Crohn's Disease

The symptoms of Crohn's disease, including the recurring attacks of inflammation resemble some of the symptoms of the illness called colitis, in this disease abdominal cramping and a diarrhea with a frequent and persistent urge to pass stool sets in because of the inflammation. Emotional anxiety and vexation are often brought on as the diarrhea shows no signs of abating. In sufferers of the disease a poor appetite and weight loss are frequently seen. Any part of the digestive system may be affected by the inflammation-including the mouth and the stomach; however it is usually the small intestine that is the most severely afflicted in the course of the disease. Deficiencies of essential minerals and nutrients are often the result of the inflammation in the small intestine, largely because it is the site responsible for the absorption of many nutrients, when compared with colitis the deficiencies in nutrients is greater in this disease. The disease has a tendency to affect young people the most, and as observed in other types of inflammatory bowel diseases, symptomatic attacks may range from very mild to extremely severe cases.

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The worst aspect of Crohn's disease is that, the inflammation illness causes scarring in the tissues of the intestinal mucous membranes, which are therefore thickened after an attack, these thickening being permanent. The assimilation of nutrients is hindered and hampered even after the disease itself has abated, because a prolonged and lengthy onset of the disease means more scarring in the intestine. Other problems like anemia can be induced because of the heavy blood loss in the intestines due to intestinal bleeding. There is also the danger of the development of small tunnels, called fistulas forming from an abscess and leading to another organ. An internal blockage can also result as a further and much more serious complication of the illness. There can be a lot of bleeding that shows on blackened and red stools, produced by severe constipation with prolonged illness.

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An autoimmune disorder may possibly be the cause of the inflammation seen during Crohn's disease, diet plays a huge role in addressing the disease and those diets that contain a lot of fast foods, refined foodstuffs and plenty of sugars, including all diets deficient in fiber, and natural and fresh food including raw vegetables should be avoided. Much of the so called refined foods, consist of everyday foodstuffs like products made from white-flour, pastas and all types of rice and grains. Because of the fact that stress is an important cue to the sympathetic nervous system, it very often triggers an attack, often producing discomfort through abdominal spasms and involuntary movements in the bowels. Other mental states like a lot of anxiety and fear, including unresolved emotional conflicts and a hurried lifestyle can all give a cue to the sympathetic nervous system, which may trigger fresh attacks.
Crohn's disease is also brought on sometimes because of the accumulation of toxic substances from many types of medications and drugs and possibly due to an overburdened lymphatic system that fails to carry waste substances out of the tissues. There are other possible reasons such as food allergies and the presence in the body of intestinal parasites. The involvement if the liver in the disease can often be known if there is an urge to itch, or an itching sensation allover the body.

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Supplements and herbs

All the substances taken as supplements during this illness should be directed towards two goals; the first being to bring down the inflammation and reduce it, and the second being to boost the rate at which the mucous membranes in the intestines heal. Replacing the depleted nutrients in the body should also be a major goal of any supplement in the diet; this is a very important reason for supplementation as a lot of nutrients are lost during the course of this disease, due to the medication taken and because of poor or non existent assimilation in the intestines. The symptoms that are associated with this disease can often be minimized by an enhanced nutritious diet and supplements that replace the loss of nutrients. The following substances are some of the most common natural nutrients utilized in the treatment of Crohn's disease.

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The normalization of bowel movement and function and a good digestive system calls for the use of friendly bacteria which can restore the normal internal flora. These bacteria can best be included in the diet in the form of dairy-free lactobacillus acidophilus combination supplements; these bacteria can be very beneficial. Substances that have active and efficient anti-inflammatory properties, such as the essential fatty acids omega-6 in oil of evening primrose and the omega-3 particularly abundant in cold-pressed flax seed oil and fish oils are good choices as supplements. A healthy rate of cell development and a lot of essential nutrients are found in green food supplements, which are also rich in chlorophyll; these are very natural and healthy supplements. The protection of the injured intestinal tract and lining from irritation from abrasive matter and toxins can be assured through the use of healing clay, which works by lining the walls of the intestinal tract. This clay can be used over a long period of time and whenever it is deemed necessary. The clay in combination with psyllium seeds or some aloe vera juice can be utilized to prevent the hardening of stools. A lot of vitamin complex supplements can help restore the deficiencies inherent in Crohn's disease, the onset of diarrhea and some of the intestinal damage may partly be due to a deficiency in the supply of B-vitamin's, particularly folic acid, these B vitamins can be taken in a tablet form, which may contain all the essential B group of vitamins. A healthy mucous membrane is maintained through proper levels of the vitamin A in the body, and at the same time, a combination of vitamin C and bioflavonoids can effectively quell the inflammation and preclude fistula formation. The three vitamins A and C, and vitamin E have antioxidant properties, and are effective at fighting off free radicals at the cellular level. A great deal of the resultant scarring during Crohn's disease can also be prevented by vitamin E. Another good substance that is effective as an anti-inflammatory and as an analgesic is the compound called glucosamine, as a supplement and used in combination with vitamins, this substance is effective against many types of chronic conditions over a long term period. Six weeks on glucosamine is the time period under which most patients start experiencing relief from the symptoms. A supplement that includes a multivitamin tablet with added essential minerals will go a long way in addressing the deleted nutrient supply in the body.

