Crohn’s Disease – An Introduction

article-crohns-disease-an-introduction

Our digestive tract or gastrointestinal tract (GI) is one of the most vital systems of the body. Over 80% of our immune system is located in our gut. It also plays a very important role in digesting foods, absorbing critical nutrients, and eliminating toxic waste.

All disease begins in the gut - Hippocrates AD 460 (the father of medicine) Click To Tweet

It will come as no surprise that when inflammation begins to take place in our gut that the GI system is no longer running at optimal capacity. This is where your body becomes compromised and your health starts to take a dive.

Inflammatory markers begin a phase of wreaking havoc on your bodily processes, resulting in debilitating pain and suffering. This is the beginning of many types of GI disease and autoimmune disease as it’s so commonly referred to today.

Crohn’s disease is the flavor of autoimmune disease that we’re focusing on in this article.

Basic Facts About Crohn’s

dr-burrill-crohn-md
image courtesy of icahn.mssm.edu

Crohn’s disease, named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, a physician who first described the disease in 1932, is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that occurs when an abnormal immune system response leads to chronic inflammation anywhere in the GI or digestive tract — which can occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus.

For many years, Crohn’s disease was confused with Ulcerative colitis (UC) in the conventional medicine circles. What they later discovered was clear differentiators between the two.

Out of 1.5 million documented IBD sufferers in the United States alone, over 700,000 suffer from Crohn’s. That’s a staggering 47% of all IBD sufferers. I’d call that a widespread problem!

crohns-disease-graphic-dr-axe
image courtesy of DrAxe.com

It’s estimated that over 8,000 new documented cases of Crohn’s occur every year and research is only showing an increase as time goes on. It’s particularly increasing for our younger generations. The 15-30-year-old range is where it’s been most common. However, Crohn’s can occur at any age. In fact, the youngest I’ve seen is a young boy at the age of 4!! How toxic must a lifestyle be that for a 4-year-old to develop Crohn’s disease? It’s unbelievable and so sad. But I digress…

Crohn’s Disease Can Destroy Your Health

The destruction Crohn’s disease deploys within your GI tract causes a wide host of symptoms, which can range from mild to severe. The most common include weight loss, diarrhea multiple times per day, rectal bleeding, fatigue, migraines, light-headedness, and abdominal pain.

Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

Download the Common Symptoms of Crohn's Disease

One of the differentiating factors of Crohn’s from other IBD diseases such as UC is the “patchy” nature it occurs in the colon. The intensity of symptoms depends largely on which areas the “patches” have affected.

crohns-disease-vs-ulcerative-colitis
image courtesy of onhealth.com

One of the hardest things for Crohn’s sufferers is not only that it’s completely debilitating, it’s consistently expensive to manage and deal with. The reported figures are mind blowing at a whopping average of $28 billion dollars combined spent every year in the U.S. between Crohn’s and UC!

While conventional health experts are still unsure what exactly causes Crohn’s disease, doctors of Functional medicine and nutrition seem to understand it completely, without question. However, studies have found there can be genetic markers that can be at play for percentages of people in the single digits.

fresh-fruit-my-rebellious-colon
image courtesy of Pixabay

There is not any specific medical treatment that can completely eliminate the disease today. However, changes in lifestyle and nutrition are proving to be a VERY promising route to take. (I’m proof of this!)

It’s very important to become in tune with your body. Be alert, listen and watch for symptoms and document them in a notebook as a kind of diary. Ignoring the symptoms only causes them to increase and cause more pain and suffering. I recommend this to all of my readers and clients and they all report a significant ability to alter course and manage symptoms effectively.

Final Thoughts

If you or someone close to you suffers from Crohn’s disease, it’s important to act swiftly to gain control back and prevent the disease from progressing. Inflammation spreads quickly if left untamed and it will greatly affect your life to the point of dramatic weight loss, confusion from dehydration and lack of nutrition. Many find that they have to quit their jobs or even worse, they’re let go because they cannot perform their duties or even get away from a toilet long enough.

It’s important to educate yourself as the more you understand about Crohn’s, the better you’ll be equipped to battle it and regain your health and vitality. Learn as much as you can before it’s too late.

 

References

  • http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/assets/pdfs/updatedibdfactbook.pdf
  • http://www.stmarksfoundation.org/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,print,0&cntnt01articleid=114&cntnt01showtemplate=false&cntnt01returnid=77