The New Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Conference was held in San Diego September 10th, 2016. It included an extremely interesting and informative patient / family counseling breakout session. During the concluding presentation one person in audience asked the opinion of the panel of 5 physicians why it is that, generally speaking, Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD is on the rise.
Very interesting question! Very interesting answers as well! Each physician contributed their opinion. They all felt that there were certain aspects of our lifestyles that have encouraged this to happen.
Contributing Factors Relating to the Increase of Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD
One of the contributing factors that they mentioned was hygiene. They said that that children are not really exposed to the amount of bacteria that they would normally have been many, many years ago. This does not give them the protection they would automatically receive when exposed to bacteria in their environment on a regular basis.
Secondly they spoke about diet. They said that children and adults alike are eating the kind of foods that are not supporting a healthy digestive system. They mentioned the amount of fast food everyone eats, also fried food, chemicals and preservatives.
Then they addressed the element of stress that we all deal with on a day-to-day basis as a contributing factor. Their recommendation is to be doing some type of stress management on a regular basis. They recommended meditation, relaxation or something to help manage the repercussions of consistent stress.
Then they commented that we don’t get enough exercise. We spend a lot of time sitting in front of the TV and being couch potatoes.
New Lab Tests for IBD
There was a general consensus of opinion of looking towards integrative and complementary medicine. Dr. David Leopold MD from Scripps integrative Center spoke about how there were many labs that could be ordered to find out whether in fact any of the patients actually do have IBD. If they were sure they did, that certain nutrients as a result of their condition needed to be monitors as they could be depleted. He mentioned the importance of testing both carnitine and manganese.
One of the display booths introduced to a laboratory called Prometheus. This lab offers Anser tests that provide critical data to help optimize people with IBD’s clinical responses. The results give answers to many relevant questions about the use of biologics … like … Is the patient taking adequate therapeutic drug levels? Has the patient developed antidrug antibodies? Does the patient have therapeutic drug levels, but inflammation is no TNF-driven? Does the patient have clinical symptoms that don’t correlate with active IBD? This test can be ordered by any physician. This way the patient can at least know whether they can tolerate biologics or not.
VSL#3 probiotics had a booth as well. Their research shows very good outcomes. Clinical research shows that VSL#3 is very effective in maintaining remission for patients with ulcerative colitis. The handouts reinforced the importance for these patients to remember that it’s necessary to continue using therapeutic doses of VSL#3 to maintain the relief that they get by using this very effective non-drug approach to relieving their symptoms.
Another important conversation I had was the representative from MotherToBaby. This is actually a nonprofit organization that anyone can reach very easily at 1-866-626-6827 if the have any concerns about having IBD and wanting to get pregnant. They can answer questions about using drugs that are recommended for IBD when they are pregnant, looking at the effects on fertility, concern about miscarriage, while they taking these drugs or any other questions they may have. They have great literature and very, very, very helpful staff. I highly recommend that anybody who is pregnant or wanting to get pregnant contact them – they are nationwide.