Crohn’s Disease

Crohn's DiseaseWhat is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the small intestine. It also affects the colon or large intestine.

Every year 6000 cases of Crohn’s disease are diagnosed. In fact, children also suffer from this condition, and it is very sad to know that 1 in every 400 children suffer from Crohn’s disease.

For the last decade, this figure saw a 50% increase.

 

 

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

The exact cause of this disease is actually unknown. There are certain theories given as to what causes this disease. Some theories suggest that genetics is one of the causes. Others say that it is the environment, diet, or some abnormalities in the blood vessels. There are even some who suggest that psychosocial factors are the cause of Crohn’s.

The most popular theory however, is that it is caused by the reaction of the immune system to a viral or bacterial infection. One thing for sure is that emotional distress does not cause this disease, and that it runs in families. Most patients who suffer from Crohn’s disease would usually have a family member who suffered from the same.

 

Diagnosis, Signs, and Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s basically causes the formation of ulcers to the intestinal walls. It also causes scarring and usually occurs in patches. You would find healthy tissues between the patches. While the patches in the wall may seem alarming, it is actually the scarring that narrows the passages. This disrupts the absorption of nutrients, as well as the normal bowel functions. Some symptoms of Crohn’s are often associated with other types of inflammatory conditions that affect the eyes, skin, and joints. Most people who suffer from Crohn’s have problems with absorption of nutrients. 85% those who suffer from Crohn’s were found to have certain deficiencies in the nutrients in their bodies.

In Britain, most people who suffer from Crohn’s were those born after 1950. If you look at it, these were also the years that people started to eat more refined foods. Other factors that were known to be related with Crohn’s disease are over consumption of antibiotics, vaccinations, and eating hormone-fed animal products like milk and meat. These were regarded as possible auto-immune factors that trigger the body’s own immune system to attack various parts of the intestine. Candida and leaky gut are also known to be related to Crohn’s.

  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Blood in stool
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Anaemia

 

Remedies, Treatment, and Cure for Crohn’s Disease

Foods to Avoid

  • Sugar. This has been linked strongly to the development of Crohn’s. In fact, some people found out that avoiding sugar slows down the progression rate.
  • Tomatoes, nuts, and raw fruit. Some people found these foods causing them problems.
  • Dairy products. These foods have been regarded by many as hard to digest and avoiding them has helped those who suffer from the disease.
  • Yeast should be avoided too.
  • Gluten-rich foods like oats, rye, and wheat.
  • Foods that are associated with inflammation. These include simple sugars, alcohol, bread, refined white rice, pastries and caffeine.
  • Hi-salicylate foods like tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, aubergines, and berries (strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries).

Friendly Foods

  • Oily fish. These foods are good sources of Omega 3 and Omega 6 which are essential fatty acids needed by the body. They are also good sources of DHA and EPA. They have been found to reduce Crohn’s severity and the frequency of the attacks.
  • Barley fibre. Studies conducted in Japan found that a certain type of fibre in barley was actually beneficial to those suffering from Crohn’s disease. It was known to reduce diarrhea. You can add more barley to broths and soups.
  • Eat the freshest of foods only.
  • Eat fresh and not unprocessed protein-rich foods. This helps in repairing and healing the intestines that have been damaged by Crohn’s disease. A lot of those who suffer from the disease can tolerate meat once or twice in a week. The easiest to digest would be steamed fish or grilled chicken. It is best to eat these with lots of lightly cooked vegetables.
  • Stewed or grilled fruits. These types of fruit preparation are the easiest to digest.
  • A mixture of apple cider vinegar (just a couple of teaspoons) and warm water sipped all throughout the morning could help in correcting the bowel’s pH level and also helps for a good liver function.
  • Drink the water where you cooked your cabbage could help in healing the digestive system.

Some Helpful Remedies

  • Liquid vitamins and minerals. These are better absorbed by the body as compared to solid forms, especially that malabsorption is a huge problem of those who suffer from Crohn’s disease.
  • Quercetin (300mg 1 – 3 times/day). This is a kind of flavonoid that has been widely known for its anti-inflammatory action.
  • B-complex tablet everyday. Make sure it is one with a high potency. This is because those who suffer from Crohn’s disease were found to have low levels of Vitamin B12 and folic acid.
  • Liquid amino acids (5g taken once per day before meals). Mix this with fruit juices instead of milk.
  • Glutamine (500mg taken 4-6 times spread throughout a day, before main meals). Whey protein is another source that is useful in L-Glutamine.
  • Zinc (30mg per day). This helps in healing the tissues.
  • Vitamin A (25,000iu per day for a month). If you are pregnant, take only 3,000iu.
  • Cod liver oil (1-3 capsules per day or 1 tsp per day). This is a rich source of EPA, DHA, which are considered as anti-inflammatory. It also contains Vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones.
  • Polyzyme forte (1 – 2 capsules per day). This is a digestive enzyme that helps in the absorption of nutrients during meals. This is best taken after the first few mouthfuls.
  • Bifidus and Acidophilus. These are friendly bacteria that help in reducing food sensitivities that are readily available at reliable health stores. These must be taken after meals.

Some More Helpful Tips

  • If you are still starting to use digestive enzymes, or any other digestive supplements, it is always advisable to do it gradually. This would prevent from giving your body system a “shock”. For instance, if the directions in the enzyme states that you take it 3 times a day, try to build this up in a span of one week.
  • It is not yet conclusive whether food intolerances can trigger Crohn’s disease. However, it is acknowledged that they may worsen the condition and irritate the intestines. It is best to check for any intolerances and avoid these foods.
  • Smoking has been linked to the development of Crohn’s.
  • Eliminate toxins. Some ways to do this are through skin brushing and lymph drainage.
  • Buy only fresh foods, and as much as possible, go organic.
  • Reduce stress through meditation, tai chi, yoga, hypnotherapy or massage. Spiritual healing can help too. Stress exacerbates Crohn’s and any way that you can reduce it can help.
  • Do gentle exercises and make sure that you take a good rest. Walking and swimming can be good.
  • Consult a doctor or a nutritionist who has dealt with Crohn’s before so that you may get the best advice.
  • Suffering from Crohn’s disease for a long time can put you at risk for colorectal cancer. So if you are already above 30, it is best to see your doctor for regular checkups.
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