Pancreatic Extracts and an Old Naturopathic Remedy
Pancreatic extracts can help reduce inflammation in IBD as well help digestion. Pancreatic insufficiency is characterized by impaired digestion, malabsorption, nutrient deficiency, and abdominal discomfort.
The most severe level of pancreatic dysfunction is seen in cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis might be rare, but mild pancreatic insufficiency is thought to be a relatively common condition, especially in the elderly.
Pancreatic enzyme products are the most effective treatment for pancreatic insufficiency and are also popular digestive aids. Most commercial preparations are prepared from fresh hog pancreas.
There has been no research done on its efficacy, but it is a commonly recognized naturopathic formula by naturopathic doctors treating IBD. The composition from several botanicals is as follows:
8 parts Althea officinalis (marshmallow root, a demulcent)
4 parts Baptisia tinctora (wild indigo, for gastrointestinal infections)
8 parts Echinacea angustifolia (purple cone flower, antibacterial, normalizes immune system)
8 parts Geranium maculatum (geranium: used for its astringent action to help heal ulceration)
8 parts Hydrastis canadensis (golden seal, inhibits growth of many disease causing bacteria)
8 parts Ulmus fulva (slippery elm, demulcent effect)
in addition to the above 8 parts of cabbage powder can be added.
It is taken: 1 teaspoon three times daily.
There are also numerous versions commercially available.
An lastly, the Crohn's Activity Index (CDAI)
It was developed as a monitoring tool in the National Cooperative Crohn's Disease Study. (1) The CDAI allowed for uniform clinical parameters that could be evaluated, and it produced a consistent numerical index for recording the results of the study. It is calculated by adding together eight variables incorporating both subjective and objective information in determining relative disease activity. In general CDAI scores below 150 indicate a better prognosis than more elevated scores. It is a very useful way to monitor therapeutic progress.
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(1) Best W.R., et al. Development of a Crohn's Activity Index. Gastroenterology 70 (1976):439-444