Part of an ongoing series on how to use supplement and behavior-based plans to treat common maladies. To read the detailed plan, order supplements, or download the patient resource sheets, go here to create a free patient account at Fullscript by entering your name and email address: Dr. Mark McDonald’s Fullscript dispensary

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can be difficult to treat. Humira, a drug commonly prescribed for IBD, costs $7,000 per month and has serious side effects. What if there was something safer and cheaper that worked just as well, if not better?

Kings College of London published a study earlier this year that showed talk therapy treats IBD. In a meta-analysis of 28 randomized controlled trials with over 1,700 total participants, the investigators found that mood interventions can be just as effective as medication. In fact, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness proved better at reducing inflammation than antidepressants and exercise.

As a clinical psychiatrist, I’ve seen many physical illnesses remit in patients who receive talk therapy. The mind and body are closely connected, with one influencing the other. Inflammation is a consequence of stress, either physical or emotional. Talk therapy reduces emotional stress, so it doesn’t surprise me to see that CBT treats IBD. I recommend all my patients, even those not in therapy, consider practicing somatic meditation, a form of mindfulness training. There is a benefit to training one’s awareness that goes beyond improving psychological functioning. It improves physical health as well.

Today, the challenge in making good use of talk therapy is finding a good therapist. I estimate that 80% of therapists are incompetent. Seeing one of them will make the patient worse. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward or clear way to know whether the therapist one is considering seeing is part of that group or one of the remaining 20%. Credentials and training offer little guidance—nearly all training programs have been infected by the woke virus that replaced education with ideological indoctrination. A trainee is no longer assessed on his clinical skills and treatment acumen but rather on his consistency in requesting every patient’s preferred pronouns before beginning the first session. Any therapist who expresses hesitation in “affirming” a transgender identity is unlikely to graduate. Those already in practice risk losing their license if they insist on confronting a patient’s irrationality or delusions, when the insanity aligns with the precepts of woke culture. The odds of finding someone competent today are not in your favor.

If you are lucky enough to have a competent therapist available to see you, know that therapy is not just for solving problems or developing insight. It also serves to improve physical health through the reduction of stress.

If you are not so lucky, you will need to learn self-management. This includes mindfulness training, such as somatic medication. An anti-inflammatory diet low in processed foods, seed oils, and sugar is also critical. Finally, including supplements that reduce inflammation can vastly improve inflammatory markers.

Below is a link to my inflammation supplement plan I provide my patients. I am now sharing it with my Substack subscribers. To access the plan, you must first create a free patient account at Fullscript by entering your name and email address: Dr. Mark McDonald’s Fullscript dispensary