Will West meet East in the Gut?

As a holistic nutritionist with a specialization and personal diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), I have spent the last decade navigating the different rolls of eastern and western medicines in the maintenance and treatment of IBD.

Eastern Medicine; such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy or Holistic Nutrition is rarely acknowledged or encouraged by western medicine and medical doctors.

After years of trying not to anger my gastroenterologist with the fact that my bowels are extremely sensitive to not only the foods I eat, but also how the foods are cooked; an email popped into my inbox last summer with the headline: What can the Microbiome teach us about IBD?

The Crohn’s and Colitis Association of Canada reported there is now evidence to support that the gut microbiome and the foods we eat can show the risk and potential treatment of Irritable Bowel Disease.

The Genetic, Environmental and Microbial (GEM) Project has found that the microbiome can predict and prevent IBD while helping develop new treatments for this incurable disease. More in-depth analysis can be found in the article in the Microbiome Journal. 

Every holistic nutritionist and naturopath has been screaming this from the rooftops for years.

Will nutrition replace all pharmaceuticals for the treatment of IBD? Not likely.

Can it be used in conjunction with western medicine to improve the treatment of IBD and quality of life for those with IBD? Absolutely yes.

In my personal experience, taking care of my microbiome has kept me drug free and in remission from this incurable and very inconvenient disease.

It is my hope that this is simply the first step of many towards bridging the gap between the East and West in the treatment and maintenance of IBD.