IBD Special

Question and Answer

How do Western and Natural Medicine differ in their approach to IBD?

Western Medicine and Natural Medicine view IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) from different angles. Whereas Western Medicine concentrates largely on relieving the symptoms of IBD, Natural Medicine primarily focuses on addressing and correcting the imbalances of other systems which are also 
involved in the disease process. While Western Medicine uses fairly standardized drug and surgical treatment 
protocols for IBD, treatment in Natural Medicine are highly individualized, with different Acupuncture 
points, herbal prescriptions and diary therapies being used for each patient. 

Can IBD patient remain on medication prescribed by their Western Medicine Doctors while they 
are being treated by a practitioner of natural medicine? 

IBD patients undergoing Natural Medicine treatments frequently remain on the medication prescribed 
by their Western Medicine doctors, until such time as their condition has improved substantially. Patients should consult with their Western Medicine doctors regarding how to wean themselves 
off medication once their situation has stabilized as it is important to discontinue these medications in an appropriate manner. 

What treatment is most commonly used in Natural Medicine for IBD? 

The treatment is usually a combination of herbal medicine, special diet, and sometimes Acupuncture,
all of which work synergistically to achieve optimum results. The treatment is highly individualized, 
with each patient having a unique treatment regimen to suit his or her special needs. 

Could you please explain the use of herbs in treating Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis? 

Patients who suffer from Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis experience toxicity which results from a malfunctioning digestive system. Herbs are the best agent to help the body detoxify by cleaning the 
digestive tract and blood stream. These herbs, while very powerful, have no side effects, provided that 
the formula is very carefully balanced. In addition to the herbs used for detoxification, specific herbs are introduced to strengthen the digestive system and promote the ealing f ulceration and lesions. Herbs are 
also used to build up the body by strengthening and nourishing organs, tissues, and blood. Hundreds of different organic Chinese herbs may be used in various combinations in the treatment of this disease. 

How does Acupuncture work in the treatment of IBD?

Acupuncture is used in IBD to restore balance to the body's energy levels. It increases the resistance of 
the body by enhancing its natural capabilities. Acupuncture is used to improve the digestive function by increasing circulation and reducing pain. It also relaxes the nervous system and relieves stress. 
Acupuncture is not used in isolation in treating IBD, but is used in conjunction with herbal and dietary therapies.  

My GI doctor told me that diet is not great importance when it comes to treating IBD. Could you
tell me your feelings on the subject from a Natural Medicine Perspective? 

In Natural Medicine, diet and nutrition play a very important role in the treatment and prevention of 
disease in general and IBD in particular. Dietary therapy is used in conjunction with herbs and 
Acupuncture to restore the patient to good health. 

Diet can also play a causative role when it comes to IBD. Until quite recently, there were very few cases 
of UC and CD in China. Since the marked increase in popularity of Western fast foods, the incidence of 
hess diseases has increased dramatically in that country. This demonstrates how the excessive 
consumption of the wrong kinds of food can, over time, cause digestive and metabolic problems and can 
also impact negatively on the immune system. Another aspect of diet with regard IBD is the issue of food allergies which can be a factor in the disease process. 

Patients with IBD experience toxicity which results from a malfunctioning digestive system. Diarrhea 
is one indication of the body's attempt to detoxify itself. Often patients with IBD also experience disorders 
of body systems other than the digestive system. Detoxification heralds the start of healing and diet plays
a key role in the detoxification process. Toxic foods and bowel irritants must be eliminated from the diet while foods that nourish the digestive system and other related systems must be introduced. 

For health maintenance, disease prevention and treatment, it is very important to eat a balanced diet consisting of the correct foods. The Natural Medicine's approach to dietary therapy is far more complex 
than that of the Western nutritionist who may recommend a diet that is balanced in terms of its chemical properties e.g. carbohydrates, protein and fat. Natural Medicine, while also taking this into account, 
focuses on many other aspects of food e.g. its energy temperature (to warm up or cool down the body, not the cooking temperature), its taste (sweet, bitter, pungent, sour, salty), its smell and its appearance. And 
most importantly, its special effect on the internal organs (through meridians). Dietary the ray is individualized, depending on the patient's constitution and body condition. Most of IBD patients will be treated with cool foods as means of counterbalance the excess heat from the inflammation. 

In Natural Medicine, the emphasis is towards vegetables and grains than i is towards animal protein which should constitute no more than 20% of the diet. Some of the foods for IBD patients to avoid are chicken 
and turkey, dairy products, refined sugars, hot spices, alcohol, artificial colorings, and flavors. 

Do food allergies play a role in IBD?

