The National Institutes of Health reports that many patients are unsatified with conventional Crohns disease treatments for a variety of reasons and more than half of these people seek alternatives.
Symptoms of the disease are uncomfortable to live with and can greatly affect the quality of a person’s life. As such, it is understandable that those who suffer from this condition would seek alternatives, especially when traditional therapies are often ineffective or cause unwanted side effects.
Recommended Crohns disease treatments depend primarily on the severity of symptoms.
The cause of the disease is unknown still, but recent Crohns disease information indicates that the disease may be caused by a bacterial infection. The most commonly accepted theory, however, is that Crohns is the result of a dysfunction of the immune system.
Milder symptoms are usually experienced during the onset of the condition and, in such cases, Crohns disease treatments may include an anti-diarrhea medication, aminosalicylates or corticosteroids. In the event these options fail, prescription medications that suppress the immune system may be prescribed by a physician.
Current Crohns disease information indicates that symptoms are caused by inflammation;however, it’s not an open and shut case because non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs have been linked to flare-ups as well.
Corticosteroids are used with other Crohns disease treatments, such as dietary changes, to control and reduce inflammation. Corticosteroids, however, are not believed to be safe for prolonged use due to potentially serious side effects, such as increased blood pressure, osteoporosis and a heightened risk of infection.
Additionally, corticosteroids lose their effectiveness over time so they do not present a long term solution.
In some cases, Crohns disease treatments with medications that work by suppressing the immune system have been effective. However, the problem here is that using these drugs increases a patient’s risk of infection because of the compromised immune system. With a compromised immune system, the body will find it more difficult to combat infection effectively.
In addition, the use of such medications may increase the risk of cancer. This is because the immune system’s function is to help the body attack and destroy abnormal cells. Such abnormal cells, if left unchecked, could progress into cancerous ones. The latest Crohns disease information indicates that aminosalicylates alleviate symptoms for some Crohns sufferers; however, on the downside, they may reduce white blood cell counts. In short, aminosalicylates may also lower a person’s resistance to infections and other diseases by compromising the immune system.
Current convetional Crohns disease treatments, in summary, obviously have their fair share of drawbacks and downsides. Current Crohns disease information lists surgical removal of the affected areas of the intestines as the only cure. And, it should go without saying that many people view surgery as an extreme, last resort measure. A compilation of Crohns disease information published in August, 2006 concluded that conventional Crohns disease treatments were inappropriate 52% of the time.
A group of gastroenterologists, surgeons and general practitioners evaluated the treatment plans of their colleagues for appropriateness.
This is not told to alarm you, but it could be part of the reason why more and more people are choosing natural alternatives to alleviate Crohns.
Some of the most prominent of these natural alternatives are: aloe, slippery elm, and mangosteen. If you have not heard of any of these, what’s important to know is that there is evidence that these substances may effectively reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
However, none of them have been proven in clinical studies to relive Crohns symptoms, but there are many anecdotal cases of people claiming they helped greatly.
What we do know is that slippery elm and mangosteen have a long history of use as digestive aids. Indeed, the Mangosteen in particular is referred to as “Queen of Fruits” in its native land for its many healing properities and uses, which include relieving diarrhea, pain and inflammation. Scientifically speaking, the mangosteen has been shown to harbor anti-inflammtories, which explains why it is sought out as a natural pain reliever.
Current Crohns disease information indicates that reducing inflammation relieves abdominal pain and other symptoms. In the end, decisions about Crohns disease treatments are a personal choice. But whichever way you choose — conventional or natural — make sure you tell your doctor of your intentions.
Recent Crohns disease information indicates that patients sometimes do not inform their doctors about natural remedies they are using. Some doctors and researchers are concerned about this, because some botanicals and herbals have been known to interact with certain prescription medications.
One possible reason for patient non-disclosure may be that people are afraid of what their doctors will say about the use of a natural treatment, but increasingly, many doctors today are more open minded to natural alternatives.