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Crohn's disease is a chronic microbial, immunologic gastrointestinal pathology, named after the researcher who first discovered it. The disease is manifested by the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Throughout its duration, the inflammation can be either continuous or in segments.

Most often Crohn's disease will appear primarily in the small intestine, usually in the part which is closest to the colon- the distal ileum, but it can also appear in many other areas of the body starting from the mouth and all the way to the rectum, combining all layers of the intestinal wall. 

The disease starts with a superficial inflammation that spreads affecting the lymph nodes and blood vessels causing a thickening of the intestinal wall. This chronic tissue inflammation can cause complications such as ulcers, cysts, and fistulas- an abnormal connection between intestine and the internal organs such as the uterus, vagina, or stomach.

Causes of the disease

The disease appears to be equally prevalent in men and women, affecting mainly young people in their teens and twenties. At the onset of the disease, it tends to have a chronic nature with occasional flare-ups and remission. The cause of the disease is unknown. Many studies have been conducted on the different types of bacteria that might be responsible for Crohn's, but as of today, there are no definitive research results. The theory that exists today talks about an autoimmune source of the disease, that is, a kind of abnormal immune response against the gastrointestinal mucous that has been linked to psychosomatic causes such as stress or trauma. Other possible causes include nutritional deficiencies, genetic predisposition, bacterial or parasitic infections, antibiotics, and food allergies.


Short-term complications: anemia, caused due to iron or vitamin B12 deficiency or shortage of other vitamins, such as folic acid, which is found mainly in fruits and vegetables that are not tolerated during an acute flare. 

Long-term complications: the skeletal and muscular system might be affected: Clubbing of the fingers, osteoporosis arthritis - common in 30-60% of patients. Fibromyalgia, eye infections, skin disorders such as erythema nodosum, liver and gall bladder tract disorders, urinary stones (oxalates and uric acid), and blood clots.

The course of
the disease

The disease behaves differently over the years. At first, it is more turbulent, inflammatory, accompanied by all the phenomena aforementioned, but over time the signs and nature of the disease may change.

At the onset of Crohn's, most patients are diagnosed with inflammation in the large or small intestines, which is the nature of the disease at that point in time. Over the years, the inflammation decreases, and the risk of proportions and blockages increases. The nature of the disease becomes obstructive such as the thickening of the intestinal wall, and the intestinal space becomes narrower. The risk of obstruction by food increases as the intestinal space becomes narrower. The blockage can be caused due to abdominal surgery or following the bowel cavity, due to intestinal wall thickening. The blockage is manifested by many more acute symptoms such as intense abdominal pain, vomiting, absence of bowel movement, and severe abdominal swelling.

Conventional treatment

The standard approach to treating Crohn's is to reduce the inflammatory process in the intestinal wall. The drugs which are given in the initial phase are from the aminosalicylate group of medicines with the active ingredient mesalazine (Pentasa, Rafassal, Asacol).

In more severe cases, the doctor will recommend stronger drugs such as steroids or immunosuppressive drugs such as Sulfasalazine (Salazopyrin), and Azathioprine (Imuran) .

In cases of infections, antibiotics will be given.

In addition, there are newer drugs such as Infliximab (Remicade) or Adalimumab (Humira) based on a TNF antagonist which is a protein that is secreted in the inflamed areas and increases tissue damage.

Also, during severe flare-ups that require hospitalization, fasting, and intravenous feeding are sometimes performed.

If the disease persists, worsens, and does not respond to the drug treatment, there is a need to perform surgery to remove the inflamed part of the intestine and drain the abscesses (wounds).

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Natural Treatment
my approach to treating Crohn's disease

The goal of the natural treatment is to help those dealing with Crohn's to get into remission in a safe and natural way. The treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms, preventing flares and complications, and strengthening the digestive, nervous, and immune systems.

It is known today that certain foods can worsen and even cause Crohn's, while other foods can help treat it. A significant part of the natural approach is based on putting together a balanced menu consisting of functional, nutritious foods, which contain essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables, for example, are a great source of antioxidants and prebiotics that may contribute to the reduction of the inflammation and oxidative stress caused by the disease.

There is a connection between food allergy or food intolerance and Crohn's. Therefore, in some cases, it is necessary to do an illumination diet to identify the allergenic foods. In any case, it is recommended to avoid foods considered to be allergic because they may worsen the disease.

Furthermore, it is very important to stick to healthy eating habits such as proper mastication of the food, mindful eating, and avoiding heavy meals.

The diet is adapted individually to each patient according to his or her health condition, sensitivities, and lifestyle. The idea is to integrate these nutritional and lifestyle changes in the most convenient and easy-to-implement way into the patient's life.

Bare in mind that the course of Crohn's disease and its cause are often directly affected by the person's mental and emotional state, therefore in addition to the nutritional treatment, my patients also receive a great deal of emotional and mental support to help them adapt better to stress.

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