Why Experts Are Optimistic To Use Apple Watches And Other Devices To Help With IBD Conditions

If you suffer from abdominal pain, blood in your stool, chronic diarrhea, fatigue, or weight loss, then you may have one of two conditions — Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Both are collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD (per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Notably, inflammatory bowel disease involves long-term inflammation of the body's gastrointestinal tract, which can cause harm over time and health issues. Ulcerative colitis can affect the colon and the rectum while Crohn's disease can cause inflammation anywhere from the oral cavity to the anus.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, as many as 1.6 million Americans have inflammatory bowel disease. IBD is a form of autoimmune disease in which the body essentially uses the immune system to damage otherwise healthy tissues. There is no cure for inflammatory bowel disease, so current treatments aim to mitigate flare-ups and treat any existing inflammation. Some treatments include medications like antibiotics and steroids. In some cases, surgery can be utilized to remove the inflamed areas of the intestines. Now researchers are looking for other treatments for those living with IBD. Here's everything you need to know.

Are Apple watches and oxygen chambers the future of IBD treatments?

Inflammatory bowel disease flare-ups can be painful and ruin your day. Luckily, researchers are working on ways to help treat IBD. According to a press release, The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) will host the upcoming Crohn's & Colitis Congress where several studies will be presented that explore different potential treatments for inflammatory bowel disease. In terms of plant-based treatments, one study explored how curcumin — the main active ingredient in turmeric — when combined with Qing Dai — a Chinese herbal medicine — was successful in a clinical trial at treating ulcerative colitis. Another study examined how Apple Watches can help measure IBD flare-ups through the detection of certain data from the nervous system to help create a non-invasive way to predict flare-ups.

According to Healthline, another study at the event explored how hyperbaric oxygen therapy might help treat Crohn's disease. By delivering pure oxygen, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help treat inflammation. Notably, an older 2012 study published in the journal Medical Gas Research explored hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease. The researchers concluded that hyperbaric oxygen therapy helped treat IBD by lowering inflammation and oxidative stress.