can set in. The chemicals and pesticides present in the foods we consume, the drugs we take (anti-biotics, antacids), the toxins (gluten, lectins, fructans) present in foods can all negatively influence our gut microbiome.
Gut Dysbiosis is a condition in which the gut microbiome is unbalanced and favours the growth of harmful bacteria. Gut Dysbiosis is yet another underlying root cause of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
We have formulated a three-hit strategy to correct the gut microbiome:-
Removing Chronic Infections:
Chronic infections of the gut, be it chronic viral infections (CMV, EBV infections, etc) or chronic fungal infections (yeast overgrowth) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of IBD. These infections can lead to a state of chronic mild inflammation in the gut which can then trigger the development of IBD.
With the help of our oral anti-viral interferons and anti-fungal cytokines, these infections can be cleared out and the chronic inflammation can be stopped.
Correcting nutrient deficiencies:
In order for the gut barrier to remain intact, several nutrients are required so that the mucus layer, the intestinal cells and the tight junctions are all healthy and functioning properly.
Seventy percent of the immune system cells are located in the intestines and the proper nutrients are also required for their function so that they don’t start attacking our normal healthy cells.
During the initial evaluation of our patients, we check for these nutrient deficiencies and correct them with natural supplements.
The above 5 points are a generalisation and each patient may have a different combination of the above root causes which lead to the development of their disease. After a thorough history-taking and examination followed by Comprehensive Blood Investigations, we formulate a protocol with the right diet, therapies and supplements for that particular patient.