The answer is we don’t know yet but there may be a mechanism to explain how it theoretically could be anti-inflammatory and possibly helpful for autoimmune disease. Today I spoke with Dr. Paul O’Connor who recently published some very interesting work on anti-inflammatory effects of baking soda -- something that you probably have in your fridge right now. However, as a disclaimer, this is not an endorsement or recommendation to use baking soda for IBD as it has not been FDA approved and has not been studied in the form of a randomized controlled trial (which admitted would be a lot easier to do than some of the other treatments discussed in other episode so I am optimistic that it will eventually be done).
Fasting is becoming more and more popular nowadays and is being promoted for everything from obesity, diabetes, cancer and now diseases of immune dysregulation. There are many forms including prolonged water fasts, fasting mimicking diets, intermittent fasting and time restricted eating. There is no strong research I know of supporting the use of fasting as a treatment modality for IBD and can in fact be dangerous in someone who is malnourished and underweight. By chance I discovered a thread on a forum where a man named Vit Smilauer from the Czech Republic claimed to have cured his Crohn’s disease by fasting for 38 days. Yes you heard that right, 38 days! I contacted him and he kindly shared his experience which is truly remarkable and a compelling story. As a disclaimer, this is not an endorsement or recommendation to try fasting for inflammatory bowel disease as I think this can be very dangerous depending on your personal circumstances and health. This also has not been rigorously tested in a clinical trial to confirm safety and efficacy so at this point this is simply an anecdotal success story. I would not recommend anyone try this but hopefully this can open the scientific community’s eyes so that the appropriate research can be done.
His protocol can be found here:
Today we are talking about hyperbaric oxygen therapy for inflammatory bowel disease. This is a hot topic with some studies suggesting efficacy in both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Recently there has been interest in using it for hospitalized patients with severe ulcerative colitis. We speak with Dr. Scott Sherr who is a physician with training in internal medicine and also practices health optimization medicine. He has a subspecialization in utilizing hyperbaric oxygen for various conditions and today shares his insights and experience using it off-label for inflammatory bowel disease.
As a disclaimer - this is not an endorsement of this therapy for inflammatory bowel disease since it is still being studied and efficacy has not been established. It is not FDA approved to treat IBD at this time. You must discuss all treatment decisions with your physicians.
Garin Aglietti is worm farmer and gut ecology expert who offers worm therapy and fecal transplants for patients with autoimmune diseases including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. These treatments are not currently offered as standard of care options for the vast majority of IBD patients in the US with exception of some clinical trials. Garin shares his experience utilizing his protocols which include using fecal transplants from a rural tribe in Mexico!
Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of worm therapy or fecal transplant for treatment of IBD. You must discuss any treatment you decide to try with your gastroenterologist.
We venture into the realm of complementary and alternative medicine(AKA CAM) for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. These include various diets, supplements, and other lifestyle interventions that are not part of the standard of care.
Today we speak to Reid Kimball who has made a documentary called Wanted: Crohn’s End which is one of the most comprehensive investigations into complementary and alternative treatments for IBD that I have seen.
His documentary can be found at http://crohnsend.com/
As a disclaimer - this is a frank conversation about what he has learned and his personal experience. This is by no means a recommendation of any of these therapies for you. Any CAM treatment you decide to try should be discussed with your treating gastroenterologist first.
We catch up with a patient who recently had surgery for severe ulcerative colitis. We talk about his experience and his decision regarding if he should get a J pouch. We also address prior criticisms about how we discussed the Specific Carbohydrate Diet on the prior podcast.
A conversation with a friend with ulcerative colitis (possibly Crohn's colitis) who is now facing surgery. He tried his best to avoid it including implementing some very unconventional things - diet, fecal transplant, a medication called Xeljanz (prior to FDA approval) and even hyperbaric oxygen therapy. He shares his insights and we will follow-up with him post surgery.