Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder with an unknown origin. It is often called iletis or enteritis and usually affects the lowest part of the small intestine. However, it can occur in other parts of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. Crohn’s disease is responsible for inflammation that extends deep into the lining of the intestinal wall. Infrequently, it can cause crampy abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Commonly, blockage of the intestine may occur due to scar tissue narrowing the passageway. Crohn’s disease may also cause sores, or ulcers, that break through to the surrounding tissues. These tunnels are actually called fistulas. Although they can be treated using medication, surgery is sometimes required. Additionally, people with Crohn’s disease often suffer from nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorption in the intestinal tract.
Somewhere between 1.2 and 15 in every 100,000 people in the United States are affective by Crohn’s disease. This condition affects men and women equally and generally runs in families. Those people who have a relative with the disease happen to be ten times more likely to develop Crohn’s disease than the general population. This disorder affects people in all age groups, with the onset usually occurring either between ages fifteen and thirty or between ages sixty and eighty. Those children who have Crohn’s disease may also suffer from delayed development and stunted growth because of nutritional deficiencies.
Crohn’s disease is often hard to diagnose because its symptoms are very similar to those of other intestinal disorders, especially ulcerative colitis which is another inflammatory bowel disease that affects only the colon. Crohn’s symptoms can also appear sporadically, occurring every few months to every few years for some people. In rare cases, the symptoms may appear once or twice and never return. If the disease continues for many years, bowel function will gradually deteriorate. When this condition is left untreated, it can become extremely serious, even life threatening, and it may also increase the risk of cancer by as much as twenty times.
Many doctors believe that Crohn’s disease has a genetic basis. However, it does not appear until it is triggered by the presence of bacteria or virus that provokes and abnormal activation of the immune system. The onset of Crohn’s disease can be dramatic, with symptoms such as a sudden, high fever, sudden weight loss of more than five pounds in a few days, significant rectal bleeding, severe abdominal pain that persists for more than hour at a time, and persistent vomiting accompanied by a cessation of bowel movements. A series of tests may be necessary to confirm Crohn’s disease. If the tests show the presence of Crohn’s disease, the doctor may do more x-rays of both the upper and lower digestive tract to determine how much is affected by the disease.
As of now, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease. Therefore, the goals of treatment are to control inflammation, relieve symptoms, and correct deficiencies, which can help to keep the condition in remission. The following nutrients are very beneficial in dealing with Crohn’s disease: duodenal glandular, l-glutamine, liver extract, N-A-G, omega-3 essential fatty acids, pancreatin, taurine, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin K, zinc, an amino acid complex, garlic, calcium, magnesium, a multivitamin and mineral complex, quercetin, shark cartilage, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D3, aloe vera, burdock root, Echinacea, fenugreek, goldenseal, licorice, marshmallow root, pau d’arco, enteric-coated peppermint, red clover, rose hips, silymarin, slippery elm, and yerba mate.
Many natural anti-inflammatory formulas are available to help one control inflammation. Look to your local or internet health food store for the above mentioned vitamins and herbs as well as helpful formulas to control inflammation. Always consult your doctor before adding vitamins and herbs to your diet while on prescription medications.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, herbs, and fibers are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.