Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the type and prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who are treated at our center. Design: Observational, cross-sectional questionnaire-based study that included patients from the IBD program of our center. Setting: Tertiary clinical center in Santiago, Chile. Main outcome measures: Types of CAM being used by patients with IBD. Results: A total of 200 patients were included, 68% ulcerative colitis, 29% Crohn's disease, and 3% non-classifiable IBD. Overall, 25% of the patients reported current use of CAM, 30% reported using in it the past, and 45% indicated that they had never used it before. The use of CAM was recommended in 20% of the patients by other healthcare professionals and in 10% of the patients by the gastroenterologist. Forty-nine percent of the patients informed the gastroenterologist that they were using CAM. Overall, 86% of the patients did not modify the conventional medical treatment (CMT). None of the patients who were using curcumin, homeopathic medicine, acupuncture or biomagnetism modified the CMT. Conclusions: The type of CAM being used plays an important role when the patient makes the decision to inform the gastroenterologist. Other healthcare professionals play an important role in providing the advice to start CAM. Gastroenterologists must be aware of the high prevalence of CAM use in IBD patients, actively ask about CAM use and guide the patients who want to use CAM in a responsible and safe manner.
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