The common actions we take everyday are contributing to our IBD

One of the major themes of my postings and thinking is that I try to point out things that many of us do every day – things that are literally right in front of us and sort of blatantly obvious – that are almost certainly contributing to the manifestation of chronic disease, especially IBD.

Sometimes it feels like we just don’t take notice.

All of us have taken over the counter (OTC) drugs with brand names like Advil (ibuprofen), Tylenol (acetaminophen), and Aleve (naproxen).

Ibuprofen and naproxen for example while highly effective in their analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects are part of a class of drugs known as NSAIDs. They are notorious for causing digestive distress including exacerbating Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. This is well documented in the scientific literature.

Thing is though it’s not just the active ingredients. It’s the binders, additives, flow agents, and emulsifiers that cause a double punch when it comes to IBD.

Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) is not only found in many top-selling formulations of these drugs but is literally the exact inflammatory agent used in animal models of IBD to induce intestinal inflammation and colitis. Additionally, Titanium dioxide, maltodextrin,
carrageenan found in food, supplements, and OTCs also cause havoc on the intestinal lining and/or the microbiome.
Again all with varying levels of evidence in the literature.

So next time you have a headache or fever and reach for an OTC drug, read the inactive ingredients.

While still not ideal, often the “liquid-gel” formulations have a lot fewer binders and additives (still lots of artificial ingredients).

Recent Posts from the IBDCoach Blog

Fiber & Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Fiber: Influential prebiotic for gut health We’ve heard countless stories from our clients about how their doctors tell them diet doesn’t make a difference for their inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). But with recent scientific advances in our understanding of both IBD...

Gluten & IBD

Gluten in our food is a topic that has grown in popularity for both individuals with IBD and the general population. We are living in the age of gluten-free products. Are these always better for IBDers? Considering many gluten-free products are still processed foods...

Structure defines Function in IBD

This Tuesday morning I’ve had the delight of musing about our incredible gut and how this organ exemplifies the old adage in biology that "structure defines function". Our bodies are full of other examples of this: our opposable thumbs allow us to grasp items large...