Crohn's Disease is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and auto-immune condition of the small intestine. Many suggest Crohn's Disease is an advanced case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome that has progressed to this inflammatory and immune related stage.
Crohn's Disease symptoms include:
Diarrhea and frequent bowel movements that may or may not be accompanied by blood and mucous in the stool
Other symptoms of Crohn's Disease may include gas, bloating, indigestion, abdominal pain, cramps, weight loss, rectal bleeding, arthritis, fever and skin problems.
Other less frequent Crohn's Disease symptoms are blockage of the intestines and ulcers that tunnel through to other tissues called fistulas.
Another Crohn's Disease symptom is a fissure that may occur in the skin surrounding the anus.
Crohn's Disease does have a primary cause: ANTIBIOTICS! There are also genetic variables that contribute to a Crohn's Disease predisposition and antibiotics may set off that predisposition. Each time you took an antibiotic to treat an infection of any kind, they also altered this delicate balance of good bacteria living in the gastrointestinal system. It doesn't matter if you have taken 2 or 200 courses in your lifetime or if you haven't taken any in years, the damage could have been done that long ago.
Crohn's Disease symptoms develop because the beneficial bacterial balance is altered, then the chemistry of the gastrointestinal system changes, inflammation occurs, food allergies are created, the immune system gets involved and symptoms develop.
What are the best foods to eat? That is a common question for sufferers and yes, there is a diet for Crohns Disease. Though simple dietary changes will help a small percentage of sufferers and since most have their symptoms for many different reasons, there is no one Crohn's Disease diet that will work for everyone. But, the patient will not get well without eliminating dairy and gluten and identifying their allergies.
Crohn's is a complex condition requiring a complex solution. To help you eliminate symptoms associated with Crohn's Disease (and determine a proper Crohns diet), we must realize there are in total, nine separate variables that may cause your symptoms:
- Lack of beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal system
- The presence of bad bacteria, yeast or parasites
- Lack of digestive enzymes (especially if you have lost your gall bladder)
- Improper bowel chemistry
- Intolerances to dairy products (very important in a Crohn's Disease diet)
- Intolerances to fructose containing foods
- Intolerances to gluten containing foods (also important in a Crohn's Disease diet)
- Celiac Disease (a problem with gluten, but different than a gluten intolerance)
- Possible food allergies (different than intolerances, it's an immune response and must be identified if a patient is to eliminate their symptoms. Essential to determine your Crohn's Disease Diet)