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Crohn's disease and IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)

   About Crohn's disease?

In 1932, Dr. Burrill Bernard Crohn described the condition as an inflammatory bowel disorder. In Crohn's disease, the intestines become swollen, inflamed and ulcerated. IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease is presented as ulcerative colitis.

Most of the people who have Crohn’s disease, described it as painful and unpleasant condition. All the layers of the lining of the bowel are getting inflamed, causing breaks in the lining (known as ulcerations) of the small and large intestines. However, it appears that any area from the mouth to the anus can be affected in this disease.

In UK it is believed that almost 150,000 people are affected by Crohn’s disease or colitis, with the number increasing each year. It can develop during adolescence and early adulthood, but there were cases when the disease presented in childhood and later in life. Both sexes seemed to be affected, however, parents or siblings or children of people with Crohn's disease are 3 - 20 times more likely to develop the disease. Also, there are some risk factors that contribute to the development of the condition: age, stress level, smoking.

The causes of this disease is still unknown despite a significant amount of research.

   Common signs of Crohn's disease

Always seek proper diagnose from GP or a qualified health practitioner if you suspect you have Crohn’s disease. No not self-diagnose as it might be detrimental to your health.

Below are described some of the signs and symptoms:

Abdominal pain and diarrhoea (It is experienced by almost all of those affected by the condition. The swelling and inflammation associated with the disease extends deep into the lining of the bowel and can cause the intestines to empty frequently.)Blood in the stoolvomiting, fatigue and weight lossskin irritation, arthritis and inflammation of the eyefeeling as if your bowels aren’t empty after a bowel movementthe disease tends to fluctuate between periods of inactivity (remission) and activity (relapse). The treatment aims to manage the symptoms, aiming to promote long period of remission and eventually preventing flare-ups.

Try not to mistake these symptoms with those of an upset stomach or food poisoning.

   Crohn’s disease and diet

With adjustments to your diet and tailored nutritional programmes, this includes supplementation too, there were positive results to Crohn's disease.

According to research, the condition is more prevalent in the Western world, hence a strong dietary link was suggested.

Some allergy or food intolerance that most people with Crohn’s disease are prone to:

gluten – it is a protein found in wheat, rye, oats and barleydiary

It appears that a higher levels of homocysteine (naturally occurring amino acid found in the blood which is linked to several diseases) is found in those with the condition.

When there is a disruption in the balance between the brain and the body, this can result in deterioration of health, and even development of IBD, Crohn’s, coeliac disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, arterial damage, anaemia and many other condition.

Considering an alkalising diet packed with natural whole foods, like veggies, green leafy plants, fruits are generally considered to be of a great benefit for Crohn's sufferers. Other nutrients you should include in your diet: Vitamin B2, B6, B12, folate, Zinc, TMG or betaine (Trimethylglycine).

Avoid intake of avoid foods, beverages that could contribute to acidity in the body like: saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, dairy, red meat, processed foods, alcohol, sugar, caffeine and other acid-forming foods.

   Small lifestyle changes like:

Exercising regularly, quit smoking, minimise stress, avoid toxins.keep the levels of good bacteria in your gut as it is essential for digestion and immunity. You can maintain a healthy balance of friendly and harmful gut flora by taking a high-strength, multi-strain probiotic supplement or by increasing your intake of probiotic foods (sauerkraut, tempeh, miso and tofu).Omega 3, Curcumin, amino acid glutamine may help to calm inflammation and soothe the gut lining too.Many people believe that certain vitamins, herbs, minerals might ease the symptoms.Acupuncture may help relieve stress.

With the support of an qualified health practitioner or nutritional therapist or digestive health expert, you can receive the necessary support to devise your ideal diet and supplement programme.