From CCFA.org, here’s some information about Crohn’s and related diseases. For more information read the entire article ( http://www.ccfa.org/info/about/crohns)
Basically Crohn’s and a related disease, ulcerative colitis, are the two main disease categories that belong to a larger group of illnesses called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) And because the symptoms of these two illnesses are so similar, it is sometimes difficult to establish the diagnosis definitively. In fact, approximately 10 percent of colitis cases are unable to be pinpointed as either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease and are called indeterminate colitis.
But both illnesses do have one strong feature in common. They are marked by an abnormal response by the body’s immune system. The immune system is composed of various cells and proteins. Normally, these protect the body from infection. In people with Crohn’s disease, however, the immune system reacts inappropriately. Researchers believe that the immune system mistakes microbes, such as bacteria that is normally found in the intestines, for foreign or invading substances, and launches an attack. In the process, the body sends white blood cells into the lining of the intestines, where they produce chronic inflammation. These cells then generate harmful products that ultimately lead to ulcerations and bowel injury. When this happens, the patient experiences the symptoms of IBD.
The Role of Nutrition
There is no evidence that any particular foods cause or contribute to Crohn’s disease or other types of IBD. Once the disease has developed, however, paying special attention to diet may help reduce symptoms, replace lost nutrients, and promote healing.
Good nutrition is essential for anyone who has a chronic disease, but it is especially important in Crohn’s disease for several reasons. First, the appetite is often reduced in people with Crohn’s. Second, chronic diseases tend to increase the energy or caloric needs of the body. This is particularly true during episodes of disease “flares.” And third, Crohn’s is associated with diarrhea and poor absorption or dietary protein, fat, carbohydrates, and water. All these symptoms rob the body of fluids, nutrients, and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Restoring and maintaining proper nutrition is a vital part of the medical management of Crohn’s disease.
When Crohn’s disease is active, soft, bland foods may cause less discomfort than spicy or high-fiber foods. Except for restricting milk in lactose-intolerant patients, most gastroenterologists try to be flexible in planning the diets of their Crohn’s patients. A healthy diet should contain a variety of foods from all food groups. Meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products (if tolerated) are sources of protein; bread, cereal, starches, fruits, and vegetables are sources of carbohydrate; margarine and oils are sources of fat.
Here’s a video testimony of Rhonda Lucero share in the joy of her customer Robin’s successful efforts in dealing with Crohn’s Disease with The Body By Vi Challenge!
And here is Kristen Davis’ story about her bout with Colitis
Kimberly Ratliff shares her success with Visalus and how it helps with her Crohn’s disease.
While Crohn’s is a serious chronic disease with many complications, it is not considered a fatal illness. Most people with the illness may continue to lead useful and productive lives, even though they may be hospitalized from time to time, or need to take medications. In between flare-ups of the disease, many individuals feel well and may be relatively free of symptoms. But again, everyone is different, and it is up to you and your physician to find the treatment that works best for you.
Even though there is no cure at this time, CCFA’s research and education programs already have improved the health and quality of life of people with Crohn’s disease.