Crohn’s Disease- A Natural Approach

May 6th, 2014 by Dr. Keith Nemec

Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease (self-attacking on one’s own immune system) is defined by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract anywhere from the mouth to the anus with primarily affecting the lower portion of the small intestine. Nearly 500,000 Americans are affected with usual age of diagnosis between 15-30 years old. Crohn’s disease can develops due to defects in the barrier lining of the small intestine causing mucosal lining issues but is enraged due to an out of control immune response to the antigens attacking the lining.

A compromised small intestine is often seen with those who have Crohn’s disease. An Italian study found that those who supplemented with Zinc three times a day decreased the occurrence of small intestine increased permeability or leaky gut. The intestinal barrier improves in those who supplement with Zinc.  Zinc is a double edged sword because if it is too low or too high it causes immune dysfunction so it is best to have an alternative medicine doctor test and make recommendations. Some food sources of zinc include sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and cashews.

Vitamin D is very important for immune system function. It has been shown to stimulate certain genes and proteins in immune system cells. Several studies have shown strong links between Vitamin D deficiencies and susceptibility to Crohn’s disease as well has ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, eating fruit (avocados are the best) and vegetables, lowering saturated and hydrogenated fat and sugar intake may reduce developing Crohn’s disease. A low fiber diet may be one risk factor for developing Crohn’s, along with certain foods that may aggravate symptoms, such as dairy products, spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol and processed wheat items. All foods in the diet should be tested regularly to make sure they are not a source of inflammation.  Omega-3 fatty acids help fight inflammation and reduce the chances of recurrence. The best source of omega-3 is flax and hemp seeds.

Probiotics have many benefits, especially digestive health. Several clinical trials show benefits in the treatment of Crohn’s disease including blocking the effects of harmful bacteria in the gut, by producing antibacterial substances to fight off the bad bacteria. Probiotics compete with harmful bacteria and toxins. Probiotics also have inhibited certain inflammatory proteins and heal the epithelial layers of the intestines, then strengthening the mucosal lining.

Crohn’s disease if not properly managed with natural alternative healing methods can cause chronic inflammation that may lead to small intestine or colon cancer. The key is to completely correct the condition rather than maintaining it with medication. When you treat the cause which are the systems of the body out of balance, then the effect which is the disease can resolve.

Crohn’s disease can be a tremendous burden on one’s health. It can be well controlled and put into remission if the right steps are taken early in the disease. By supplementing with probiotics, food source Zinc and Vitamin D, committing to a plant-based, nutrient rich diet, especially those with rich Omega-3 foods, one can take back control of their health and life. It is important to be pro-active in achieving remission from Crohn’s and knowing ones triggering foods.

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