Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract.
For those with this condition, their immune systems end up attacking the good bacteria in their intestines . This often results in ulcers and painful inflammation. The symptoms of Crohn’s can be quite uncomfortable, the most common ones being painful cramping, fatigue, diarrhea, and weight loss. The pain can range from mild to severe, and if left untreated can have serious health consequences.
Risk factors of Crohn’s include family history and smoking cigarettes.
Although there are several treatment options for Crohn’s, there is still relatively little information about this disease.
Traditional treatment depends on the severity of the condition. Treatment ranges from antibiotics to anti-inflammatory medicine. In more severe cases, hospitalization may be required.
Alternative treatments for Crohn’s disease includes the use of probiotics, a source of healthy bacteria, as a means to restore and rebalance the gut.
Fish oil has also known to be helpful in reducing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Although there is still limited research on the benefits of alternative medicine for treating Crohn’s, there has been some evidence that natural treatments are potentially beneficial.
A study posted on Pubmed revealed that patients who use fish oil as a supplement for their treatment had fewer relapses compared to those who didn’t.
However, the study still didn’t have strong enough results to conclude how beneficial it was: 11% of the fish oil takers relapsed while 10% of those taking a placebo relapsed. With such a small margin between the two, in addition with the uncomfortable side-effects reported from fish oil, it still does not stand as a solid substitute for traditional treatment.
There are a few good habits that are critical for managing Crohn’s disease.
- Diet is incredibly important for those diagnosed with Crohn’s, as malnutrition is a huge risk for this illness. The best diet for one coping with this condition is one high in calories and protein, as one’s body is only absorbing a fraction of what it would normally.
- Avoid dairy. Crohn’s tends to make anyone that has it much more sensitive to lactose and consuming high amounts of dairy only adds to the stress being placed on the digestive system.
- Cut out any diuretics. Coffee, along with any other substance with laxative-like effects will only make the symptoms of Crohn’s more severe.
Although Crohn’s is an uncomfortable condition to have, it is certainly manageable when taking the right steps. This includes a well-balanced diet, medication, and careful regulation of any substances that could increase the severity of symptoms.
The best step one can take in managing this condition is to educate themselves on what is best for their body in relation to the severity of their symptoms.