Yes, food allergies can certainly play a role in both the cause and exacerbation of IBD. From a Natural Medicine perspective, certain inflammation is the sign of an allergic response. In IBD, inflammation 
can be symptomatic of the body's allergic reaction to certain foods and its inability to metabolize these allergic substances. Regardless of whether major symptoms are present or not, certain foods such as sugar and hot spices will elicit an allergic reaction in the form of inflammation, thereby exacerbating the overall inflammatory process. Ongoing allergic response from the body will weaken the immune system. This makes the body increasingly vulnerable to further food allergies and perpetuates the allergic inflammatory cycle. 

Reactions to foods vary from patient to patient, according to their body type and condition. Just because 
no symptoms are present does to mean that these foods are not causing the body harm. The body can get used to most toxic foods that are consumes on a regular basis and there is usually a cumulative effect 
which would manifest later symptomatically. Because there can e a delayed reaction, many people do not make the connection between the irritant and the allergic or inflammatory response, mistakenly thinking
that they are having a reaction to something else that they have bee exposed to more recently. 

From a Natural Medicine perspective, what is the role, if any, of emotional stress in IBD? 

There are many causes of IBD and emotional stress is one of them. Stress impacts on both the digestive system and the immune system. This can contribute to the onset and relapse of the disease. Once a
patient's symptomatic, stress can certainly exacerbate the symptoms and unfortunately the disease itself is the source of enormous stress. Gently exercise, meditation and counseling can be useful tools in
 alleviating or managing the stress. 


My research training makes me suspicious of testimonials. However, when I read the accounts of Dr.
Chen's success in treating IBD, I was desperate. My latest episode of UC was unrelenting, even at 
64mg/day of corticosteroids, and my GI advised me to prepare for a colectomy. Instead, I sough 
treatment from Dr. Chen. From the beginning, I was impressed with the detailed questions he asked and 
the unprecedented interest he showed in my personal condition. Within three months, I was off the steroid
medication and virtually symptom free. This has made a profound difference to my quality of life. 
(L. Wampler)

For years I battled CD with drugs that either had severe side effects or did little to control my symptoms.
Desperately ill, and on the verge of major surgery, I sough Dr. Chen's help. Following Dr. Chen's
treatment, I have been symptom and medication free and in wonderful health for fifteen years. My latest 
GI exam showed no evidence of the disease. Thank you, Dr. Chen, for giving me back my life. 
(M. Schreiber)

I was diagnosed with CD six years ago. My symptoms were horrendous: diarrhea up to twenty times a 
day, blood in my stool, severe weight loss, abdominal pain, fatigue, and depression. In just six years, I
was hospitalized more than a dozen times and had nine blood transfusions. I tried every Western 
medication used for IBD-Prednisone, Remicade, Humira, and Cyclosporine to name just a few. Nothing
worked, and after much resistance I finally agreed to consider surgery. I met with a couple of surgeons, 
and it looked like I would need to have my entire colon removed. I was devastated. A friend who had 
told me about Dr. Chen convinced me to see him, and I am thankful every day that I took her advice. I 
have been in remission with no medication now for two years, and I'm back to my old self. I have my 
energy back, I'm happy again, and I don't have to worry about where the bathroom is when I go out! 
Dr. Chen gave me my life back.   (S. Rubin)

I am so grateful to Dr. Chen because he healed me in my battle with UC through his treatment of herbs 
and diet. Western Medicine told me years ago that I had colitis, which runs in my family, for my entire 
life, and that all we could do was control it through various medications. After my first cousin had much 
of his colon removed in surgery due to advanced colitis, I decided to seek out Dr. Chen. His gentle
and honest approach to treating my disease helped change my life for the better: I now eat very healthily;
I exercise regularly; I haven't taken medication for colitis for years; and all of he pain and discomfort I
suffered via colitis is gone. The most interesting this, though, is that when I recently had a colonoscopy, 
the results perplexed three very well-known factors. They were shocked that not only was my colitis
in remission, but my entire colon showed no evidence that I ever had the disease! I told this to Dr. Chen
soon afterward and he said calmly: "This is what happened in other patients. It's very common." 
Thank you, Dr. Chen.  (D. Lott)

I have had UC for nine years and tried just about every drug on the market, including several experimental
drugs to relive my symptoms. I was on the verge of surgery when I was introduced to Dr. Chen's 
treatment. I noticed results within days and my symptoms were finally relieved. Now I can do all the 
things I dreamt about just months ago. Thanks to Dr. Chen and his staff. 
(T. Palusky)

Last spring, I was diagnosed with CD. I was so ill that I had to stop attending school and quit working. 
I under went two surgeries, but despite this was in severe pain and on massive doses of medication. Since
starting treatment with Dr. Chen six months ago, my pain has ceased and I no longer need surgery. I am 
completely off all medication, attending school, and working again. My life is back on track thanks to 
Dr. Chen.    (J.Sweat)