Treatment plan for Crohn's disease
are a number of complementary approaches used for treating IBD. These
are either therapies not generally recognized by the medical community
as standard treatments, or conventional medical approaches which are
used to enhance or complement the standard treatments. They may also be
called alternative medicines.
primrose oil (EPO):
This contains an omega-6 essential fatty acid (which is believed to
be its active ingredient) called gamma-linolenic acid. EPO has been
studied in a wide variety of disorders, however, high-quality
evidence for its use in most conditions is still lacking. EPO may be
beneficial for relieving ulcerative colitis symptoms. However there
is not enough evidence to support its use for this.
These are found in the plant Plantaginis ovata, a native
plant of India and Pakistan. A study has compared the use of
psyllium seeds to the prescription drug mesalamine in people with
UC. It showed that psyllium seeds may be as effective as the
medication in decreasing recurrences of the disease. The two can
also be used in combination. On the whole however, there is limited
and equivocal evidence regarding the use of psyllium in patients
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):
TCM practitioners typically use herbs and acupuncture. Acupuncture
is the stimulation of specific points on the body by a variety of
techniques, including the insertion of thin metal needles though the
skin. It is intended to remove blockages in qi (the body's "energy
flow") and restore and maintain health.
Herbs or botanicals
usually contain dozens of bioactive compounds. Shu Gan Wan, Mu Xiang
Shun Qi Wan, Xiao Yao Wan are some Chinese herbal formulas that may
be used to help reduce the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. However,
there is no scientific evidence for these compounds.
Be sure to tell your healthcare professional
about any complementary treatments you are using, as they may
interfere with drugs described by your physician. If you are using
complementary treatments do not stop your IBD medication as herbal
remedies are not a substitute.
Some research suggests that traditional acupuncture can be a safe
and effective complement to standard care for Crohn's disease, with
acupuncture treatment improving the disease and increasing quality
of life and general well being.
There has been a lot of interest in the use of fish oils for the
treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. The particular fat found in
fish oil is eicosapantaenoic acid (EPA ) which plays an important
role in the production of prostaglandins, which have an effect on
inflammation in the body.
This is an enzyme that comes from pineapple stems. Researchers have
found that it might be able to reduce inflammation in IBD, although
this enzyme has not yet been tested on patients.
Also known as the "Medicinal Aloe", it is a species of succulent
plant that probably originated in Northern Africa, Madagascar and
the Arabian Peninsula. It can be used for joint pain. However, there
is not enough scientific evidence to support aloe vera for any other
This is a natural compound found in healthy
Preliminary research reports improvements with N-acetyl glucosamine
(a monosaccharide derivative of glucose) as an added therapy in
inflammatory bowel disease. Further scientific evidence is necessary
before a formal recommendation can be made.
more detailed information on some of these topics, please go to
Achieving more with IBD.