While many of these illnesses are chronic and can only be treated medically, more holistic and natural approaches are being used more frequently to prevent and manage gastrointestinal disorders. Many healthcare providers are recommending stress management, a healthy diet, and exercise to prevent and manage symptoms.
Exercise has shown to decrease the risk of colon cancer, minimize constipation and improve overall GI health. Even minimal exercise paired with a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, low fat protein and avoidance of red meat, animal fat, and processed meats, can go a long way in preventing colon cancer and other GI diseases.
It is known that psychological stress can aggravate symptoms of Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis. Taking a mind-body approach to health can help these patients manage their illnesses. Techniques such as yoga, meditation, massage, and acupuncture can lower stress and in turn reduce bowel symptoms. Doctors also recommend an anti-inflammatory diet (omega-3 fatty acids, fruits & vegetables, and protein rich food like fish, chicken and soy) for people suffering from Crohn’s disease.