Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis
By Dr. Fred Hui, MD
The Traditional Approach to Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which encompasses both Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, is viewed as an autoimmune disease. In conventional medicine, “autoimmune” means that the body’s immune system is overly active and mistakenly attacks the body. Thus, the conventional approach is to suppress the overly active immune system with immunosuppressive medications such as prednisone. While these medications usually achieve good results and can lead to resolution of symptoms, the body is in an immunocompromised state. Flare ups and disease progression can still occur despite these medications. Physicians may then escalate the drug regimen to include stronger medications such as Remicade and Imuran to suppress the immune system even further. And ultimately, when the amount of bowel involved is too extensive to control, surgery is used to remove the segment of diseased bowel.
An Alternative Approach to Understanding the Disease
Being an integrative physician, I always try to think outside the box. I strive to find the root cause of any chronic illness and address its underlying etiologies.
Over the years of treating numerous Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis patients, I have questioned the underlying etiology for the inflammation and the rationale behind suppressing the immune system. Instead of quieting the” police force” (the immune system) and thinking that it is a problem of a hyperactive police force, why not investigate what “criminals” the police are reacting to? Why not try to support the police in eradicating these invaders?
In my opinion, there may be two major types of “invaders”, or foreign substances that the body is reacting to:
My theory is that there may be an underlying food intolerance in most inflammatory bowel disease patients. It can be any food, but most commonly dairy and wheat. Normally, when any food is ingested, it is eventually broken down into the most basic letters of the alphabet (Proteins into amino acids, carbohydrates into simple glucose, and fat into fatty acids) by digestive enzymes. For one who does not have enough digestive enzymes, either genetically or as a consequence of previous bowel infection, the body does not recognize it as a familiar substance and reacts to it. When the body sees this foreign molecule trying to enter the bowel wall, the police force (immune system) starts to bombard these molecules. These molecules are along the lining of the bowel and try to cross the bowel wall, but are attacked by the body’s white blood cells.
Another common underlying cause for inflammatory bowel disease is underlying infection such as a parasite or bacteria. Even if an acute infection is treated with a round of antibiotics and resolution of overt clinical symptoms, there may be residual infection in the microscopic lining and pockets of the bowel wall. The bowel wall therefore has a foreign “invader” that the body keeps trying to attack.
Based on the above logic, I have developed a protocol inflammatory bowel disease that has led to significant results. My protocol consists of the following steps:
Step 1: Identify the food intolerance
There is a blood test called IgG delayed food antibody test. It identifies among a list of 100 food groups which the patient may be intolerant to. Avoidance of the offending food is paramount.
Step 2: Perform a detailed stool and saliva antibodies analysis for parasites and bacteria
Step 3: Digestive Enzymes
A comprehensive digestive enzyme is taken with each meal. Megazyme is my favourite brand. This ensures that any foreign food molecule is broken down into simple building blocks that the body can not react to and no longer recognizes as foreign.
Step 4: Patch up the leaky gut
Over time, the inflammation leads to damage of the bowel wall which makes it “leaky”. I prescribe a supplement that is a combination of multiple herbs and nutrients to decrease inflammation and heal the leaky gut.
Step 5: Probiotics
A probiotic is recommended to reinstall a colony of good bacteria to combat the bad bacteria from the intestinal lumen. Good bacteria also seems to reinstall the right environment (eg. pH balance) for the body’s digestive enzymes to function optimally.
Step 6: Treat any Residual Infection
Any residual bacteria or parasites must be treated. Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin, Metronidazole, are prescribed by physicians. These antibiotics have some success, but they have limited penetrating power on their own and have side effects including gastrointestinal upset, nausea and diarrhea.
As conjunctive or alternative therapy, I use IV Ozone Therapy.
Ozone (O3) therapy involves a process of stimulating of 2,3-diphosphoglycerate which leads to an increase in the amount of oxygen released to the tissues. Oxygen has the unique ability to eradicate both anaerobic and aerobic bacteria effectively. Anaerobic bacteria thrive in pockets of the body where there are low levels of oxygen. Therefore, by flooding the bloodstream with high levels of oxygen, these bacteria are no longer able to survive. After a few sessions of ozone, patients will notice that the occasional episode of chills and low grade flu-like achiness will no longer return.
Inflammatory bowel disease can involve the joints as well as the disease progresses. Ozone is particularly helpful in this scenario. My theory is that bacteria have ventured into joints, or “hidden pockets”. Given that there is relatively low blood flow into the joint spaces beyond the cartilage, the body begins attacking the joints and cause damage to the surrounding tissues.
By applying the above protocol, I have been able to achieve success in helping patients definitively manage their inflammatory bowel disease. Most patients notice a distinct difference within ten sessions of twice a week treatments. If successful, they can continue sessions until symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease have resolved. Average patients “graduate” after 20-30 treatments. With eradication of the underlying real cause, most patients get off their immune suppressive drugs and achieve significant resolution of their symptoms. The gratification of seeing them dramatically and quietly turning around is exciting.