The use of supplements for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease is far from being the most important thing that’s needed for someone to transform their health, but the right products, at the right time, for the right person, can certainly be important.
For something such as serious as IBD, purely trying to fix things through diet and lifestyle changes alone generally isn’t enough, and certain supplements (and other factors) are often needed.
However, there are a lot of poor quality supplements for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s on the market and some that probably do more harm than good. I see so many people wasting money on things that they don’t need, that I felt a few words about supplements and what ones MIGHT be useful would be worthwhile.
The first thing to say is supplement use is very personal with different people needing different things. My approach is very much about getting to the bottom of someone’s problems, and that can be a variety of things. Therefore, a variety of supplements can be needed. However, those listed below are commonly beneficial, for the reasons stated…
(full disclosure – some of the products mentioned below are available at the Autoimmune Institute of which I am part owner. However, I only recommend these because I truly believe in them and know that the quality is something appropriate for someone with a condition as serious as Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis)
Common Supplements for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
Certain supplements can be very powerful natural anti-inflammatories. While they don’t help to address the cause of inflammation, they can help to reduce it which can help a huge amount with symptoms (inflammation is ultimately the cause of most symptoms, including the irregular bowel movements, urgency and fatigue).
Turmeric is a particularly effective, proven anti-inflammatory that I have seen benefit my clients time and time again, often very quickly. This product is a very pure, well absorbed one worth considering and probably the most effective turmeric supplement on the market for someone with IBD.
It has been formulated to tap into the benefits of turmeric by the inclusion of the “Bioperine” (a black pepper extract) that enhances the absorption of the turmeric by 2000%. Also, it includes organic turmeric which is very important as it means you won’t be exposing yourself to harmful toxins found in normal (non-organic) turmeric.
Omega 3 (Fish Oil)
Omega 3 / Fish Oils are really important and are going to help with everything from general health to fat loss. They help to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, improve your skin, and much more.
An important factor to look for when buying Omega 3 / Fish Oil is the EPA and DHA content, which should be as high as possible. The quality and purity of the oil is also essential. Much of the fish supply today is very high in toxins, lead, mercury etc which can actually have an adverse effect on your health. When supplementing with a fish oil it’s really important to ensure the oil is free of these toxins.
The product below is something I consider to be the best omega 3 fish oil supplement on the market. It contains high levels of the beneficial omega 3 fats, and has no artificial sweeteners, flavours, colours or preservatives, is gluten-free, and has no detectable levels of mercury or other heavy metals. You can order it here www.autoimmuneinstitute.com/products/advanced-fish-oil
Digestive Enzymes and HCL
Digestive enzymes can be helpful for supporting digestive health, and, in particular, ensuring optimal breakdown and absorption of the food that someone eats. If someone bloats or get reflux when they eat, these can often be very beneficial. They are also particularly useful as someone goes through a period of changing their diet and perhaps eating certain foods that they aren’t used to.
Betaine hydrochloride (HCL) promotes optimal gastric acidity for support of protein digestion and absorption of minerals and other nutrients such as vitamin B12. Many people can have low stomach acid levels, and use of HCL can be helpful.
The majority of people, unless they work outside all day in a sunny climate, will be deficient in vitamin D.
Adequate vitamin D levels can aid a strong immune system, assist fat loss, increase free testosterone, and support bone health.
There are many studies that show a link between vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis, and avoiding such a deficiency is absolutely critical (and can be done very easily and cost-effectively with supplementation if someone doesn’t get regular full bodied exposure to the sun). This “Advanced D3” comes in a highly absorbable form of Vitamin D and is produced to the highest possible standards.
Probiotics are basically beneficial bacteria for your gut and help with so much in terms of digestive function and optimal health of the colon. They can be great but likely shouldn’t be the first thing that someone uses. It’s also important to use the right ones as it can be very easy to waste money on something ineffective. Things such as probiotic yoghurts that you can buy in the supermarkets are generally useless.
One good way to identify the need for probiotics, and the type of probiotic to use can be through stool testing which will, amongst many other things, give an insight as to the health of someone’s gut bacteria. In this video, I explain more on stool testing, and what the results of this testing can show us.
One type of probiotic yeast that can be extremely beneficial is Saccharomyces Boulardii. This should be used in specific situations to help protect the health of the gut and many studies have shown it can be an effective supplement in people with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis. To discover more about when and where this should be used, then click here www.autoimmuneinstitute.com/products/advanced-protection/
Fatigue is the most common problem I see in someone with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis. Getting to the root of someone’s problems is ultimately the long-term way to help overcome the fatigue, but Advanced Vitality is a supplement that contains numerous vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients that have been shown can help reduce tiredness/fatigue, increase energy and support the immune system (helping to avoid you feeling run down).
