Gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, urgency, and painful cramping—these are just some of the many difficult symptoms that come along with inflammatory bowel disease, also known as IBD.
This disorder is an umbrella term for a variety of symptoms and diagnoses, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and it impacts millions of Americans each day.
Though medications and surgeries are often used in the treatment of IBD, some doctors are beginning to branch out and embrace integrative options to provide their patients with more comprehensive care. My guest on this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, Dr. Miguel Regueiro, is one of them. With a background in traditional gastroenterology, Dr. Regueiro has long been familiar with the conventional approaches to treating IBD. But as science has increasingly shown that the immune system and microbiome are strongly connected to the gut, he has used emerging research and a functional approach to help his patients heal.
Throughout our conversation, Dr. Regueiro explains his progression into integrative treatments for IBD and the impacts he’s seen on his patients. Though diet was ignored for years as a way to reduce the symptoms of IBD, Dr.Regueiro and I have seen astounding benefits for patients when dietary changes are part of treatment. We share our success stories and also discuss the importance of a collaborative focus, using multiple modalities at once to achieve the best results. Considering that a high-fiber Mediterranean diet has been found to positively change the microbiome in as little as two weeks, it’s easy to see how important diet is to gut health.
In addition to the microbiome, the topic of fecal transplants has been gaining traction over recent years for treating a variety of bowel conditions. Dr. Regueiro and I talk about the situations in which these can be most helpful, how they might impact IBD, and why bacteria are the future of research in the area of gut health.
Your gut affects every part of your body, especially the brain, which is why the symptoms of gut issues like IBD can involve mood disorders like depression, brain fog, and anxiety. Dr. Regueiro addresses these symptoms from multiple angles, working to heal the gut and simultaneously working to understand the psychosocial stressors of a patient’s life.
I know you’ll love this episode as much as I did, be sure to tune in.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD