Use of complementary and alternative medicine by patients with inflammatory bowel disease

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2011 Feb;17(2):655-62. doi: 10.1002/ibd.21360.


In this review article we provide a broad overview of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), including prevalence of use, common therapies used, and reasons for and factors associated with CAM use. CAM is commonly used by those suffering from IBD. Multiple forms of CAM are used to treat IBD, and often patients use multiple CAM therapies and continue to use conventional medical therapies. Patients using CAM report benefits that extend beyond simply improved disease control. Using CAM allows patients to exert a greater degree of control over their disease and its management than they are afforded by conventional medicine. There is limited evidence on the efficacy of CAM therapies in IBD. It is important for physicians caring for those with IBD to be familiar with common forms of CAM and to be able to provide general counseling to their patients about CAM use.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome