Crohn’s disease is well-managed using naturopathic medicine.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), characterized by inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, causing diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease are caused by inflammation, most often in the lower section of the small intestine or colon, but possibly in the rectum, stomach, esophagus or mouth. Triggers causing the inflammation are not well understood, but it is believed past infection and heredity are factors. Our clinical experience is that dietary factors and stress are also factors.
Serious complications of Crohn’s disease include intestinal obstruction, ulcerations in the digestive tract, colon cancer and malnutrition.
Seek professional healthcare if you experience persistent changes in your bowel habits or if you have any of the signs or symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
Possible symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Blood in your stool
- Reduced appetite and weight loss
- Arthritis or eye inflammation
Treatment of Crohn’s Disease at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goals of Crohn’s disease treatment are to reduce intensity and severity of pain and other symptoms, identify and address triggers of symptom episodes to prevent recurrence of “flare-ups”, optimize nutritional status and manage side effects of associated health conditions and conventional treatments.
Conventional treatment for Crohn’s disease may include variety of medications, including anti-inflammatory medications (e.g., corticosteroids), immune system suppressors, antibiotics, anti-diarrheals, laxatives and pain relievers. These treatments may have short- or long-term side effects.
For this reason, you may choose to try natural treatment to possibly avoid use of conventional medications, or together with conventional medications in order to decrease dosages of conventional medications required to manage your Crohn’s disease symptoms.
Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:
- Identifying specific treatment goals
- Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
- Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
- Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating Crohn’s disease may be to:
- Identify and address underlying factors in your lifestyle (e.g., smoking , Accutane® or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use) that may be contributing to your Crohn’s disease symptoms
- Identify and manage exposure to trigger foods using a supervised food elimination and challenge protocol or laboratory testing
- Decrease inflammation using nutritional supplements or botanical (herbal) medicines
- Protect, soothe and health the digestive tract using botanical (herbal) medicines
- Reduce frequency of “flare-ups” by “balancing” immune system activity using botanical (herbal) medicines and nutritional supplements
Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion, including:
- Nutritional counseling
- Nutritional supplements
- Metabolic detoxification protocols
- Botanical (herbal) medicines
- Bowen Therapy
- Exercise prescription
- Relaxation (meditation) training
- Lifestyle medicine and counseling
- Registered massage therapy
Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors and registered massage therapists are covered by most extended healthcare plans.
Crohn’s disease[Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2010 Jan 18]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/crohns-disease/DS00104.