by Dr. Scott Saunders
Cynthia had come to the United States from Australia a few years prior to our meeting. She had been struggling for many years with digestive problems and was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Over the next several years, she had several surgeries to remove portions of her bowel, leaving her with a colostomy bag and a shortened intestine. She came in to see me because in spite of the surgeries, she still was having diarrhea, cramps, bleeding, and lots of pain. The bags on her abdomen became a mess and she needed constant help just to maintain her digestive system.
Crohn’s disease is a digestive disorder that causes erosions anywhere in the digestive tract – from the mouth to the anus. The Mayo Clinic website correctly states: “While there’s no known [medical] cure for Crohn’s disease, therapies can greatly reduce the signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease…” (1)
Crohn’s disease symptoms can be prevented or diminished with the following medical treatments:
- Low-residue diet
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as sulfasalazine, mesalamine or corticosteroids
- Immune system suppressor drugs to decrease inflammation
- Antibiotics for infections outside the bowel
- Surgery to remove the damaged section of the digestive tract, to remove adhesions or to close fistulas
None of these conventional medical treatments has been able to cure the digestive problem, although some can go into remission from Crohn’s disease for years. You can read about Barton Publishing’s very own Leslie Prins remission from Crohn’s disease with holistic treatment methods HERE.
Modern treatment can get to the cause of the problem.
Since we now have the ability to find the cause of illness, we can now repair the lining of the intestines with natural remedies, instead of just cutting it out, or trying to relieve the symptoms. This may require some testing by a health professional because symptom control must be tailored to the individual.
However, without knowing the exact cause, you can still treat Crohn’s without drugs. These healing remedies will include the following:
Food is the foundation of any healing treatment for Crohn’s disease. One of the mainstays of therapy in my office is to do an “elimination diet,” where all offending foods are eliminated for three weeks. The goal is to put as few demands on the digestive tract as possible.
This always excludes the following offensive foods from the diet:
- And anything that causes a reaction
If it is not clear which foods minimize cramps, then we may start with three weeks on a diet exclusive of all foods except beef or chicken broth and pure water. This works nine out of ten times.
- No processed sugar at all
- Very little fruit that contains sugar
- Avoid grains, cereals, and starches
- No alcohol
- Drink water only. It’s best to hydrate well by drinking water with salt – add ¼ teaspoon of salt per quart of water, drink two of these per day.
Nature’s antibiotics should be used alternately, changing to a new one every week. If you find one that seems to work particularly well, it can be used for two weeks. Each should be used according to the package directions.
- Oregano oil capsules
- Grapefruit seed extract (GSE)
- Pau d’Arco
- Colloidal silver
Herbs can be taken in teas or capsules. Each of these has been shown to relieve inflammation in the bowel. They also aid in repairing the lining of the intestines.
- Licorice root
- Aloe Vera (Raw aloe vera juice works best, especially if you milk it straight from the plant)
Other Crohn’s treatments include:[am4show guest_error=’noaccess’]
- The amino acid GLUTAMINE is used to repair the lining of the intestines because these cells use it for energy, instead of sugar. Take about 5 grams twice per day on an empty stomach.
- Digestive enzymes should be taken with meals, these often come with:
- Betaine HCL – take 2 to 4 with meals – if you get a burning sensation, diminish it until that goes away.
- Probiotics – try different ones on an empty stomach three times per day. Some that have more organisms are not necessarily better.
Foods that fight Crohn’s:
- Gogi berries
Eat fresh berries because they contain nutrients that are not destroyed by processing. Cynthia found that only fresh pomegranate would relieve her symptoms. When there were no pomegranates in the store, she tried drinking pomegranate juice, but it didn’t help her at all.
All of this must be done at the same time! At first, the treatment for Crohn’s disease is a lot of change and work, but it’s DEFINITELY worth the trouble to avoid complications of this disease. You will be able to guide the therapy by your symptoms. Crohn’s disease manifests differently in each sufferer—in fact, even the individual’s Crohn’s symptoms may vary over time. You will know what works and what doesn’t so you can make changes as needed in order to heal quickly.
Some may need help from a doctor who is expert in the use of modern testing and treatment. There are several labs that can do comprehensive stool analysis to test for bacteria, parasites, yeast, inflammation, allergic reactions, and so forth. This can guide the therapy to specifically address your digestive problems.
Cynthia was able to get much better on her Crohn’s treatment, and was even able to get her colostomy taken down and have normal bowel habits. Her life is much better, however, she continues to deal with the long-term effects of having so much bowel removed, scar tissue, adhesions, and so forth.
As you can tell from Cynthia’s case, this is not a minor illness, and can have serious repercussions. It is therefore important to do this properly in order to prevent complications. You can be freed from the oppression of Crohn’s disease. Take time to heal and address all the underlying causes.
One of the concerns of Crohn’s disease is that if it goes unchecked and not kept under control, it not only can worsen in its current location, it can spread to other sites, even to other organs in the body. How do you keep Crohn’s in check?
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Dr. Scott D. Saunders, M.D. (Ask-an-MD) is a practicing physician, specializing in preventative healthcare, who utilizes eclectic health care for the whole family, including conventional, orthomolecular and natural medicine. He is also the medical director of The Integrative Medical Center of Santa Barbara in Lompoc, CA. He went to UCLA medical school and is board certified in family medicine. View natural remedies with Dr. Saunders at: http://drsaundersmd.com