Crohn’s Disease

Healthline provides a very comprehensive overview of Crohn’s Disease as a critical starting point for individuals and/or their loved ones. For more information, visit: http://www.healthline.com/health/crohns-disease.

Crohn’s is an inflammatory disease of the bowel that tends to affect the small intestine and the colon but can also affect the stomach, duodenum and mouth.  Common symptoms of this disease are blood in the stool, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever and chills and weakness.  Malabsorption of nutrients from the diet is one of the biggest problems in Crohn’s and most nutrients particularly the fat-soluble nutrients are poorly absorbed.  Crohn’s has been labelled a modern disease as in ‘primitive’ cultures Crohn’s is virtually unknown.  Around 40,000 people in Britain suffer this painful condition most of whom were born after 1950 when we really began eating a more refined diet.  Over consumption of antibiotics and ingesting residues from meats plus cow’s milk and vaccinations are all suggested as possible triggers.  Children who are breast fed are less likely to contract Crohn’s.  Candida is also linked to this disease.

Foods to Avoid:

Sugar has been strongly linked with the development of Crohn’s and some people find that avoidance of sugar slows down the rate of progression.  Sensitivities to certain foods aggravate the problem.  Tomatoes, raw fruit and nuts are often problematic for some people.  Yeast and dairy are two foods which many people find difficult to digest and avoidance of them has helped many sufferers. Gluten foods such as barley, wheat, rye and oats are also often a problem.

Friendly Foods:

Oily fish which is a rich source of EPA and DHA, two essential fatty acids, have been found to reduce the severity of Crohn’s and the frequency of attacks.  It is important to eat unprocessed fresh foods.  Most sufferers can tolerate meat once or twice a week with plenty of lightly cooked vegetables.  If raw fruit is a problem – lightly stew or grill fruits which makes them easier to digest.  A couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a little warm water sipped throughout the morning helps to correct the pH level within the bowel and aid liver function.
Useful Remedies:

Liquid amino acids aid digestion and healing.

As malabsorption is a big problem liquid vitamins and minerals are more easily absorbed.  Make sure you take a high potency B complex tablet every day as low levels of folic acid and B12 are often lacking in Crohn’s patients.

Zinc 30mg a day to aid tissue healing.

Vitamin A 25,000 – 30,000iu (only 5000iu if you’re pregnant or wanting to become pregnant).

Cod liver oil 1 – 3 capsules a day or 1 teaspoon a day as this contains EPA, DHA and vitamin D.

EPA and DHA are anti-inflammatory and the vitamin D is needed to maintain healthy bones.

Lipase a digestive enzyme needed to help absorption of nutrients, take with meals.

Make sure you take friendly bacteria daily – acidophilus/bifidus are available at all good health stores and should be taken after meals and the capsules should be kept in the fridge.

All above available from most health stores or call the NutriCentre on 0207 436 5122.

Helpful Hints:

  • Smoking has been linked with the development of Crohn’s disease.
  • Lymph drainage massage and skin brushing helps to eliminate toxins from the body.
  • Buy foods as fresh as possible – everything tastes better and you’ll appreciate the effort in the long run.
  • Crohn’s Disease is exacerbated by stress, therefore any techniques known to reduce stress such as yoga, T’ai Chi, meditation, massage or hypnotherapy will help.
  • Adequate rest is essential for any Crohn’s sufferer and gentle exercise is also beneficial.
  • To re-balance your diet and make sure you are taking the right supplements and herbs in the correct amount for your case
  • I strongly suggest you consult a doctor who is also a nutritionist.

For further help, contact The National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease (NACC), 4 Beaumont House, Sutton Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 5HH.  Information Line: 0845 130 2233, weekdays 10.00am-1.00pm.  Website: <*>www.nacc.org.uk,n<*>
e-mail: nacc@nacc.org.uk.

Crohn’s in Childhood Research Association (CICRA), Parkgate House, 356 West Barnes Lane, Motspur Park, Surrey, KT3 6NB. Tel: 020 8949 6209.  Website: <*>www.cicra.org,n<*> Email: support@cicra.org