Looking for natural therapy help with inflammatory bowel disease?
Have you been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and wonder if natural therapies can help reduce the symptoms?
Wondering if a change in diet could help with colitis or other inflammatory bowel diseases?
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Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that usually affects the distal ileum and colon but may occur in any part of the GI tract. Symptoms include diarrhea and abdominal pain. Abscesses, internal and external fistulas, and bowel obstruction may arise. Systemic (whole body) symptoms, particularly arthritis, may occur. Diagnosis is by colonoscopy and barium contrast studies.
Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis (UC) both begin with crypt inflammation and abscesses, which progress to tiny ulcers. These mucosal lesions may develop into deep longitudinal and transverse ulcers. The main objective is to assist with the reduction of inflammation in the bowel and promote healing with nutritional medicine. Both specific ulcerative colitis natural treatment and Crohn’s disease natural treatment focus on the whole digestive system.
The most common initial presentation is chronic diarrhea with abdominal pain, fever, anorexia, and weight loss. The abdomen is tender, and a mass or fullness may be palpable. Significant rectal bleeding is unusual except in isolated colonic disease, which may manifest similarly to UC. Some patients present with an acute abdomen that simulates acute appendicitis or intestinal obstruction.
Pain is most common and occurs with both simple recurrence and abscess formation. Patients with severe flare-up or abscess are likely to have marked tenderness and guarding of the abdominal region.
Treatment involves significant dietary modifications (with a Crohns diet or Ulcerative Colitis diet) which will eliminate inflammatory aggravating foods such as highly refined and processed foods, alcohol, coffee and personal allergy foods. Herbs with anti-inflammatory and demulcent actions are well indicated. Immune suppressants are useful during a flare-up and can significantly reduce the severity of a flare-up.
Functional pathology testing can be very useful to identify underlying bacterial or parasitic infections. Nutritional testing too can be extremely useful to rule out deficiencies contributing to poor recovery and worsening symptoms.
Lifestyle changes, such as reduction of stress and methods for stress management are essential for the management of this condition.
Treatment is complex and involves a personalised, specific approach. Ideally a naturopath should be consulted for the best treatment health plan.