Crohn’s Disease is one of the two major chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, the other being Ulcerative Colitis. Its onset is believed to come about from an inappropriate inflammatory response to intestinal microbes in a genetically susceptible host. While it typically involved the ileum (the last section of the small intestine) and the colon it can impact any region of the intestines.
Some symptoms such as altered bowel patterns and abdominal pain are similar to other digestive conditions. However, others are far more extreme which include weight loss, rectal bleeding, and fever. Further symptoms can present outside of the digestive tract such as joint pain and inflammation in the eye.
Crohn’s disease is confirmed through a range of tests that can be carried out through stool which looks for inflammatory markers and the presence of infection or blood. As well as through colonoscopy or endoscopy (to look for damage). CT scans or barium x-ray may also be performed.
Support for Crohn’s Disease
While we cannot technically say we can cure Crohn’s Disease the approach is aimed at supporting your body to achieve and sustain a state of remission. Several areas are focused on to support your digestive system and bring the inflammatory response under control.
Supporting the lining of the gut wall has been associated with reduced disease activity, longer duration of remission and a decreased need for surgery. A selection of natural compounds can be useful here. These include prebiotics, herbal supplements as well as targeted nutritional supplementation.
Reduce Oxidative Stress
Imbalances in the production of oxidation vs antioxidants may contribute to injury to tissue is Crohn’s. By supporting our natural antioxidant defenses, we aim to reduce tissue injury and support healing. This is done through specific dietary recommendations and targeted supplementation.
While diet is the main focus there isn’t a one size fits all approach. Variations on dietary templates can be used as starting points and adjusted to the individual. Food intolerances may also need to be considered and testing may be suggested.
Correct Nutrient Deficiencies
As the gut lining is often compromised in Crohn’s absorption of key nutrients may be impaired which may alter the immune response.
Additional testing can offer the most comprehensive insight into the digestive system.
These offer actionable information to help us understand what’s happening inside the digestive system on a bacterial and immunological level.
The following are tests that can help with offering a clear insight into the digestive system.
- Vitamin D. A key nutrient to support the gut lining.
- SIBO Breath Test. Approximately 30% of those with Crohn’s also have a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine known as SIBO.
- Microbiome analysis. The composition of the bacteria in the large intestine can offer insight and guidance on how to approach your condition.
- Food intolerances. The removal of IgG food intolerances can improve symptoms and lead to longer periods of time spent in remission.
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