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Why You Should See a Naturopath For Crohn’s Disease

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Are you looking for naturopathic treatment for Crohn’s disease?


We can help.


In this guide, we will explain why you should see a naturopath for Crohn’s disease and how natural medicine for Crohn’s disease can help improve your quality of life.


Table of Contents



What Is Crohn’s Disease?


Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes severe inflammation in the digestive tract.


This condition is chronic and can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus.


This is unlike ulcerative colitis, another inflammatory bowel disease that affects only the colon and rectum. Most commonly Crohn's disease affects the small intestine and the colon, with inflammation often spreading to the deeper layers of the bowel.


What Causes Crohn’s Disease?


While the exact cause of Crohn's is unknown, the development of the disease involves a combination of environmental, genetic, microbial, and immune factors.


Conventional treatment generally involves management with anti-inflammatory medication, immune system modifying drugs, and sometimes surgical resection of portions of the intestine that are heavily damaged.


Crohn’s Disease Symptoms


The range of symptoms varies in each person and changes over time depending on the management of the disease.


Symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Bloody stool

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Fever

The severity of the symptoms ranges from mild to severe and is often influenced by triggers like stress, smoking, diet, medications, and infections. Crohn’s disease and its treatments can also affect the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections.


Serious complications that can occur in Crohn's include perianal fistulas and strictures. Perianal fistulas form when a deep ulcer or a sore in the inflamed intestinal lining spreads into deeper tissues, causing infections.


A stricture is the narrowing of the intestine due to scar tissue that occurs after repeated cycles of continued inflammation and healing in the lining of the intestine. Occasionally, this narrowing can get so severe that it can cause bowel obstruction.


A Naturopathic Approach for Holistic Healing for Crohn’s Disease


A naturopathic approach to treating Crohn's disease can often help minimize overall symptoms, frequency of flares, and improve quality of life. Consider seeing a Naturopathic Doctor if you are someone who would like to avoid medication management and is willing to dig deeper to find the possible causes.


Naturopathic treatment often involves additional testing and evaluations to help find obstacles to normal function like evaluating salivary cortisol, comprehensive stool analysis, and heavy metal testing.



Naturopathic Treatments: 3 Ways to Control Crohn’s Disease Naturally


Treatment for Crohn's disease can include alterations in the diet, addressing gut pathogens and the microbiome, leaky gut, food intolerances, nutrient deficiencies, and stress support.


#1: Diet Alterations


Diet can play a big role in helping reduce symptoms, promote healing and replace nutrients.


Keeping a food journal can help track how your diet relates to your symptoms because no one type of food or beverage aggravates symptoms for all people with Crohn's disease.


Identifying food intolerances, a food that the body was not designed to process, can help to reduce overall inflammation and improve digestive function.


It is important to be screened for vitamin and mineral deficiencies because Crohn's disease can impair the body's ability to absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.


#2: Exercise and Stress Support


A regular exercise routine can help reduce stress, improve mood, and strengthen bone density.


Low-intensity activities like walking for 30 minutes three times a week can improve overall health. Some frequently used techniques for managing stress are:

  • Relaxation and breathing exercises

  • Hypnotherapy

  • Meditation

  • Practicing yoga; and

  • Tai chi.

#3: Addressing Nutrient Deficiencies


Many of our patients with Crohn's disease are best supported by starting with comprehensive testing and evaluations to eliminate obstacles to healing such as nutrient deficiencies, food intolerances, and stress reduction.


Supporting normal stomach function and critical nutrients for the immune system such as vitamin D and essential fatty acids (like those from fish oil) are often an important part of the treatment plan in which we see success.



How Is Naturopathic Treatment For Crohn’s Different From Conventional Medicine?


People who have Crohn's disease are at risk for malabsorption of certain vitamins and minerals.


Some medications used to treat IBD, like Sulfasalazine and Methotrexate, interfere with the absorption of essential vitamins, especially folate.


Certain nutrients and herbal medicine like folic acid, DHEA, and Ashwagandha can be used to decrease the side effects of IBD medications and protect against complications.


A study revealed that taking >1 mg of folic acid daily may decrease the risk of colorectal cancer by 89%


In conventional treatment, a short-term course of steroids, like prednisone, may be used to reduce overall inflammation and symptoms during a flare.


Side effects of higher doses of prednisone include:

  • Hyperglycemia

  • Muscle wasting

  • Osteoporosis

  • Hypertension

  • Delayed healing; and

  • Immune suppression.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is an over-the-counter supplement that can be used to counteract the effects of prednisone. DHEA is contraindicated in patients with steroid hormone-sensitive cancers, nursing or pregnant women.


Ashwagandha can be used as an alternative to DHEA to prevent the side effects of prednisone. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and is used for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.


Schedule a Complimentary Consultation At Pacific Clinic of Natural Medicine For Crohn’s Disease


Are you interested in learning more about the holistic healing of Crohn's disease?


Schedule a complimentary consultation with us today to learn more and see if the naturopathic approach is right for you.



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