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The Scary, Hidden Trend of Irritable Bowel Disease

By Chris Brown

Irritable bowel diseases (IBD), such as Crohn's disease and colitis, have been on the rise since they were first identified in the 1930s. However, in recent years, cases have taken a major upturn. This concerns doctors because IBD patients not only suffer daily, but are also at higher risks of intestinal diseases such as colorectal cancer. Preventing IBD is key to reversing a dangerous trend afflicting increasingly more people worldwide.

The Negative Trend of Irritable Bowel Diseases

Between the years 2000-2019, irritable bowel diseases rose dramatically. Crohn's disease rates rose by 55 percent and colitis sufferers increased a whopping 83 percent. By 2020, 2.5 million people in the U.S. suffered from IBD. This number is expected to rise to 3.5 million by 2030, which has sent the medical community scrambling to identify its causes.

Why Are Irritable Bowel Diseases on the Rise?

Doctors believe the growing number of recorded cases of IBD is firstly due to increased awareness and medical understanding. Therefore, cases that would not have been diagnosed as IBD in the past are now being labeled and treated as such. However, studies have also found that immigrants to industrial countries have higher risks of developing bowel disease than those who stay behind. The data seems to suggest a connection between the increased industrialization of food in Western countries and the development of IBD.

Where IBD Comes From and How to Reduce Your Risk?

While the source cause is unknown, doctors agree that IBD often originates from problems with the gut biome. IBD potentially develops from combined factors such as genetic risk, insufficient early exposure to microbes (from an over-sterilized youth environment), and artificial sweeteners (which inhibit healthy gut bacteria). As mentioned earlier, there also appears to be a correlation with IBD and Western industrial cities. In Canada, for instance, 81 percent of sufferers are city-dwellers. It is hypothesized that city environments contain more ambient bacteria which can secretly invade your intestinal biome.

Since IBD likely originates from disproportionate "bad" intestinal bacteria, the best way to protect yourself is to strengthen your gut and reduce your exposure to "good" bacteria killing environments. If escaping the negative bacteria of the city is not feasible, avoiding the processed foods and artificial sugars common in those locations may be just as helpful. Additionally, Dr. John Cunha recommends eating smaller, more frequent meals and regularly supplementing with vitamins. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut solution to preventing IBD, but, with focus upon a cleaner diet, you may just avoid joining the growing global number of IBD patients.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Winter Garden, Fla.

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