Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease are two chronic conditions that categorize inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Both conditions involve inflammation that affects the lining of the intestines. To read more about these 2 conditions, visit our Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn’s page. This post will focus on a naturopathic medicine approach as it relates to IBD. In the conventional medicine world, these 2 conditions are viewed as “incurable, life-long diseases”, where the individual will remain on pharmaceuticals for the rest of their life. I actually agree with that for the most part, IF a person only pursues conventional treatment (drugs).
However, as a naturopathic doctor practicing in Minnetonka, MN who also has a history of Ulcerative Colitis, I’m here to tell you there is another way! For the record, I am not “anti-conventional medicine” by any stretch of the imagination. It has a place and plays a significant role in medicine. However, naturopathic medicine approaches disease and health through a different lens, a different philosophical approach. An approach that involves looking at an individual from a holistic perspective, regardless of the condition or diagnosis someone has been labeled with.
Naturopathic doctors order and utilize conventional testing as it relates to Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn’s Disease, such as colonoscopy, imaging (X-ray, CT, MRI, etc.), and bloodwork. In addition, we utilize other specialized diagnostic laboratory tests to help us identify underlying imbalances in order to treat the cause(s) and restore health. The primary goal in the treatment of Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn’s Disease is to reduce inflammation and in turn heal the lining of the intestines. Many factors can cause inflammation, such as eating foods you are sensitive (intolerant) to. One way to identify food sensitivities is an elimination diet where you avoid a large variety of foods for a period of time and then re-introduce them one at a time and observe any symptoms and how you feel, etc. Another effective method is to have special bloodwork drawn in order to test for IgG immune mediated reactions to different foods. We have found IgG food sensitivity very valuable in the treatment of IBD. We can test 184 foods to see how your immune system tolerates the foods you are eating. Another way to assess inflammation in the gut is a Comprehensive Stool Analysis & Parasitology x 3 testing. This specialized type of stool culture tests dozens of different markers in the digestive system such as beneficial flora levels (probiotics), inflammatory markers, yeast and bacterial overgrowth, parasites, and how well you digest carbohydrates, fats, and proteins you are consuming in your diet.
I often explain to my patients the body has an innate ability to heal itself. But, this equilibrium can get so imbalanced it needs a “push” in the right direction. I essentially serve as a mere “catalyst” to give the body a push in the right direction so it can then return to balance and heal, on its own. Some of these “imbalances” can include food sensitivities/intolerances, dysbiosis (imbalance in the microflora of the gut), nutrient/mineral/amino acid deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, damage to the intestinal lining, and more. Another key factor is stress and anxiety. Stress plays such an integral role in our overall health but particularly in digestive disorders, such as IBD. Without addressing triggers that lead to stress and anxiety, this can result in a significant “obstacle to heal”. Our adrenal glands, which sit atop our kidneys, play a significant role in our stress response. To learn more, read our recent blog post on Adrenal Fatigue.
At Champion Naturopathic Health, we take a multifactorial approach to restore the imbalances mentioned above. We utilize clinical nutrition/dietary strategies, homeopathy, nutrients/minerals/amino acids, probiotics, botanicals (herbs), and lifestyle/stress management strategies. With respect to Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, our goal is to reduce inflammation, remove obstacles to cure, restore balance, and repair any damage to the intestinal lining (digestive tract). I have dedicated my practice to helping individuals suffering from IBD. There is hope. If you or someone you know is suffering from Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease, consider a naturopathic medicine approach. If you are interested in any of the various specialized laboratory testing mentioned above or would like to schedule an initial consultation, call our Minnetonka, MN office today at (952) 417-1912! (Long distance consultations are also available)
Read what others who used to suffer with IBD have experienced from utilizing naturopathic medicine!
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis when I was 8 years old (currently 28 y/o). Since then I have suffered flares ranging from a few weeks to a few years. I would take prescription medication but was always told that nothing would ever help prevent flares, only reduce the symptoms once there. This was incredibly frustrating for me; I wanted to find ways to heal my colon, not just make it through one more flare.
Last year I decided to look into natural medicine, feeling particularly frustrated and worn down by my symptoms. I came upon Champion Naturopathic Health and Dr. Nate Champion through an online search. It was a godsend. At my first visit with Dr. Champion, I was blown away that not only did he completely empathize with my struggle (having had UC himself), but really listened to my concerns. We talked for 2 hours that first visit and he set up a healing plan immediately. I couldn’t believe the time he took with me, asking me not only about my physical symptoms but how I was feeling emotionally about it all. He really cared.
At this time, I was suffering from a particularly bad flare that had lasted almost a year. I was anxious to get started with the process he recommended. I can honestly say that within 3 days of beginning my program there were visible results. It blew me away that natural medicine could help as well as it did. I loved feeling like not only was I healing my colon, but my body as a whole. Along the way, as in any treatment, I have had my ups and downs, and Dr. Champion has been there to talk with me and tweak my program as needed. He has even been available to talk about specific concerns over the phone if need be. Dr. Champion encouraged my husband to come to a visit as well, again promoting holistic healing for me, and my family. He understands that UC is not something you fight alone. This has been unlike any doctors’ visits I have ever experienced.
I am thrilled to say that I am symptom free right now and feel great! I love knowing that any medicine I am putting into my body is whole, good, and natural. I cannot thank Dr. Champion enough for his support and help. I highly recommend his services.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2008. I had suffered with one severe flare for 4 years. I was placed on medications that never helped and would barely even mask my symptoms. I became very depressed and suffered with severe anxiety because of it. I pushed many people out of my life and never wanted to leave my home.
Last year, I decided I couldn’t live my life that way anymore and conventional medicine wasn’t working. So I started talking to some people and found Dr. Nate.
He has been an absolute blessing! He listened to me when no other doctor would. My first appointment with him we went through everything, not just my Crohn’s symptoms but my anxiety about it as well. I left that appointment feeling optimistic about my future, a feeling I hadn’t felt in a very long time. Just a few months after that day I was feeling so good and after about 6 months I had never felt better in all my life. I have had my ups and downs throughout the year but my downs are nowhere near what that had been before him.
I am so happy to report I have my life back and look forward to what the future holds for me. I am so grateful to have Dr. Nate in my corner and thank him for listening to me when no one else would.
– Casey O.
I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 17 years ago (I’m currently 41). At the time of the initial diagnosis, I had little understanding of the disease and spent the next 15 years dealing with frequent flares that were treated with heavy doses of prednisone and other harsh medications. UC impacted every area of my life and I lived in constant fear of my next flare.
About 2 years ago, I grew tired of being sick and was ready to make a change in how I approached my treatment. I am so grateful that I found Dr. Nate Champion in my search. After my first appointment, I knew I was on to something that would be life changing. Dr. Champion really listened to me and took the time to understand my story. After extensive testing and information gathering, Dr. Champion developed a comprehensive treatment plan for me. Within the first year, I was symptom free and off of the medication that produced awful side effects and presented a high risk of doing long-term damage to my body. My symptoms continue to be managed with lifestyle changes, nutrition adjustments, and supplements. I am also more emotionally balanced with the support of homeopathic remedies. When I find myself losing focus with my treatment plan, Dr. Champion is there to provide me with non-judgmental encouragement and support.
Since my work with Dr. Champion, I have found significant improvement in my overall quality of life. Dr. Champion has become a valuable part of my wellness support system. He is kind, invested in me and impressively knowledgeable. I no longer feel controlled by UC. Without hesitation, I recommend Dr. Champion to anyone who is interested in feeling better and improving the quality of their life.
– Maureen I.