The Top Supplements and Relief for IBS, Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis, and Other IBDs
Knowledge is power, and knowledge about your IBD can help you lead a more active and enjoyable life. For example, did you know that certain foods may help minimize IBD symptoms? Or that lifestyle changes can help prevent flare-ups? You’ll learn all this and more in this guide to the top supplements for IBS, Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, and other IBDs.
Low FODMAP Diet
The Low FODMAP diet is a great way to manage symptoms of IBS, Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis, and other inflammatory bowel diseases. This diet eliminates high-FODMAP foods, which are known to trigger symptoms. By eliminating these trigger foods, you can help reduce inflammation and ease your symptoms. The Low FODMAP diet can be difficult to follow, but it's worth it to feel better.
So what is the Low FODMAP diet? It limits high-FODMAP foods like wheat, rye, apples, cauliflower, and honey. Foods with lactose such as milk should also be avoided because they may irritate an inflamed intestine in someone with Crohn's disease. The goal is to minimize inflammation in the gut while maintaining nutrient intake. As with any restrictive diet this one can be tough to stick with but well worth it when you start feeling better!
Tumeric is a spice that has been used in Indian cooking for centuries. It has also been used medicinally to help with inflammation. Tumeric supplements can be found in most health food stores. They are usually taken in capsule form, but can also be added to food. Tumeric is best known as the spice in curry. Curry dishes have become more popular in recent years because of their anti-inflammatory properties (thus their use for people with ulcers). Some studies have suggested tumeric may help reduce symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease. However, other research showed no difference between those who took tumeric and those who did not. More studies need to be done before there is enough evidence to say it definitively helps or does not help people with this type of disease. They key here is trying it out for a few months and seeing if it relieves any of your symptoms.
Fish oil supplements are a great way to get omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation. Omega-3s can be found in high levels in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. You can also take an omega-3 supplement that contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Omega-3 supplements come in liquid or capsule form and contain about 100 mg of either EPA or DHA per serving. If you're not eating enough fish on a regular basis, try taking two capsules daily with meals. If you're vegetarian or vegan, speak with your doctor about whether you should supplement with plant-based sources of omega-3s like flaxseed oil or soybean oil.
Collagen is a protein that's found in the connective tissues of our bodies. It's known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it's often used as a supplement to help with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Collagen can be taken in powder form or as capsules, and it can also be found in some foods like bone broth. You can also get collagen by eating fish, meat, poultry, leafy greens, beans, dairy products and fruits. Although there are no studies proving that collagen supplements are effective against IBD, many people use them to reduce inflammation. Some research has shown they might benefit people who have IBS symptoms like constipation or diarrhea because they may improve gut motility and decrease abdominal pain.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can offer health benefits when consumed. They're often called good or helpful bacteria because they help keep the gut microbiota balanced. Some research suggests that probiotics may help reduce inflammation in people with IBD. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects. Probiotics are available in supplement form and are also found in some fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut. Yogurt is a great choice for breakfast since it has protein and calcium too.
If you have stomach pain, bloating, gas, or other GI symptoms after eating a meal then try taking probiotics before eating your next meal. You might need to experiment with different strains of probiotics until you find one that works best for you. Look at labels on products and check expiration dates before buying as well.
Vitamin D3 is an important nutrient that helps the body regulate inflammation. A deficiency in vitamin D3 has been linked to a number of inflammatory diseases, including Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Supplementing with vitamin D3 can help reduce the symptoms of these diseases and improve overall health. For example, some studies have shown that patients who took 1,000 IU/day of vitamin D3 had fewer instances of intestinal bleeding or abdominal pain. It is important to note that you should only take this supplement if you are deficient in it! You can check your levels by visiting your doctor and asking them to order a blood test. If you're lacking, they will most likely prescribe oral supplements or recommend getting more sun exposure.
Digestive enzymes are supplements that help your body break down and absorb food. They can be particularly helpful for people with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) because they can reduce inflammation and help the gut heal. Digestive enzymes are available in pill form or as a powder that you can add to water or juice. You might want to start with a low dose and work up to the recommended dose if needed. Some digestive enzyme products contain pancreatin, which helps digest proteins. Check the ingredients on labels to see what specific type of enzyme is included in the product. Proteolytic enzymes may be more beneficial than pancreatic enzymes for those with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.