Crohn’s disease is another digestive issue falling in the category of inflammatory bowel disorder or IBD. It causes inflammation that penetrates the layers of the bowel tissues. It causes malnutrition, abdominal pain, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and weight loss. There is no cure for Crohn’s disease but there are certain therapies used to reduce the symptoms of the disease.
Symptoms Of Crohn’s Disease.
Different people suffer from this disease in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract. In some people, the most effective part at the end of the small intestine called ileum while in others some part of the large intestine is under attack. Some patients may face mild symptoms while others go through severe symptoms without warning. The active form of disease causes:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in stool
- Sores in the mouth
- Weight loss due to malnutrition
Some patients may also face inflammation in the joints, eyes, and skin. It can also cause delayed or impaired sexual growth and development in children. You should see a doctor if you are suffering from severe abdominal pain, blood in the stool, fever lasting for long and abrupt weight loss.
Causes Of Crohn’s Disease
Although the exact reason for Crohn’s diseases is still unknown scientists think that poor diet and stress are to blamed. Research also shows that it may occur if a bacteria or virus attacks our digestive system and the immune system respond abnormally and start attacking the normal cells. Even though most people who have Crohn’s do not have it running in their families, scientists think that it may also be running in genes.
Risk Factors of Crohn’s disease
Risk factors increasing the chances of Crohn’s disease are:
- Young age
- Family history
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
How Is Crohn’s Disease Usually Treated?
As there is no cure for the disease, all procedures and medications are meant to reduce the symptoms and control flare-ups. The first line of defense is medicines. Doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics to reduce the harmful bacteria in the gut, pain relievers. Doctors also give supplements of fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin D or B12 shots to strengthen the body.
Patients are also subjected to nutritional therapies and diet plans to reduce the symptoms. Lastly, if the symptoms do not get better, the doctor may opt for surgery and remove the affected part of the digestive system.
Natural Remedies For Crohn’s Disease
As long as there is no treatment for the disease, we can rely on some of the trusted natural remedies. Here are a few of them.
Bacteria are not always bad. In fact, we need some of them for the proper functioning of our body. Good bacteria can not only help us in the fight against the bad ones but also assist in the digestion process. Probiotic supplements can help in relieving the symptoms of the disease and can also reduce the chances of remission. If probiotic supplements are not suitable for you, go for natural probiotic foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha.
Prebiotics are an aid to the bacteria present in the gut. They improve the function of the bacteria which will eventually reduce the symptoms of the disease. Try to add artichokes, honey, bananas, onions and garlic, Asparagus, Banana, Legumes, Chicory root, Dandelion greens to your diet.
Fish oil is highly beneficial for promoting the level of cholesterol in the body. However, it has also shown to improve the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Fish oil contains omega 3 fatty acids which are known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help in reducing the flare-ups of the disease. However, do not take fish oil if you are on blood-thinning medication. It can cause bleeding problems.
Another great natural remedy for reducing the symptoms of Crohn’s disease is the camel’s milk. It contains an ample amount of calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Along with them it also contains vitamin A, B2, C, and E which are required for the functioning of the body. Even though more studies are required to know more about the benefits of camel milk for Crohn’s disease.
In this technique, thin needles are used on specific points in the body which encourages the brain to produce endorphins. These chemical compounds can block pain aid the immune system to fight off infection.
Herbal And Botanical Treatments.
Herbal treatments can also prove to be fruitful in reducing the symptoms of the disease. Taking chamomile tea, peppermint and aloe Vera juice may also produce desirable results depending upon your conditions.
Drink Plenty Of Water And Other Liquids.
Patients of Crohn’s disease face frequent diarrhea which leads to dehydration and loss of nutrients. To avoid this situation, it is better to take plenty of liquids and water. Take half an ounce of water for every pound of your weight each day. Add water-based foods like soup in your diet. However, try to avoid carbonated drinks and sparkling water as they can cause gas and flatulence. Reduce the intake of caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, and drinks containing chocolate. Stay away from intoxicating drinks like alcohol and beer.
Go For Lean Meat.
The muscles of the gut are affected during the Crohn’s disease, so our body requires proteins to heal the ailing tissues. Taking red meat can aggravate the problem, and it is hard to digest. You should switch to leaner cuts of poultry and fish. Avoid taking meat with skin, hot dogs, fish, sausages, and pork. Eat well-cooked lean meat as it is easy to digest and does not put an extra burden on the stomach.
Biofeedback is a relaxation therapy in which machines are used to reduce the intensity of pain. It also helps in regulating body temperature, blood flow, perspiration level, and brain signals. Patients of Crohn’s disease can feel relieved with this technique as consistent diarrhea and irritation can be very tiring and cumbersome.
The active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is an excellent remedy for inflammatory conditions like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. You can use it in the form of capsules or tablets or use it while cooking your food. A pinch of turmeric in the milk (if it suits you) can heal your gut and reduce inflammatory reactions.
Restrict The Intake Of Dairy Products
Some patients may face gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain with the use of dairy products. Limit your intake of dairy products and switch to easy to digest plain yogurt or lactose-free varieties available in the market.
Watch Out For What Triggers Your Flares.
Triggers vary from person to person which is why every Crohn’s disease patient should have his own food diary containing a list of foods that aggravate their condition. Jot down the symptoms you experience with different foods and then discuss them with your dietitian. Now add all foods which are suitable for you and then make a list of all the delicious dishes you can make out of those ingredients. It will help you in keeping your diet just the way it should be.
Things To Avoid.
If you are suffering from Crohn’s disease, try to avoid the following foods.
- Avoid taking vegetables including cabbage, broccoli, lentils, beans, and legumes. These can add to bloating and pain.
- Avoid raw vegetables as they require more effort to get digested. It can increase diarrhea and affect the intestine.
- Avoid taking fruits with skin like apple, guava, and plum. Instead switch to bananas.
- Avoid canned fruits with higher quantities of fructose. Dried fruits are also hard to digest so it is better to cut on them as well.
- Citrus fruits could be very acidic for your ailing stomach and may add to irritation and pain.
Don’t Miss Out On Calories.
Skipping meals is no solution to the problem. With consistent diarrhea, you are at the risk of losing essential nutrients required for the proper functioning of the body. Take a high-calorie diet in small meals with easily digestible ingredients. If you avoid eating due to diarrhea, it will weaken your immune system to make your body prone to several other diseases.
Stem Cell Therapy For Crohn’s Disease.
Millions of people are being affected by this inflammatory disease which has no cure till now. Stem cell transplant could be an emerging solution for this incredibly painful and disturbing disease. It is used to replace the faulty immune system of the patient with a healthy one. It involves chemotherapy to wipe out the faulty immune system and then the stem cells extracted from the blood are introduced back to the body to make it work properly.
All these natural remedies help reduce the symptoms of this inflammatory disease. However, not all of them are equally fruitful for everybody. Make your food diary and note down the ones that help you. However, always remember to consult your doctor before taking any of these. Do not go against the advice of your health care practitioner as he knows your conditions and everything that will work best for you.