Crohn's Disease ---
Causes and Top 7
Natural Remedies

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April 2, 2015

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Living with Crohn’s disease is no easy task. Crohn’s disease is a
chronic inflammatory bowel condition that affects the health of
the gastrointestinal tract, leading to serious diarrhea,
abdominal cramping and dramatic loss of appetite.  It is a
considered to be a form of
irritable bowel disease.

Crohn’s disease was named for Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, who, along
with his colleagues Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D.
Oppenheimer, first noted the disease in 1932. Since it was
discovered in the 1930's, Crohn’s disease has affected millions
of people. Today, over 700,000 people in the United States
suffer from Crohn's, but still little is known about the exact
causes of this painful condition.

What are the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease most commonly affects the workings of the
small bowel and the start of the colon but it could equally affect
any part of the gastrointestinal tract that stretches from your
mouth to your anus. Symptoms vary from person to person but
there are some tell-tale signs:

•        Persistent and long-lasting diarrhea
•        Bleeding from the rectum
•        An urgent need to empty your bowels
•        Abdominal cramping
•        Constipation
•        Ulcers
•        Loss of appetite
•        Weight loss
•        Fever
•        Fatigue
Night sweats

Who Suffers From Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a problem for up to 700,000 Americans,
according to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. While
you can suffer from Crohn’s disease at any age, it is more
common in young adults between the ages of 15 and 35 and
children. Men and women are equally likely to suffer from
Crohn’s disease.

The strongest risk factor for developing Crohn's disease is
having a relative with it. First degree relatives (brother sister,
mom, dad) of someone with Crohn's disease have a 12 to 15
times greater risk for developing the disease, according to a
study in 2000 from University of Oxford, Radcliffe Infirmary,

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

Experts are still not sure what exactly causes Crohn’s disease.
Scientists used to believe that diet and stress were the culprits
but now many researchers think these factors may
the condition but not actually
cause it. Hereditary and genetics
play a part. But environmental factors are also likely to be a
cause of the condition – Crohn’s disease is more common in
developed countries and in urban environments.

In Crohn’s disease, cells mistakenly classify harmless bacteria in
the intestines as harmful invaders, and produce inflammation in
the intestines – an immune response to an “invasion” of

This inflammation does not diminish, and instead of helping the
body cope with harmful bacteria, it thickens the intestinal wall
and causes ulceration.

Is Crohn’s Disease Dangerous?

Crohn’s disease is uncomfortable and painful but it can also
lead to serious complications. Tears in the lining of the anus
cause bleeding during bowel movements.

And inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract may cause a
fistula to develop – a tunnel connecting one loop of your
intestine to another, or causing your intestine to connect to the
bladder or the vagina. This condition requires immediate
medical attention. Crohn’s disease can also lead to severe
malnutrition if not treated.

While there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, there are a
variety of ways in which you can help keep the symptoms of
the disease at bay.

We looked at the recent scientific evidence to see which natural
remedies help cope with this distressing condition and allow
you to live a more normal life.

Plaintain Fibers Help Crohn’s Disease

Scientists believe that an extract of plantain fibers could help
Crohn’s disease sufferers by affecting the make-up of bacteria
in the gut. A 2010 study from the Liverpool Biomedical
Research Centre, UK describes how people with Crohn’s
disease have high levels of a specific form of E-coli in their
digestive system, but poor ability to fight these bacteria in the

Plantain fibers helped slow the transportation of E-coli in the
digestive system as well as assisted the body in fighting off
bacteria without causing inflammation.  

Crohn’s Disease: Diet and Nutrition

You may not be able to prevent or treat Crohn’s disease by
eating specific foods, but you may experience some foods as
problem foods.  Avoid foods such as spicy dishes and high-
fiber foods if these cause you problems with constipation or
diarrhea, according to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of

Paying particular attention to your diet can also reduce the risk
of suffering malnutrition or experiencing health complaints
related to lost nutrients, according to studies such as a 1998
report from the Institute of Pathologic Anatomy, University of
Padua, Italy.

Take Wormwood Herb to Help Treat Crohn’s Disease

A 2007 study from Yale University School of Medicine, New
Haven showed that use of the herb "wormwood" helped Crohn’
s disease sufferers over a period of 10 weeks. Forty people
who controlled their Crohn’s disease symptoms using steroids
were able to reduce their dosage of steroids without causing
symptoms to worsen when taking an herbal blend containing
500mg of wormwood, three times a day.

Boswellia is a Crohn’s Disease Remedy

The herb boswellia is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects
that help Crohn's. In a 2001 study from the Klinikum Mannheim
at the University of Heidelberg, boswellia treated the symptoms
of Crohn’s disease at least as well as a standard medication for
the disease. The study looked at 102 people over a period of
eight weeks.

Does Fish Oil Benefit Crohn’s Disease Sufferers?

While fish oil also has anti-inflammatory effects, it is still not
clear whether fish oil is directly helpful for Crohn’s disease.

A 1996 study from University of Bologna, Italy found that
taking fish oil helped prevent flare-ups of the disease, but other
studies have not found any reduction in relapse rates.

With evidence this mixed, further studies are needed to
ascertain exactly whether fish oil is a benefit for Crohn’s
disease sufferers.

Probiotics Could Help Crohn’s Disease?

A 1993 study from the General Hospital of Celle suggests that
the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii may help reduce
diarrhea in people with chronic Crohn’s disease. Other studies
have not shown similar benefits, although probiotics have been
linked to reduced joint pain in people with inflammatory bowel
disease, according to a 2005 study from VUmc, Amsterdam, the

Acupuncture is an Effective Treatment for Crohn’s Disease

If you suffer from Crohn’s disease you may want to try the
alternative remedy acupuncture to help relieve your symptoms.

A 2004 study from Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-
Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany demonstrated that traditional
acupuncture offers an additional therapeutic benefit in patients
with mild to moderately active Crohn’s disease.

Other alternative therapies that may help Crohn's diease but
which have not been specifically studied include relaxation
therapies, deep breathing exercises, yoga, and biofeedback.


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Plaintains, shown here cooked and raw, help
many cases of Crohn's disease.