There are many different types of autoimmune diseases, and Crohn’s Disease is classified as such.
“The precise cause of Crohn’s disease is not known.
The disease occurs when the immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract and for this reason, Crohn’s disease is considered an autoimmune disease.
This autoimmune activity produces inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore Crohn’s disease is classified as an inflammatory bowel disease.”
Dr. Leia has received several questions from her readers afflicted with Crohn’s autoimmune disease and she offers suggestions for controlling the symptoms while keeping the disease in remission or help with preventing a relapse.
Learn About Crohn’s Disease and Food Choices to Ease Symptoms
Question for Dr. Leia: I would like some help in finding the right steps to eat healthier and heal myself holistically. I am on azthiroprine and steroids, pentasta for enzymes, and I really want to aim towards a holistic approach to Crohn’s Disease. I just recently found skin tags in my anal area that spread to my vaginal area. What do I need to do to eat and live healthier from your holistic point of view?
Dr. Leia’s Answer: Thank you for your endeavor to find a natural approach and a healthy diet to manage your Crohn’s symptoms. As you know, Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the GI or gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms can often range from slight or little discomfort such as flatulence, diarrhea alternating with constipation, to severe symptoms such as intestinal bleeding, ulceration of the intestinal lining, and bloody diarrhea.
Crohn’s disease is considered an autoimmune disorder and as such, it involves the body attacking itself.
Diet and healthy nutrition are extremely important in controlling the symptoms. Stay away from unhealthy foods and snacks such as:
- refined or highly processed foods
- white rice
- white flour products
- fried foods
- soda pops
- salty and greasy snacks
- deep fried chips
- spicy foods
Really any foods you find aggravate your condition. Food allergies can also aggravate the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease, so find out what your food allergies are by visiting your doctor to have allergy testing done on your favorite foods. Highly allergenic foods include all dairy products, wheat, gluten, chocolate, corn products, peanuts and peanut butter, other nuts, and soy products just to name a few.
Once you determine which potential foods you may have an allergic reaction to, even if minimal, you will know how to regulate your diet so you can avoid a relapse when you have the Crohn’s symptoms under control.
Here is an informative website you can bookmark which focus is on those Living with Crohn’s disease, so take a moment and learn more about this autoimmune disorder so that you can avoid foods that irritate this disease.
Natural Remedies and Supplements for Crohn’s Disease
Question for Dr. Leia: Is there anything that I can take or do to help keep my Crohn’s disease under control? Is there anything that I can take during a flare-up that might help me recover faster without having to use steroids?
Dr. Leia’s Answer: There are over 500,000 people in the United States afflicted with the chronic inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease. It is characterized by inflammation of the digestive tract, particularly occurring in the terminal end of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine as the diagram shows. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include: diarrhea, pain and abdominal cramping, weight loss, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, and rectal bleeding.
As mentioned in the previous answer, diet is extremely important in controlling the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, and you should eliminate any foods such as spicy foods, alcohol, dairy products including milk, eggs, cheese, etc., wheat products, certain high fat foods, or high fiber foods, nuts, especially peanuts, and corn products, especially if they cause increased symptoms or flare-ups.
Stress control and emotional balance is also extremely important. Taking the time to listen to meditation tapes and music, yoga relaxation exercises, and deep breathing on a regular daily basis may be helpful in controlling your symptoms.
Since inflammatory processes of the intestine can cause certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies, it is especially important to take a good vitamin and mineral supplementation, especially, vitamin B12, folate, and calcium. Natural anti-diarrhea products such as carob powder, bananas, aloe vera, and the herbal slippery elm powder are important staples to take daily if they are well tolerated by you. Also Tumeric is a powerful whole food that may help. One of the best resources for whole food Tumeric is TumericForce by NewChapter.
It might be good to get a food allergy test done to determine if you have any allergies to certain foods which could further compound your intestinal problems.
Although the cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, there appears to be a genetic link as it can run in families, and smoking has also been implicated as a possible cause. It appears to be linked to an over active immune system whereby the body is unable to recognize the difference between foreign attackers and nutritive or good substances. A product called Orenda Immune which helps all kinds of autoimmune problems, may be helpful in healing the inflammatory processes of crohn’s disease. This product has helped some people with your condition. This product is found online at Orenda International.
Question for Dr. Leia: Dear Dr, I am a 38-year old mother of four children. I have been living with Crohn’s disease since the age of 12. Recently I’ve been seeing a hormone/aging doctor who just ran many tests. We’ve discovered that I’m vitamin deficient in B12 and B6 — all my B’s are low. I’m also deficient in Vitamin E, Selenium and Choline. I’m low to almost deficient in Vitamin D. My natural anti-aging doctor also said I’m suffering from adrenal fatigue and hypoglycemia too. My total cholesterol is 115. Obviously, I’m having absorption issues. We just beefed up my Omega 3’s and whenever I eat now, my stomach bloats and I have stomach pain and discomfort. What do you recommend to help the stomach break down fats and proteins? I’ve also had two bowel resections where the small and large bowl meet.
Dr. Leia’s Answer: As you have discovered, Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease which affects your absorption of valuable nutrients and vitamins. Since you have also had bowel resections, this further complicates your condition and absorption problems. Hopefully, after all these years, you have been watching your diet closely and have been working with your doctor and her suggestions or recommendations with your diet, and even have had food allergy testing done. Although there is no one-size fit diet program for Crohn’s disease patients, you can experiment with eliminating or limiting all dairy products, working with different fiber foods, eliminating those that irritate your condition and adding those that help, eating small meals frequently throughout the day, and drinking ample amounts of fluid and water daily while avoiding alcohol and caffeine drinks.
In order to digest fats and proteins, you might want to add digestive enzymes to your daily regimen during meals. For fats, make sure that your enzyme contains lipase, which breaks down fats, and also protease, which breaks down proteins. It is also extremely important to control your stress levels in your life, get plenty of exercise, and fresh air daily. Sometimes, high levels of Omega 3 fats are not recommended for some patients who may have adverse symptoms such as you mentioned above. If the addition of enzymes do not help with your symptoms, you may want to talk with your doctor about decreasing the amount again.
I cannot stress enough the value and persistence of keeping your diet healthy, individualizing it for yourself, and constantly moderating it. There have been studies which show that Crohn’s disease can go into remission using an individualized diet program. You might also want to try Acupuncture treatments which may be helpful. Good luck in your search for relief from the challenging symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
Natural Holistic Remedies Offer Help for Crohn’s Disease
You can read more in depth information on the following related topics, and find natural Crohn’s Disease remedies:
- What is Crohn’s Disease?
- Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease
- What Causes Crohn’s Disease?
- Help for Crohn’s Disease
- More Information for Crohn’s Disease
- Best Natural Remedies for Crohn’s Disease
For answers to the above questions, visit > Crohn’s Disease Questions and Answers