If you’re frequently affected by abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever and weight loss, chances are here that you’re suffering from Crohn’s disease. Let’s learn more about this chronic inflammatory disease of the intestine.
Crohn’s disease was named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, who first described it in 1932. Crohn’s disease belongs to a group of disorders known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) and is chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract and intestine.
It is important to note that Crohn’s disease is different from ulcerative colitis, another type of IBD. While the symptoms of these two diseases are quite similar, they differ in the gastrointestinal tract (GI) areas they attack on.
Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that may harm almost any part of the gastrointestinal tract. The disease is recorded to affect about 3.2 per 1,000 people in Europe and North America every year. However, it is less common in Africa and Asia.
The major cause of the disease is a combination of environmental, bacterial and immune factors in genetically vulnerable individuals. The results include chronic inflammatory disorder, wherein the body's immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract. While the exact underlying immune issue is not clear, it may be an immune-deficiency state.
Crohn’s Disease - Signs and Symptoms
The worst thing about Crohn’s disease is that it can affect any part of the GI tract. Although the symptoms vary from person to person, the common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are mentioned below.
Symptoms related to the GI tract inflammation:
- Persistent Diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding
- Urgent need to move bowels
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Sensation of incomplete evacuation
- Constipation that can further cause bowel obstruction
General symptoms associated with IBD:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight Loss
- Night sweats
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of normal menstrual cycle
Crohn’s Disease – Natural Treatment
No specific medications or surgical procedures are known yet that can cure Crohn's disease completely. However, certain prescribed treatment helps with the common symptoms, and prevent relapse and maintain remission. As such, patients are seeking natural cures to ease the symptoms. These natural treatments are also called alternative or integrative medicine. Have a look.
Here are 4 alternative treatments for treating Crohn’s disease:
Probiotics: Probiotics are living micro-organisms found in certain foods that you can eat. In addition, you can also consume probiotics in form of supplements. Probiotics tend to act very much like those good bacteria in your gut. However, probiotics may be more or less advantageous depending on the location and phase of your disease. It is possible that certain strains might work for one person but not for others.
While yogurt is one of the most common sources of probiotics, a number of people with Crohn’s disease are sensitive to dairy products. It’s better to consult your doctor before taking probiotics.
Fish Oil: Since years, Fish oil has been used to stimulate cholesterol health in humans, but doctors also suggest these days to consume Fish Oil as it can benefit the Crohn’s patients. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are said to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce Crohn’s symptoms. Studies reveal that patients taking fish oil were twice as likely to remain in remission as those who consumed placebo.
However, consult your doctor before you start taking fish oil supplements. Taking high dose of fish oil, or taking it along the blood thinning medication may lead to bleeding problems.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that uses thin needles injected into specific points on your body. It’s believed that practicing this therapy encourages your brain to release endorphins - chemicals that block pain. Acupuncture also helps strengthen your immune system and fight infection.
Herbal and Botanical Treatments: There are also some botanical and herbal treatments that may help ease the symptoms of disease. These include:
- Aloe Vera juice
Talk to your medical expert before trying any herbal or botanical remedies. While these are quite effective in Crohn’s disease, they can sometimes interact dangerously with medications you might be taking and cause undesirable side effects.