Diarrhea For Years Due To Crohn’s Disease

Jane is a 41 year old lady who came to see me for help with Crohn’s disease. She had been suffering with Crohn’s disease for 23 years, and she had diarrhea for that many years! She experienced diarrhea between 2 and 5 times each day. She had also been experiencing rectal bleeding for the past 2 years.

Jane was thoroughly fed up with these symptoms. I don’t blame her. I have no idea how she put up with them for so long. They did take an enormous toll on her health, energy level and state of mind though. She experienced quite severe depression and anxiety, and she was taking a prescription antidepressant.

Jane regularly experienced abdominal cramps and bloating. She took sick days off work a few times each month because some mornings she was so exhausted from the diarrhea that she didn’t have the strength to stand in the shower and get ready for work.

Jane rarely went out. She worked, she did the grocery shopping and she visited a few friends at their homes, but she didn’t like going to new places because she was always worried about having to find a bathroom quickly. Jane said “I’m always scared of having a bout of diarrhea. I’m tired of living my life this way. I want to have a life again”.

I thoroughly agreed!

I was quite concerned about the fact that Jane had suffered with an inflamed small intestine for so many years. Her medical report stated that she had “inflammation, ulceration, mucosal abnormalities and villous atrophy”. Her small intestine was severely damaged by the Crohn’s disease and this was greatly reducing her ability to absorb nutrients. That meant her body was significantly malnourished. It’s impossible to heal if your body is depleted of nutrients.

Because Jane has had Crohn’s disease for so many years, she became very despondent about medication used to treat the condition. Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune condition. That means the body’s own immune cells attack and destroy the lining of the intestines. The most common medication given for this condition is steroids. Jane had taken them for many years but she knew they were not safe long term, and she was worried about her bone density, since her mother had suffered with osteoporosis.

My recommendations for Crohn’s disease

  • Firstly, I told Jane that she must change her diet. It is very important that she avoids eating grains, dairy products, legumes and nuts at the moment because these foods are difficult to digest for someone like her and they can worsen the intestinal inflammation. I asked her to base her diet on cooked vegetables, raw vegetable juices and smoothies, along with fish, poultry, eggs and red meat that is cooked in water until very soft (in a crock pot, slow cooker, or on the stove).
  • As expected, Jane was quite low in vitamin D. She was taking a supplement but not enough to bring her blood level into the optimal range. I asked her to take 5000 IU per day with breakfast.
  • I gave Jane Intestinal Parasite Cleanse capsules in order to kill off bad bacteria, yeast and Candida in her bowel. This should help the bloating and discomfort she experienced.
  • I gave Jane a glutamine supplement and also Fibertone, to soothe the inflammation in her intestinal lining and to provide some bulk to her stool.
  • I suspected that Jane had a problem with foods high in FODMAPs because she felt extremely bloated and in severe pain whenever she ate onions or sweet potatoes. Therefore I asked her to follow a low FODMAP diet as well. You can read about FODMAPS here.
  • Because there is a great deal of inflammation in Crohn’s disease, I gave Jane a selenium supplement . Selenium helps to calm the immune system and reduces auto-antibody production in autoimmune conditions.

I have seen Jane several times in the last 6 months. When she is following the diet she feels significantly better and has gone weeks at a time with having normal bowel motions. She has noticed that eggs seem to make her nauseous, so she has been avoiding them. Jane has been able to slowly wean herself off her antidepressant and said “For the first time in a very long time, I feel in control of my life and more confident each day”. She has been taking magnesium which eases feelings of anxiety and helps her achieve better quality sleep.

For more information on my recommendations for autoimmune disease see the book Healing Autoimmune Disease: A plan to help your immune system and reduce inflammation.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.