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Alternative therapies for IBD

The 5 R framework to manage IBD, Diet therapies, LDN, FMT, L glutamine, medical marijuana, Helminths intestinal worms, and more.

Doctor Samir Kakodkar (MD), a specialist in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis , interviews Reid Kimball, who is a Crohn’s patient and a documentary film producer, in this new podcast.

Doctor Kakodkar believes in using a multi-faceted approach to managing disease. His goal is to match the right treatment to the right patient and eliminate inflammation to secure the optimal outcome. He believes in combining multiple lifestyle changes and natural remedies as well as utilizing conventional options, medications and, if needed, surgery, all to ensure long-term quality of life for each individual patient.

His new podcast covers healing modalities and combinations of conventional and unconventional therapies:

The 5-R framework to manage IBD

  1. Remove – stop eating grains/sugar/toxin (elimination diets)
  2. Replace – swap the harmful foods with nutrient-dense foods, tailored to personal sensitivities.
  3. Reintroduce – add beneficial microbes to the gut (probiotic and prebiotic foods, FMT, etc)
  4. Repair- quality sleep is essential for the repair of gut lining and some supplements may help as well.
  5. Reconnect- spiritual components are part of the healing process

Diet therapies evolve over time - SCD and beyond. Both interviewer and interviewee used SCD to manage Crohn’s disease, with good success. Over time, like many experienced SCD users, they shifted their diet gradually to combine GAPS/Paleo style with added components from new diets like raw vegetarian/ nutritarian etc…

Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) off-label use of LDN as a topical cream or as capsules. Both Dr. Kakodkar and Reid Kimball tried LDN. One of them continues to use LDN but the other has stopped using it. They discuss the need for gradual approach when experimenting with new therapies.

Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) is FDA approved only for use in healing Clostridium difficile Infections (CDI) but some IBD patients are trying it to manage IBD symptoms despite some significant risks, and the results are mixed and not sustainable long-term.

Cannabis oil and medical marijuana seem to provide a potent symptom relief for some, but not all patients. It is unclear if they only help symptoms or whether they reduce inflammation and help long term healing. They can have side effects like shakiness and vivid dreams, and are not legal in some states.

Colloidal silver is a mineral that is considered by some as an antimicrobial, but is not FDA approved to treat any condition. Reid Kimball did use it and he feels like it may have been helpful for him, but he does not have clear proof of efficacy.

L glutamine supplement may help gut healing, but it may also affect brain health and memory. Both the interviewer and interviewee tried it, one finding it more helpful than the other. Other supplements were tried and are also discussed briefly.

Helminths intestinal worms are not FDA approved, can have mixed results, and make for a very involved procedure. Dr. Kakodkar did try this treatment on himself once, but it was not successful and he later used medication to get rid of the worms, removing them from his system.

Bottom line: there is no one treatment that can help everyone. IBD is not one condition, it is a complex set of diseases with many subtypes, and it is very hard to match the right treatment for each patient.

Listen to this podcast and subscribe to get notified about future podcasts.

Medical Publications by Dr Samir Kakodkar

Diet as a Therapeutic Option for Adult Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Case Series



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