Do you know what Crohn’s is? It’s a chronic inflammation in the GI tract. Maybe you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Crohn’s – do you know the symptoms and the best diet?
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammation of any part of the Gastrointestinal (GI) tract and is most common in the terminal ileum. What is the ileum?
The ileum is one of three segments found in your small intestine. The other two segments are the duodenum and the jejunum. These segments all perform different functions in your small intestine, which is approx. 17 feet long. Crohn’s terminal ileitis and ileo-colitis are the most common types of Crohn’s disease.
To understand Crohn’s – you really need to understand how your digestive system works.
The digestive system is the group of organs that changes the food you’ve eaten into a form that can be used by your body’s cells. This process is divided into four phases: ingestion, digestion, absorption and elimination. The main organs of the digestive system are: the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine. Obviously, all of your body’s systems work together to keep you healthy, but Crohn’s develops because of inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract.
What causes Crohn’s? There is no known cause, but some believe it is caused by an infection by certain bacteria. The immune system is responsible for fighting harmful invaders, however in Crohn’s, the immune system is activated abnormally and chronically, which results in chronic inflammation and ulceration. The susceptibility to abnormal activation of the immune system is genetically inherited.
What are the symptoms of Crohn’s? Some of the common symptoms are: abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. They can also differ from patient to patient.
How is Crohn’s treated? There is no cure, but it is best treated with anti-inflammatory agents.
What foods should one avoid? The following foods are the most commonly known to cause food sensitivity problems: Gluten, cow’s milk/dairy, dietary yeast, corn (and possibly other grains), citrus, beef, pork, soy, eggs, peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, hot red peppers, tree nuts, high protein diets (not including fish), and foods containing oxalates. These include spinach, chard, and kale. Oxalates may also be linked with fibromyalgia. For a list of foods containing oxalates – please Go Here.
Crohn’s disease is related closely to another chronic inflammatory condition that involves only the colon called ulcerative colitis. Together, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are frequently referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)