What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease – or ileitis as it is sometimes called – is a chronic, relapsing inflammatory reaction that may affect the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to the anus. However, it most often attacks the last part of the small intestine where it joins the colon in the ileocaecal area.
In Crohn’s Disease, all layers of the bowel can be affected, eventually scarring may cause narrowing of the intestinal wall. It is an autoimmune disease.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of CD can be many and may include:
- abdominal pain
- watery/bloody stools
- chronic diarrhea,
- loud intestinal noises
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
- nausea and fissures in the anal area.
CD bears many similarities to Ulcerative Colitis.
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Conventional treatment includes antibiotics, anti inflammatory agents and/or surgery to remove the diseased portion of the intestine.
Diet changes are essential. Patients must remove gluten and dairy products from their diet. Sometimes additional food sensitivities exist. See our recommendations for autoimmune conditions here.
Diet must be adjusted according to the severity of the symptoms. The goals are good nutrition and prevention of a secondary infection. Follow the vital healthy eating principles outlined on pages 20-30 of “The Healthy Liver & Bowel Book”
If the ileum is diseased, be aware that vitamin B 12 deficiency may occur.
- Take 2 – 4 tablets daily or 1 teaspoon daily in water or raw juice. Magnesium plays an essential role in maintaining and promoting efficient muscle function and nerve transmission. It is a potent muscle relaxant, useful in spasms, twitches and cramping. Magnesium is lost from the body during bouts of diarrhea.
- Take 1 teaspoon twice daily away from food. Glutamine helps to heal inflamed tissue and helps to restore a healthy intestinal lining.
- Take 1 capsule twice daily. N-acetyl cysteine is required for the body’s production of glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful natural agent that assists detoxification and helps to reduce inflammation in the body.
- Take 1 capsule daily with food. Selenium is very helpful for all autoimmune conditions because it helps to reduce inflammation and reduce auto-antibody production.
- Take 1 capsule daily with food. Many patients with an autoimmune condition have insufficient blood levels of vitamin D. This can worsen inflammation and fatigue. Vitamin D also helps to reduce auto-antibody production.