Crohn's disease can be confused with other inflammatory bowel disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, thus making it tough to diagnose. Crohn's disease can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. Crohn's disease is characterized by an inflammatory reaction throughout the whole thickness of the colon and bowel wall. This inflammation can penetrate deeply into the affected organ, causing pain and diarrhea.
Symptoms related to Crohn's disease include abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding (which can lead to nausea ), weight loss, malabsorption syndrome and nutrient deficiencies. The onset of Crohn's disease is typically between the ages of fourteen and thirty. Cases of this disorder are inclined to be 2-4 times more common in Caucasian whites than non-Caucasian, and 4 times more common in Jews than non-Jews.
Crohn's disease is typically experienced as flair-up, with attacks occurring every few months to every couple of years. With time, if the disease is active, bowel function can slowly deteriorate, with the risk of cancer increasing by 20 fold.
Scientists think that chronic imbalances in the intestinal flora set off a chain of events which, in the long run, damages the intestinal mucosa. This concept is strongly supported by the parallel in the amount of cases of Crohn's and other inflammatory bowel disorders and use of antibiotics over the past 50 years. Then, it has also been found that the prevalence of Crohn's disease is greater in cultures consuming a"western diet", although it's virtually non-existent in cultures consuming a more primitive diet. Studies also show that patients with Crohn's disease were found to be people who habitually ate, before the start of symptoms, more refined sugar, less raw fruits, vegetables and dietary fiber when compared to their healthy counterparts.
While the specific causes of Crohn's disease remains unclear, there is a lot that could be done to reduce symptoms and even place this disease into remission. The goal for treatment of the disorder is to control inflammation, correct nutritional deficiencies and relieve symptoms like pain, diarrhea and rectal bleeding.
Recommendations for Wellness
1) An elimination diet, for example Gottschall's Specific Carbohydrate Diet have been demonstrated to decrease the symptoms experienced in 3 - 12 weeks.
2) Avoid sugar, both white sugars, and the sugars within white flower, white rice .
3) Maintain a food/flair-up journal. Identify foods you're eating, or your emotional state just before and during a"flair-up". In time, you may find a pattern forming
4) To reduce intestinal inflammation and begin the recovery process, try products like UltraInflamx - by Metagenics, Robert's formula - by Phytophamric, or aloe vera juice.
5) Flax seed or fish oils (Omega 3 Oils) are proven to greatly reduce the inflammatory process. If you find you have difficulty digesting them, try freezing the gel caps before taking them.
6) Extra vitamins and minerals are important at this time, particularly if you're not absorbing nutrients properly. Contain a liquid meal replacement (one which is packed with vitamins, minerals and protein, and low on sugar!) Into your diet and taking a high quality vitamin and nutritional supplement. Try to find one that is in a gel casing or capsule.
7) Find a great mineral supplement such as Alfalfa, barley greens, liquid chlorophyll or colloidal minerals. Many of them come in a powdered form which you can mix with juice or water.
8) Because of blood loss due to rectal bleeding, and the anemia associated with it, incorporation of additional iron is vital. Search to find an herbal iron alternative, especially one that comes in liquid form for better/easier assimilation. If you choose to look to one herb, Yellow Dock are my pick. (Consult with your medical care provider before introducing extra iron in your diet.)
9) Beginning a program of re-inoculating the intestinal tract with Friendly Bacteria, specifically lactoacidopholis can enhance healing and restore bowel function to normal.