Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract. The disease is also called granulomatous enteritis, colitis, regional enteritis, regional ileitis, ileitis, or terminal ileitis and it causes ulcerations of the small and large intestine. The disease can affect the digestive system anywhere from the mouth to the anus, but distinctively affects the terminal ileum as well as demarcated areas of large bowel. The disease is named after the American physician, Burrill Bernard Crohn (1884-1983), who described the disease in 1932.
Crohn’s Disease Symptoms
Crohn’s disease symptoms may include:
- Chronic diarrhea & disrupted digestion: It becomes difficult for the patients in the acute phase of the disease to eat and/or digest food.
- Painful and debilitating inflammation
- Fistulas of the colon
- Lipid absorption problems
- Anemia: Persistent rectal bleeding may lead to anemia.
- Bruising of the shins.
- Fever, pain and psychological damage in many cases
- Crohn’s disease in children may cause delayed development and stunted growth.
In the case of widespread intractable Crohn’s colitis, the colon and rectum (protocolectomy) are removed by the surgery ileostomy. Surgery is generally avoided, as this does not cure the disease. Crohns disease can recur at the site of the anastomosis or ileostomy.
Crohn’s patients should avoid the following foods and liquids:
- Dairy foods
- High fiber foods should be avoided during flare-ups.
- Hot spicy foods
- Alcohol & caffeine
- Foods containing saturated fats, found in meat and dairy products. However some fats such as in fish oil may actually be helpful.
- Products containing corn or gluten, those made from wheat, oats, barley, or triticale
- Foods, such as soy, eggs, peanuts and tomatoes
- Gas-producing foods such as cabbage family vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts), dried peas and lentils, onions and chives, peppers and carbonated drinks
- Foods that may irritate the intestine (particularly the cabbage family vegetables)
- Simple sugars
- Dried fruits or high-sugar fruits, such as grapes, watermelon, or pineapple
- Sorbitol (an artificial sweetener)
- Fluids to keep the body hydrated and prevent constipation
- Fruits may be protective
- A high protein diet with lean meats
- Eat small frequent meals
- Prebiotics such as psyllium may help in the healing process.
- Probiotics may also be helpful in aiding recovery of the intestines.
Recent studies have come up with a promising Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
Helminthic therapy like the fecal bacterio therapy induces a characteristic TH2 white cell response in the diseased areas which seems to be the key in achieving and maintaining remission, and may prove to be of key significance in further research.