Integrated therapies

A large proportion of people who have inflammatory bowel diseaseA group of inflammatory conditions of the intestine. The two major forms are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. turn to integrated therapies, although many feel that comprehensive information about these remedies is lacking.

Probiotics are dietary supplements that contain live bacteriaA group of organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye, which are usually made up of just a single cell. or yeast that are believed to be beneficial for the body. The probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii appears to reduce clinical relapses in Crohn's disease. Adverse effects are mild and may include gastrointestinal effects such as bloating and a change in bowel habit.

Omega-3 fatty acids are present in fish oil and are believed to have an anti-inflammatoryAny drug that suppresses inflammation action. Some studies have suggested that these compounds may reduce disease activity in inflammatory bowel diseaseA group of inflammatory conditions of the intestine. The two major forms are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis., when used in addition to standard medical treatment. One review of omega-3 fatty acids in IBDAn abbreviation for inflammatory bowel disease, a group of inflammatory conditions of the intestine. The two major forms are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. found that there was insufficient evidence to show whether or not they improved symptoms. However, it did report that fewer patients who were taking omega-3 fatty acids needed to have corticosteroidsA group of hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys., and of those who did need corticosteroid therapy, the doses were lower.

Herbal remedies include Frankincense, also known as Boswellia serrata. The main active ingredients of B serrata have been shown to have anti-inflammatoryAny drug that suppresses inflammation effects, and it has a history of traditional use in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. One review concluded that the available evidence was encouraging, and noted that no significant adverse events had been reported.

Some studies have suggested that acupunctureA complementary therapy in which fine sterile needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. may have value in Crohn's disease. However, insufficient evidence is available at the moment to draw conclusions about how effective it is for this condition.