In this episode of Functional Medicine Research, I interview naturopathic physician Dr. Ilana Gurevich on overcoming inflammatory bowel disease. We had a deep discussion about testing and treatment options for inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. We covered diagnostic testing, the pros and cons of stool test markers, probiotics, fiber, digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid, gut healing nutrients, diets like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, helminths, and much more. It was a pleasure to have Dr. Gurevich's expertise on inflammatory bowel disease.
Below is a transcript on How to Overcome Inflammatory Bowel Disease with Dr. Ilana Gurevich
Dr. Hedberg: Well, welcome everyone to "Functional Medicine Research" I'm Dr. Hedberg, really looking forward to my conversation today with Dr. Ilana Gurevich. She is a naturopathic physician and acupuncturist. She graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine in 2007, with her doctorate in naturopathic medicine, and in 2008, with her masters of Oriental medicine. She is currently co-owner of two large integrated medical clinics, one in Northwest Portland and one in Northeast Portland.
She runs a very busy practice specializing in treating inflammatory bowel disease, which we'll be talking about today, as well as IBS, SIBO and other functional GI disorders. She lectures extensively and teaches about both conventional and natural treatments for gastrointestinal conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, SIBO, and IBS. She's one of the foremost experts on the intersection of IBD and IBS and how treating one resolves the other. Dr. Gurevich also acts as a mentor in the naturopathic community, educating and consulting with physicians about GI disorders. She supervises residents and consults with doctors about their most difficult GI cases. She was nominated as one of Portland's top docs by the Portland Monthly in 2014, 2016 and 2020. So Dr. Gurevich, thanks for coming on the show.
Dr. Gurevich: Thank you so much for having me.
Dr. Hedberg: Yeah. So this is gonna be really interesting. I've heard you talk before and I wanted to have you on because you're extremely a research-based, you know, scientifically sound. And of course, you have tremendous experience in inflammatory bowel and SIBO and IBS. So why don't we just lay some groundwork? And if you could just talk a little bit about what have you found to be the real causes, the triggers of inflammatory bowel in your patients?
Dr. Gurevich: You know, it is such a multifactorial disease. So with inflammatory bowel disease, there are these two peaks of when people generally get diagnosed. The first is, you know, adolescence, right around puberty to like the mid-30s or 40s. And then the second is menopause, andropause in your 60s, 70s, 80s. And those patients tend to get found a lot just on their basic screening colonoscopy.
And so, you know, because there are these bi-modal peaks of diagnosis, it really makes me think that one of the issues is hormonal changes that happen. And, you know, we're learning more and more recently about how hormones affect the GI, mainly using the estrobolome as an example, and then how the estrobolome affects how you conjugate or process your hormones. And so there's definitely a hormonal component.
Research is also exceptionally clear that diet is a huge component. You know, in parts of the world where they don't really see inflammatory bowel disease like Africa, like Asia, when people from those countries move to a Western civilization, they start getting diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease equal to people of the West, which means that the way that we're eating is definitively changing our microbiome, which is then causing onset of inflammatory bowel disease.
What's interesting is the opposite now is also happening as we introduce the Western diet into more diverse countries that in the past were, you know,