If you suffer with Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis you are very likely living with a lot of myths and missing some critical pieces of information that would aid your recovery. YES, there is recovery. The following is a brief touch on crucial issues that you can address now to restore proper bowel function and put that irritated immune system to rest. The answer is much more than a simple probiotic and drug therapy.
Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis are discussed as 2 separate entities in the medical literature but they have many overlapping features and both are autoimmune driven. This means that they are both the result of your immune system attacking your own bowel. Any autoimmune disease you have means that your immune system is not stable and thus you have greater risk for this immune system may attack other body parts and thus generate new autoimmune issues such as Sjogrens, rheumatoid, lupus or multiple sclerosis.
Remove the Cause
These bowel issues don’t one singular cause but rather are the result of a mix of issues that drive the process. Here is the list of frequently related issues that likely play a role:
• Food allergy and IgG food sensitivity. Don’t dismiss this one – get a simple blood test
• Stress and lack of sleep. This may include psychological stress.
• Poor nutrition, processed food, excess sugar, high carbohydrate intake.
Track your carbs and KNOW how many grams you eat per day.
• Chemical toxins: pesticides, herbicides (Round up), food chemicals, sweeteners
Eat real whole food and avoid all processed foods.
• Plastics of all types – food storage, water bottles, saran wrap, etc.
This is a HUGE issue. It’s also a common driver of cancer and fatigue.
• Infections: Virus such as Epstein Barr, cytomegalovirus, and parasites.
• Heavy metal toxicity – lead, mercury, aluminum, etc,
Everyone has some metals – get a provoked urine test to know.
• Drug therapy – acid blocking meds and others place a stress on the body.
Prescription drug therapy is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S.
Food allergies and Crohn's disease are closely associated.
There are 8 foods that account for 90% of all food allergies. The 2 leading foods are wheat and dairy. These foods are inflammatory and hard to digest. Wheat in particular contains a protein called gliadin that our human bodies can’t even digest. So regular consumption of these foods may irritate the lining of the intestines and lead to inflammation that triggers immune inflammation. 70% of your immune system response is in the lining of the intestines.
• ACTION: remove wheat from the diet in all of its forms and look for it listed on food labels. It is often hidden.
• Get a simple blood test of IgG foods. You can purchase that on this site.
Virus Virus everywhere
95% of the world population has been exposed to Epstein Barr virus (EBV) which stays as a resident in your body. If your immune system is strong then that isn’t a problem as it suppresses EBV and keeps it under control. But if your immune system is weakened by heavy metals, sugar, high stress and poor sleep then EBV can ignite and become active.
All common herpes virus, CMV, EBV, and HHP6 have all been identified in colonic mucosa of inflammatory bowel patients
In a 2012 study by Ryan in the journal Digestive Disease, the DNA for EBV was detected in 55% of Crohn’s intestine samples & 64% of ulcerative colitis tissues samples. Healthy control patients didn't have this same occurrence of EBV in their digestive mucosa.
• ACTION: engage an integrative practitioner that understands natural ways to encourage a stronger immune killer cell function (Moducare, ImmPower, Immuno Boost) and natural elements that reduce EBC and CMV such as Monolaurin.
• Epstein Barr homeopathic formula is a safe and simple tool.
If we all have EBV and we are all exposed to plastic
and we all eat bad foods that challenge our gut health,
plus our dramatic increase in drug use and stress . . .
why doesn’t everyone have Autoimmune disease?
Diet substantially effects gut microbiota (flora, bacteria). In a diet that is high in carbohydrates, the bowel bacteria Prevotella predominate. 75% of patients with new onset Rheum Arthritis carried Prevotella copri in their intestinal microbiota. 37.5% of psoriatic arthritis patients also had Prevotella copri in their gut compared to 21.4% of healthy controls.
• ACTION: Use a website such as MyFitnessPal.com to track your total carb intake and strive to keep that total carb intake below 80 grams per day.
• Increase dietary fiber via vegetables. Yes, grandma was right, eat your veggies.
Heavy Metal Testing
A provoked urine challenge to drive removal of metals stored in body tissue can be very helpful. We all accumulate some metals such as mercury and lead from toxic exposures as we go through life but some of us are better at excreting them based on diet and lifestyle habits. If you have a large body load of these metals they may be causing irritation to your immune system and thus drive autoimmune phenomena such as Crohns and colitis.
• ACTION: Work with an integrative practitioner to get a simple provoked urine challenge for metals test done.
In an effort to ease your suffering many well intended traditionally trained doctors will prescribe you steroids. Steroids truly help in the acute setting to reduce inflammation. Unfortunately they also serve to suppress your immune system and thus allow an open door for EBV and other bad pathogens to come out and play. If you truly need a burst of steroid then keep the dose and time used to a minimum. If you are told you need steroids for life then know that this advice came from someone with limited understanding of the process behind Crohns and ulcerative colitis and seek an integrative approach to restore function.
• ACTION: be very cautious with steroid use.
In your intestines you form a biofilm where bad elements such as EBV, candida, parasites and pathogenic bacteria can hide. It's a clubhouse for villains and it needs to be broken up. Natural elements that break up this biofilm can be helpful but there use should be under the care of an integrative probationer to get the best result.
• ACTION: Start slow with use of essential oils such as Bio Clear and if this makes you feel worse then back off and seek the help of an experienced clinician to offer guidance.
This is not a comprehensive review of Crohns or colitis but a short intro into what is possible. If you are struggling with autoimmune disease of any type then walk away today knowing that integrative treatment may enhance your health immeasurably and often will restore function to the point that you can get off expensive and dangerous drug therapy. Drugs are helpful and offer relief, but they do not restore normal function or reverse the disease process. Drugs may hold a valuable place in your treatment, but many people have been able to walk away from such things once they recognize the underlying issues and make changes in their daily personal choices. This is the power of knowledge put to its best use.