What’s behind the rising rates of inflammatory bowel disease among older adults?

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ibd-rates-rise-among-older-adults(NaturalHealth365)  Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a painful condition.  A new study done by Dr. Adam Faye of the New York University Langone School of Medicine found that people over 60 with a history of antibiotic use may be at increased risk of developing the condition.

During the recently held Digestive Disease Week conference in San Diego, Dr. Faye shared these findings, shining a light on the concerning trend.

Millions of Americans suffer from this painful disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3 million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disease.  The painful condition characterized by an inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract (GI) is also an umbrella term for other GI diseases, like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.  In Dr. Faye’s findings, he was adamant about the fact that “there is clearly something in the environment that is driving this new onset of older adult IBD.”

His findings indicated that antibiotics were the culprit and common denominator in all cases.  Here is some of what Dr. Faye found:

  • Antibiotics use was associated with a 64% increase in the risk of developing IBD among older adults
  • Five or more antibiotic prescriptions received over the previous 5 years increased the risk of IBD by 236%
  • Of all the antibiotic classes, fluoroquinolones had the strongest association with increased IBD risk
  • Antibiotics have also been linked to a higher risk of bowel cancer, heart attack, and stroke

Other ways that antibiotics can harm the body

Of course, antibiotics can help treat and prevent certain types of bacterial infections.  However, antibiotic overuse can lead to other problems in the body, such as the development of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is particularly troubling because it can lead to the emergence of “superbugs.”  That’s why it’s so important to weigh the risks and benefits with your doctor to make sure that taking a certain antibiotic is absolutely necessary.  Many mild bacterial infections clear up on their own and don’t need antibiotics each time.

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Natural remedies to help relieve digestive discomfort

Some of the symptoms of IBD include constipation alternating with diarrhea, stomach pain, fever, rectal bleeding, fatigue, and weight loss.  These symptoms can interfere with a person’s daily life.  This is why looking at some natural remedies to relieve the discomfort of IBD is important.

One of the easiest ways to boost the good bacteria in the digestive tract is by increasing the intake of probiotic-rich foods in your diet.  You can also take probiotics in a supplement form.  Try adding ginger, turmeric, and omega-3 fats to your diet.  All three of these have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Making dietary changes may also help alleviate some of the symptoms.  For example, eat an abundance of organic fruits and vegetables, and drink enough clean water each day.  Having smaller, healthy meals throughout the day can also go a long way.

Before making any dietary changes or adding new supplements to your routine, consult with a knowledgeable integrative healthcare provider.

Sources for this article include:

CDC.gov
NHS.uk
ClevelandClinic.org 
CrohnsAndColitis.com 
MedicalNewsToday.com


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