Problems Taking Your Meds?
Forgetting to take your medications or deliberately avoiding them because of side effects can increase your risk of having a flare. Talk to your gastroenterologist and IBD nurse about simplifying your dosing schedule or ask if there are changes to your treatment that can reduce unwanted side effects.
How “Pro” are Probiotics in IBD?
Recent revelations regarding the links between gut bacteria and IBD have opened up an appealing target to treat the condition. Probiotics contain live bacteria of a specific bacterial strain or family, which are assumed to aid gut health. The idea behind taking probiotics is to restore a “healthy microbial composition in the gut and thereby calm disease activity. Unfortunately, this appealing approach has not been consistently verified in high-quality studies, which is probably related to the fact that there is still no clear understanding of what makes up a healthy gut microbiome. But there is hope! Some studies have shown that probiotics might help people with ulcerative colitis to maintain remission and a mix of several probiotics has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of pouchitis. Ask your gastroenterologist and IBD nurse if they think probiotics might help you.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin, are effective in relieving pain but have occasionally been known to precipitate and IBD flare probably because they increase permeability (leakiness) in the gastrointestinal tract. Talk to your gastroenterologist and IBD nurse about alternatives for pain relief.
When Supplements are Needed
When you have IBD, a well-balanced diet is important to ensure your body has all it needs to grow and stay healthy. Most vitamins and minerals are absorbed in the upper part of the small intestine, so nutritional supplements can be needed if you are actively growing or recovering from being sick. In addition, it is important to take calcium supplements if you have to cut down on milk products. For some people, folic acid, iron or vitamin (A, B, D and K) supplements might be needed to prevent certain deficiencies.
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