Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease. It is a chronic disease that causes the lining of the digestive tract to become inflamed, which in turn causes ulcerations in the lining of the intestines. There is currently no cure for this disease, but treatments can reduce the symptoms and help keep it in remission. Many people with Crohn’s disease are able to lead fulfilling lives.
There is no exact known cause of Crohn’s disease. Scientists believe that this inflammatory disease is possibly triggered by genetics or an immune system disorder. Genetics plays a strong role in developing Crohn’s: a person is 30 times more likely to develop it if a sibling has it, and 10 times more likely if any other relative has it.
The body’s response to a bacterial or viral infection might also cause it to develop. The immune system in people with Crohn’s disease may attack the digestive tract as well as the infection, leading to the inflammation. It was once thought that diet and stress cause this disease; however, that has been proven not to be true.
The inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can affect different areas of the bowels. For some people, the infection is only in the small intestine: for others, only the large intestine. The most common parts of the bowels affected by Crohn’s disease are the end of the small intestine and the colon. The inflammation may only be in the bowel wall, or it may spread through it. This inflammation can lead to serious and life-threatening complications.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include mild-to-severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool and loss of appetite. Other less common symptoms include fatigue, mouth sores, and fever and skin disorders. Symptoms vary from person to person, but nearly everyone who has Crohn’s disease will have diarrhea and abdominal pain.
If you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, in addition to regular medical treatment, a change in your diet can be of great benefit in easing the symptoms. Processed foods that are high in fat and sugar are harder for the body to digest, causing a greater chance of diarrhea. They can also increase gas and bloating, which can aggravate the stomach and the inflammation further. A diet in whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help bulk up the stool and make it less watery, reducing diarrhea.
Another way to help improve Crohns disease, and help it go into remission, is food combining. Food combining is a system for eating foods in specific, compatible combinations. Foods that have different digestive needs will stay longer in your stomach and can even ferment before they pass through your intestines. This can aggravate the inflammation of Crohn’s disease and cause symptoms to flare up.
When you use the principles of food combining, everything digests smoothly and easily. Your food passes through your digestive tract the way it was meant to, without any buildup of waste and bacteria. Your stomach produces less acid, so there is less risk of the inflammation causing you pain. There is also less stress on your intestines, and they stay cleaner, which helps decrease potential immune responses that can make Crohn’s disease worse. Try food combining and you can feel better in as little as 24 hours.