Crohn's is a disease of the digestive and bowel organs. It is described as chronic inflammation of the intestine (the colon). Most commonly the inflammation occurs in the lower intestine but it can affect any part of the digestive tract. The science of Natural Medicine tells us without doubt that a healthy colon is paramount to overall good health. And a healthy colon requires a diet full of fiber and regular daily movements of the bowel. If you do not have a at least one or more daily bowel movements then putrification of food is occurring in your colon. It leads to all kinds of disease. Keep this in mind as you learn more about Crohn's Disease.
If you have Crohn's chances are you've been told "We don't know what causes the disease." It may be bacteria, toxins or diet. It may even be hereditary. No one seems to know for sure but the inflammation associated with Crohn's is believed to be an immune response gone crazy.
An immune response is your body's defensive reaction against dangerous foreign bodies or substances. The foreign body are things such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, cancer cells or toxins. The process of inflammation is nature's design to protect healthy tissue. It is a way that your body isolates an unwanted foreigner and disposes of it.
With Crohn's Disease the immune response is thought to be a possible autoimmune response which is the body responding against itself and attacking its own tissue.
Early symptoms of Crohn's Disease include recurring diarrhea (sometimes bloody) and abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea, painful bowel urges, fecal incontinence and anal ulcers. These symptoms occur during a gastrointestinal flareup.
Low grade fevers, loss of appetite, weight loss may also occur along with constipation caused by an obstruction of the lower intestine. Anemia and dehydration may also be caused by Crohn's. Over time other parts of the body may also exhibit Crohn's-related inflammation such as the eyes, joints, the skin and the spine.
And Crohn's can be complicated by other disorders such as gallstones, kidney stones, dysfunctional nutrient absorption and amyloidosis (abnormal deposits of protein resulting in organ dysfunction).
Fistulas are another feature of Crohn's Disease. A fistula occurs when the lining of the intestine may ulcerate and form channels of infections. Fistulas tunnel from the area of infection and may create holes until it reaches the surface of another organ. Fistulas are the cause of obstructions of the bowel that frequenlty occur. Ultimately bowel resection for Crohn's Disease may become necessary.
Diagnosing Crohn's Disease is not easy. Other things such as parasites or bacterial infection must first be eliminated. In fact Crohn's Disease is lumped into the category of Inflammatory Bowel Disease of which there are several unexplained diseases of the digestive system including various forms of Colitis.
Some research suggests that Crohn's Disease is caused by a bacteria. Because the incidence of Crohn's is much higher in industrialised nations and within high income groups, it has also been suggested that diet must play a large role in the cause of this disease.
Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids play a major role in the prevention of inflammation. If there is an imbalance of these two types of fatty acids then the immune system's inflammation response may be excessive as in the case of Crohn's and many other autoimmune-related diseases.
Research shows that chronic inflammation is linked to many modern diseases. From the heart to the bowel, from the brain to the joints, inflammation is the cause. Prevent or treat inflammation and inflammation-related disease will improve or in fact disappear.
We are meant to eat a diet high in green leafy vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, lean protein from wild game; carbohydrates and fiber from vegetables, tubers and fruits. Humans did not evolve eating large amounts of grains (let alone processed grains), processed carbohydrates, refined sugars, fats or oils. In returning to the diet of our down-to-earth ancestors, we give ourselves the opporutnity to treat or prevent depression, heart disease, diabetes, inflammatory disorders, and other modern ailments.
The Omega-3 Connection, Dr Andrew L Stoll, MD, 2002, p200
Dr Andrew Weil is a well known doctor of Integrated Medicine and he consistently cites inflammation as the single major cause of disease today.Dr Weil recommends a diet with healthy fats or Omega-3 supplements.
One of the most exciting revelations of modern medical research is that inflammation may be a unifying, underlying cause of many modern diseases including cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular conditions.
Dr Weil's Healthy Living, Lower Inflammation Boost Health, Mar 20, 2007 Yahoo Health.
No one knows for sure what causes Crohn's but given that it is a disease of the wealthy and prevalent in the western world ask yourself if you fit into this category: your diet consists mainly of processed foods: white bread, canned vegies, soda pop, candy, cookies, pizza, ice cream, donuts, red meat. Perhaps you are addicted to coca cola or some other sugar and sulphur laden soft drink. You eat very little whole, natural, raw unprocessed foods and you have a low fiber intake. As a result, you are constipated. At best you have a bowel movement every two or three days. If you do suffer from Crohn's you have painful urges of the bowel or bloody pussy diarrhea but you rarely have a healthy movement.
And unless you have a well advanced case of Crohn's Disease you are probably overweight. You could be carrying as much as 15 lbs of toxic gunk in your colon alone. That's right. Because of this unhealthy diet it is likely there is a build up of goo in your colon. It is a warm, dark, bacteria-laden place that is just the perfect environment for processed food to rot, forming an immoveable sludge of toxic waste. Eventually, this toxic waste creates infections and permeates the walls of your colon, seeping into your bloodstream and making you feel terrible if not downright sick.
And we haven't mentioned the probable proliferation of parasites that also thrive in these toxic conditions. People with Crohn's or other inflammatory bowel disease are more susceptible to parasitic bacteria.
It's not a pretty picture. All that doctors will typically offer are more toxins by way of drugs. These drugs treat the symptoms but not the cause and they do not fix Crohn's Disease. Eventually the toxicity of the drugs may further contribute to your spiraling health problem.
If you already have Crohn's Disease then you know what we are talking about. If you are merely researching the possibility that you have Crohn's then you may be gripped with fear. In either case you can take steps right now to change your diet and improve or even reverse your condition in a natural and healthy way.
Changing your diet is the single most important alternative Crohn's Disease therapies. Many people report long periods of relief if not complete remission following specific Crohn's Disease diets that include natural raw foods, herbal therapies and holistic treatments such as accupuncture, massage and meditation. Nutritional options for Crohn's Disease are also very important since the condition may prevent sufferers from absorbing adequate nutrients. Nutritional deficiencies compound the problems associated with the disease.
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