It obviously can’t work miracles, and isn’t stimulatory so doesn’t give an immediate boost, but when used consistently, over time, the effects can be great. For more information on that, then click here www.autoimmuneinstitute.com/products/advanced-vitality
So that’s a few supplements for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s that I might use when someone wants to transform their health quickly and naturally. This is far from being a complete list but these are certainly some of the most common.
In addition to these, I commonly use very specific supplement that are used to help target things that we may find on someone’s stool test results. These would be specialist products that might be used to kill off a parasite, problem bacteria, or yeast overgrowth for example. However, that is very much depending on the stool test results as the possibilities are endless for what may be found.
This is far from being a complete list but these are certainly some of the most common supplements to use.
Why are supplements needed?
Essentially, supplements should be used to help return the body to normal function and address its underlying problems.
They are often needed because it is impossible to obtain all necessary nutrients from food alone in today’s world.
These days the food quality is generally not what it used to be and does not have the micro or macronutrient requirements to transform health when living with something as serious as Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis (IBD).
Additionally, when someone (especially someone with IBD) has underlying problems that need to be addressed (things like incredibly high inflammation, poor digestion, leaky gut, bacterial or parasitic infections, lack of good bacteria, and more) then food alone can rarely address these things and some very specific supplements will be needed. These problems are often highlighted on the stool testing I run with my clients.
Now don’t get me wrong, diet is absolutely critical and very few people I speak to initially are eating anything like what they should be to help them feel as good as they need to. It’s just that often it can’t do it alone.
Are they needed forever?
Most supplements for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s aren’t needed forever. They are simply needed to get the body back to where it needs to be and once it’s there the supplement use can stop.
Now that doesn’t apply to everything, and certain supplements would be recommended long term…
For example, if someone has their gall bladder removed then they often find it much more difficult to digest fatty foods. I will often recommend that someone in this position takes a certain product to help with the breakdown of fats for the result of their life.
Additionally, some products that help to promote / boost general health (including some of those mentioned above) are often worth keeping in for longer. Things such as vitamin D and fish oil normally fall into this category.
But most products shouldn’t be needed long term (regardless of what the people selling them say!).
For example, often there can be a benefit to digestive enzymes. But I wouldn’t recommend you use them forever because your body should be able to get to a place where it doesn’t need them anymore and can produce its own digestive enzymes to break your food down. Relying on them for too long could actually be harmful as your body may become dependent upon them.
How about quality?
The quality of a supplement is also very important, especially if you suffer from Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis.
Many of the cheaper high street brands will often use very cheap, ineffective, contaminated ingredients in their products that could actually end up harming your health rather than improving it. This is one reason why I started the Autoimmune Institute – because most other brands didn’t offer products of good enough quality for someone with such serious health conditions.
You often get what you pay for with supplements (though obviously don’t just use high price as a guide for whether it’s good or not).
How to take them?
When you have identified the supplements to be using make sure you introduce them properly…
Suppose, for example, that you bought several supplements and started taking them straight away. If the following morning you experienced some unwanted symptoms, you wouldn’t know what supplement caused it, or if you just took too much of something.
Therefore, when beginning your supplementation regime, or when introducing new supplements, it is prudent to take a “sequencing and titration” approach.
‘Titration’ is where you will gradually increase the dosage of the supplement over a period of time…
For example, you might start by taking one drop of a certain supplement, and increase this dosage by 1 drop each time, up to a specified maximum (assuming there is no reaction in the meantime).
If a certain dosage does create an adverse reaction, then the dosage can be reduced to the previous level where no negatives occurred and it can be maintained at that level. This obviously helps to identify the appropriate dosage for each person.
‘Sequencing’ is when you start using just one product at a time, rather than start using multiple supplements at the same time. In particular, this approach helps to identify any adverse reactions to a specific product.
Sequencing and titration, therefore, help to improve your results while minimising or eliminating adverse reactions
I know the world of supplements can be a very confusing area and one where people waste an awful lot of money. It’s never something to go into blindly, especially when you have IBD, so I do hope the information I provide can be of use.
p.s. if you were interested in the supplements that I currently have available, then just click here. We offer very high-quality products that have been formulated to improve absorption and are, I believe, the purest, most effective supplements on the market.
Will taking these alone help you to beat your IBD? No. Is it all you need to be doing? No. But could they be very beneficial? Yes. Are they very cost effective? Yes. Are they something I use and recommend my client use? Yes. Click here to find out more.