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Given below is some herbal and herb based remedies:

The reduction in the inflammation present in the intestines and the strengthening and replacement of the lost connective tissue after an attack of the disease can be address if there is sufficient silica in the intestines. As a supplement this mineral can be taken in doses of about 3 cups as an herb based tea, 2 capsules in powdered capsules form-made from aqueous extract or if in tincture form about 10-20 drops of horsetail tincture, thrice a day for effective results. Bacterial toxins that are stuck in the rectal region can be removed using enemas made from chamomile. Tea made from the chamomile herb can also help in eradicating bacterial toxins and is effective against nervous dyspepsia. For the proper regulation of the bowel movement and to relieve abdominal bloating, recourse can be taken to adding about 5 drops of peppermint tincture or fresh ginger in tea. To soothe and heal inflamed tissue, sitz-baths made form hay flowers, oat straw or from hops oil can be made use of. Nervous conditions and anxiety can be quelled using hops, which calms the nerves, actively promotes sleep and bolsters the intestinal tracts and  stomach against attacks triggered by emotional states. A tea made form hops can be sipped all day long, and before meal times, this tea is good for the stomach, and can be prepared using about 2 - 3 table spoons of whole hops that are soaked in one cup of cold water. Another tea that can calm the nervous state can be prepared by pouring a cup of boiling water over one tbsp. of hops, in combination with lemon balm and valerian, this can be drunk before sleeping. Enemas can also be prepared with tannins, which are astringent compounds found in abundance in the bark and roots of some plants, particularly the horsetail and other herbs like lady's mantle. In general herbal teas made using a cup of boiling water poured over 1 tsp. of one or any combination of the herbs or plants such as comfrey, the aloe vera plant, herbal flowers like dandelion's, marshmallow extracts, papaya fruit, yerba mate, and other herbs like skullcap, slippery elm and Echinacea are all effective in restoring a normal function in the colon and the intestines.

Additional things you may do

There are other physical measures that can bring some relief from the condition, some of these include activities like swimming and bathing the sauna can be tried once healing has set in, while symptoms persist, taking regular and daily hot body wraps along with dry brushing seem to have some beneficial effects on health. It is also very important than the affected person undergoes a period of near total rest and relaxation. The action of brisk walking and light exercise can help stimulate the bowels and can prove beneficial in the long run.

Usual dosage

  • Evening primrose oil, two 500 mg capsules 3 times a day.
  • Vitamin A, 30,000 IU (avoid during pregnancy).
  • Vitamin B complex, 100 mg a day or three tbsp. fortified yeast supplements.
  • Vitamin C, with bioflavonoids, 1,500 mg.
  • Vitamin E, with mixed tocopherols, 200 IU
  • Glucosamine, 500 mg 3 times a day for four months.
  • Chlorella or another green food supplement, one tbsp.
  • Healing clay, one tsp. in one cup of water two times a day.
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus combination, one tsp or three capsules.

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Comments

From Vera Iara - Aug-25-2011
I have irritable bowel syndrome and its main symptom is chronic constipation. Have tried everything and what worked for me most was valerian. It has an immediate effect on the nervous system - with no side effects - and then, you start noticing changes in the whole digestive tract, especially in the intestines.
From Pamela D. - Jun-15-2011
I have found that sublingual B12 and enteric coated peppermint to be very beneficial.
From Stacey Emmert
I have found that valerian capsules help me when I can anticipate being under stress. They also help me sleep. Actually, they have been a God send!!
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