Many of us are stuck in cold, damp places during this time of year. Even if you are currently in a warm climate, you may wonder why, when the climate shifts, you feel a shift in your body as well – with your IBD and other symptoms.

Ever wonder why your symptoms get worse during winter?

The physical and mental response alone to a change in seasons can cause havoc. I personally always used to get my flares in winter for some reason, until I began noticing a pattern (and this was before I healed myself naturally).

Everyone is different, however, and IBD symptoms can manifest differently for each individual – but overall the pains and aches seem to begin as soon as the first freeze starts.

Many people think IBD is only a bathroom issue, but if you have delved into Jini’s mind/body/spirit section of the blog you will see that everything is connected! Even down to our toes!

Why this happens?

The inflammation in the gut can cause “side issues,” like arthritis-type symptoms in Winter and climate changes. I even had asthma from my dysbiosis issue! Either way, these are not fun to deal with and can be very painful! The sweeping inflammation in our body can spread to other areas, creating other “itis-like” symptoms.

Any SHIFT in the environment – emotional, physical, dietary, and temperature changes – can really throw someone off if they still have inflammation from IBD.

If you think of it that way, it’s easy to see how one thing can trigger the snowball effect of an IBD flare.

What to do?

Besides practical measures, such as bundling up if going out in the cold, or hot showers to relieve pain, make sure you focus your time on where it counts – in the gut!

For those who have chronic severe forms of arthritis, I recommend reading Jini’s home remedy page on arthritis for at-home treatment and recommendations.

My recommendations today are more for the occasional “flare” of IBD, or lighter, non-consistent symptoms during winter.

So FIRST, if it were ME…

I would make sure I am on some sort of herbal anti-pathogen. For Jini and me, this was a game-changer! These are natural substances that kill the “bad guys” living in the digestive system, and as a result, your whole body. They are similar to antibiotics, but do not cause harm to the GI tract like antibiotics do.

I would start slow, using either wild oregano oil, olive leaf, or garlic – but only ONE of those at a time! Whichever is best tolerated. These all will begin the “die-off” of bad bacteria and yeast in your system that can cause such havoc.

The only time I personally wouldn’t use anti-pathogens is if I was unstable physically. What I mean by this, is active bleeding, hemorrhaging, puking, severe diarrhea, etc. The anti-pathogens can cause a temporary increase in symptoms, as bacteria are dying! THIS IS NORMAL, and it’s actually called the Herxheimer Reaction.

That’s reason why I would not start these until physically stable. Who wants to throw more fire onto those flames, when you are already suffering from extreme symptoms?

It’s important to ALWAYS follow up anti-pathogens with probiotics, as you want to replace the bacteria lost with GOOD bacteria, thus resetting the gut flora. Jini uses and recommends Natren brand, which is a potent therapeutic-quality probiotic and the brand she has used in all of her protocols. It’s important to take any anti-pathogens at least 2 hours away from your probiotics, as you do not want to kill the good bacteria you are supplementing with. Anti-pathogens are amazing, but at the right time! So, listen to your gut as to when you are ready to begin treatment.

In my opinion, anti-pathogens are fantastic not only for their overall gut benefits, but also because in winter there’s usually increased mold around. That alone can trigger people, as we already have harmful microbes in the body.

Around the house, I actually take colloidal silver in a bottle with water and I spray all my vents, the layers of my furnace filters, and even in the air to kill any mold. It also kills all other bad stuff like fungi, viruses, etc. This helps me have fresh, mold-free air to breathe – in addition to taking anti-pathogens orally. You can read more about the benefits and uses of colloidal silver in this blog post.

Here is another fantastic blog on how to take apart your filter and dose with colloidal silver.

The benefit of using natural anti-pathogens is decreased inflammation, so I usually start to see results when the detox phase is over!

The SECOND thing I use is Epsom salt baths!

Not only does the heat help for aches and abdominal spasms, but the magnesium is INSANE for detoxing! Which is what we need during winter to get us through the stress of it all. Both sulfate and magnesium can be absorbed through the skin, which is the body’s largest organ. Epsom salt’s ability to relax muscles, reduce swelling, relieve pain, fade bruises, draw out toxins and soften skin has made it the primary ingredient in most bath salts.

You simply put Epsom salts in your tub, then just sit and soak! It will pull toxins out of you while you relax.

Third, make sure you are in the right headspace.

Depression in winter is very common – no sun, no warmth, and you can’t travel as easily. So, make it a daily practice to do something you love, or something to take your mind off the daily grind. Jini calls these Restorative Practices. I personally walk every day, as nature just lifts me up!

Jini’s 4-week Lazer Tapping course is another great way to use downtime in winter in a proactive way, which helps facilitate healing. When a memory, experience, physical event, bodily symptom, or issue comes up that needs to be healed, or resolved – or it’s bugging you, but you don’t know why – that’s the time for some Lazer Tapping! I highly recommend you try a FREE session with Jini and experience this powerful tool in action yourself.

Also make sure to check out our Instagram account that was made for IBD patients, to provide inspo daily! @ibdinspiration

Lastly, make sure you are giving your body extra vitamins during the winter.

It’s important to supplement with Vitamin D and Cod Liver Oil for Winter Immune Support.

You can also find Jini’s FULL winter immune system protocol here.

Just as seasons pass, so do pain and symptoms. Stick with your protocols, push through the winter blues, and come out the other end happy, healthy, and ready for summer.

I’d like to leave you with this quote by John O’Donohue:

“Within the grip of winter, it is almost impossible to imagine the spring. The gray perished landscape is shorn of color. Only bleakness meets the eye; everything seems severe and edged. Winter is the oldest season; it has some quality of the absolute. Yet beneath the surface of winter, the miracle of spring is already in preparation; the cold is relenting; seeds are wakening up. Colors are beginning to imagine how they will return. Then, imperceptibly, somewhere one bud opens and the symphony of renewal is no longer reversible. From the black heart of winter a miraculous, breathing plenitude of color emerges… Whatever comes, the great sacrament of life will remain faithful to us, blessing us always with visible signs of invisible grace. We merely need to trust.”