Have you been suffering from excessive diarrhoea and abdominal pain on a regular basis? You might have Crohn’s disease or Colitis.If you have received a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease after undergoing a colonoscopy, there’s good news. There is a Crohn’s Disease treatment that approaches this condition with a nourishing anti-inflammatory way of eating along with making other lifestyle changes that can impact inflammation, mood, and way of life very positively. Functional medicine tests can diagnose your underlying issues, that are fuelling this condition, and they can be addressed. This is a far better approach than just managing the symptoms.
What is Crohn’s disease?
This inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. It’s estimated that 115,000 British people suffer from Crohn’s disease, and one in 350 with an IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
Crohn’s disease/colitis can seriously get in the way of everyday life with the possibility of it being both painful and debilitating. Your doctor will tell you how there is no known cure and likely prescribe you medication like steroids that come with dangerous side effects. Thankfully there is hope for sufferers in the form of natural medicine.
If you suffer from Crohn’s, there are many ways to treat it naturally (and indeed ulcerative colitis).
Our very experienced Nutritional Therapist can work with you to adjust your diet, based on your test results, and we prescribe natural medicine that has clinically helped Crohn’s/Colitis sufferers to take back control of their health.
A Natural Approach to Crohn’s Disease Treatment
Crohn’s disease treatment, the natural way, involves making a number of scientifically proven changes to your lifestyle and diet. Here are some of the ways we recommend you start healing your body and improving Crohn’s disease symptoms, starting with learning about which foods are a part of a Crohn’s disease diet.
Crohn’s Disease Diet specified by The National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases states that healthcare providers recommend several types of specific diet plans for helping to control Crohn’s symptoms. These include:
- High-calorie diets
- Lactose-free diets (removing dairy products)
- Low-fat diets
- Low-fibre diets
- Low-salt diets
However, by using functional medicine testing, it is possible to discover which foods you should avoid because they are causing inflammation. This personalised approach ensures that each patient’s unique needs are met.
The type of diet that works best depends on your ability to digest and absorb minerals, bacteria, fats, fibre and certain types of carbohydrates. People with Crohn’s react differently to these food groups depending on what type of medications they might be taking, their level of intestinal inflammation, and the extent to which they produce or don’t produce different digestive enzymes.
Avoid classic problem foods — Food sensitivities vary from patient to patient but commonly include spicy and fried foods, refined foods like white breads and pastas, carbonated drinks, alcohol, and caffeine. Wheat products (gluten), cereal grains such as corn and oats, dairy products, pork, onions and yeast also all tend to make Crohn’s symptoms worse.
- Eat a healing diet — If you suffer from Crohn’s, it is strongly recommend you follow a diet, which decreases inflammation (the No. 1 dietary goal with Crohn’s), alkalises the body, lowers blood glucose, eliminates toxins and optimises nutrient intake. Changing and improving your diet is one of the most important, controllable and natural things you can do to improve inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease. The diet consists of eating roughly equal amounts (33 percent each) of clean protein sources, healthy fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates in the forms of fruits and vegetables
- Limit dairy — Many people with Crohn’s find that gastrointestinal problems like diarrhoea, abdominal pain and gas improve when they limit or eliminate dairy products. Some people are also lactose intolerant, which means they can’t digest the milk sugar (lactose) in dairy foods. And while the lactose in dairy hasn’t been shown to necessarily make Crohn’s worse, the fat content in dairy can inflame the condition
- Be careful with high-fibre foods, including raw fruits and vegetables — for some people suffering from Crohn’s, consuming high amounts of fibre, especially from raw fruits and vegetables, can be too difficult for their compromised systems to handle. Don’t skip your fruits and veggies altogether however, just eat them cooked whenever possible. Some Crohn’s sufferers have trouble with foods in the cabbage family (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.), nuts, seeds, corn and popcorn. Keeping a food diary can help you see what works and what doesn’t for your particular case of Crohn’s. This way you don’t eliminate a healthy food (for example broccoli) unnecessarily in your Crohn’s disease diet if you don’t actually need to.
- Eat smaller meals — If you want to avoid a Crohn’s disease flare-up, it’s best to stop overloading your body with over-sized meals. By eating smaller meals you put less stress on the gastrointestinal tract, which can help reduce some Crohn’s symptoms like bloating, gas and cramping. You can try eating smaller meals more often throughout the day, rather than 2-3 big meals, to help with absorption of nutrients, improving energy and controlling symptoms.
- Drink enough fluids − It’s possible to lose a high amount of fluid due to frequent diarrhoea. Make sure to drink at least 8 large glasses of bottled water per day. Caffeine-free herbal tea and grass-fed bone broth are also good choices, since these not only provide water but also electrolytes and amino acids.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners — A 2018 study published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases revealed that the artificial sweeteners sucralose (otherwise known as Splenda) and maltodextrin intensify gut inflammation in mice with Crohn’s-like disease. Artificial sweeteners increased the presence of Proteobacteria — microbe bacteria found in E. coli, Salmonella and Legionella — in individuals suffering from Crohn’s or other inflammatory bowel diseases and is the primary cause of increased white blood cell enzymes in the gut. According to the study, “about 10–15 percent of human patients report that sweeteners worsen their disease.”
Here at the Harley Street IBS and Autoimmune clinic, we work in a highly patient centric way in our Crohn’s Disease treatment to tailor a way of eating that not only heals the digestive tract and brings down inflammation – but also listens to each person’s wishes and needs from how they eat – their likes and dislikes.
It is so important that recovery and healing feels positive and empowering. We create bespoke plans as unique as you are in order to help co-create your recovery.
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