Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects 1 in 500 - 700 of the population.
Also called: Regional enteritis; Ileitis; Granulomatous ileocolitis; or Crohn Syndrome.
Crohn's disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It usually affects the intestines, but may occur anywhere within the Gastro-intestinal tract from the mouth all the way to the anus.
The condition starts as small ulcers in the lining of the gut and these early ulcers are called "aphthous" ulcers. These are similar to mouth ulcers.
It’s more common between the ages 15 – 40 and in people who smoke. It can also run in families.
What causes Crohn’s disease?
According to modern allopathic medicine the cause of Crohn's disease is a complete mystery. All they know is that it’s an autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when your body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.
Why would the body do this?
Obviously there must be something going on with the tissue that the body sees as intruding on the body’s health and is worth attacking. Some kind of toxin, irritant, allergen, pathogen, bacteria, or other foreign body or invader is what most commonly triggers an immune response.
The bacteria Helicobater pylori can be detected in the oral mucosa or ulcerated lesion of some patients with recurrent aphthous (ulcers) like those seen in Crohn's disease. (2)
Those who suffer with Crohn's disease have chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). Crohn's disease may involve the small intestine, the large intestine, the rectum or the mouth.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms vary in intensity over time and depend on what part of the Gastro-intestina tract is affected.
The most common symptoms of Crohn's disease include:
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Eye inflammation
- Joint pain and swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Mouth ulcers
- Pain with passing stool
- Persistent, watery diarrhea
- Swollen gums
- Weight loss
- Avoid the types of foods that can make diarrhea and gas worse such as the brassicas, cauliflower, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and broccoli and too many beans or chickpeas;
- Avoid excessively high-fiber foods such as bran, beans, nuts and seeds;
- Avoid too much fatty, greasy or over-cooked fried foods;
- Avoid processed, dehydrated packaged foods;
- Avoid eating foods from the nightshade family including potatoes, tomatoes, capsicums and especially avoid smoking tobacco. Cayenne pepper on the other hand is allowed as it can effectively reduce ulcers, pain and inflammation;
- To help ease symptoms, try eating soothing healing foods such as stewed apples with cinnamon, avocado, salmon, brown rice, porridge, vegetable soups/broths and plain unsweetened yogurt;
- Eating smaller servings of food more frequently throughout the day rather than large meals; and
- Drink lots of water.
- You may feel worried, embarrassed, or even sad and depressed about having a bowel condition and you may therefore be having a psycho-somatic (mind-body) influence. The gut-brain connection is well documented and is therefore a major consideration.
- Addressing negative attitudes and beliefs and learning to curb these influences can have a profound impact on any health condition, but especially those relating to the intestine. This is because the intestine acts as our emotional brain and our emotions can be affected by our beliefs and attitudes.
- You have a powerful mind and the healing effects of positive thinking should be used whenever possible. Try meditation, reading and perhaps some type of social activity that involves an emotional support network of kind friends.
Use these digestive culinary herbs and spices as they will help reduce ulceration, bloating and gas:
- Mixed herbs
To reduce inflammation and pain you can use:
- Aloe vera juice in large doses (50ml 2-3 times daily) will help with healing and give a reduction in pain. One study demonstrated that the Aloe vera inner gel expresses antibacterial properties against both susceptible and resistant Helicobacter pylori strains. (1) Subjects with genetic susceptibility to this infection may benefit from Helicobacter pylori eradication treatment with respect to Aphthous ulcers. (3)
- Slippery Elm bark either in capsules or mixed with warm water (2.5gm twice daily) will also help with healing. Slippery elm contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. It coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. It also contains antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions. Slippery elm causes reflux stimulation of nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract leading to increased mucus secretion. The increased mucus production may protect the gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity. (4)
- Herbal bitters blended in liquid form (2.5 ml before meals) such as goldenseal, wormwood, gentian, chaparral, milk thistle, dandelion, globe artichoke and barberry will all help strengthen the entire digestive system and help reduce excess negative bacteria and inflammation.
Gentian: “the long known action of bitters, which increase the secretion of gastric juice and bile due to the stimulation of gustatory nerves in the mouth”;
Wormwood : “it is long known that the bitter constituents stimulate the gustatory nerves in the mouth and increase the secretion of gastric juice and bile, thereby promoting appetite and digestion” (5)
- Herbal teas can also be beneficial for reducing pain and encouraging healing and these include chamomile, peppermint, ginger and ribwort.
- A combination of as many of these remedies as possible would be suggested if you want to see results quickly. Natural treatments often bring about gradual healing over a period of months, so keep on track and allow yourself the time to heal properly. It’s worth it to get a long term result that could last for a lifetime.
- An herbal colon cleanse like the Ultimate Herbal detox program used over 30 days will allow your colon to heal itself gradually.
With a little time and effort you can say goodbye to Crohn’s.
Brett Elliott ®
(1) In vitro activity of Aloe vera inner gel against Helicobacter pylori strains. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24597562
(2) Recurrent aphthous stomatitis and Helicobacter pylori. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26827061
(3) The relationship of recurrent aphthous stomatitis and Helicobacter pylori, cytokine gene polymorphism and cobalamin. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26039006
(4) Slippery Elm Overview, University of Maryland. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/slippery-elm
(5) Bitters: Time for a New Paradigm. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4446506/