(NaturalNews) Crohn`s disease is an inflammatory disease of the intestines that can affect any part of the digestive system from mouth to anus. It primarily causes abdominal pain and diarrhea (which may be bloody if inflammation is at its worst). This syndrome may also cause complications outside the gastrointestinal tract such as arthritis, eczema, fatigue and lack of concentration. Natural lifestyle solutions exist for preventing and reversing this crippling disease.
Crohn`s disease is considered an auto-immune disease where the body`s immune system attacks the tissues of the digestive system. Environmental factors play a large role as evidenced by a higher incidence of the disease in western industrialized nations compared to other parts of the world.
The immune system is characterized by 2 major regions: Innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity provides immediate defense against pathogens and is characterized by t-cell formation. Adaptive immunity is considered a `learned immunity` and is what provides long-lasting immune defense through antibody formation. Researchers have shown that Crohn`s is an innate immune deficiency. Chronic inflammation with this disorder is caused by the adaptive immunity trying to compensate for the reduced function of the innate immune system.
Crohn`s disease appears to be associated with anti-yeast antibodies. Mannon is a component of the yeast organism`s cell wall. Individuals with Crohn`s tend to have lower levels of lectin binding proteins that bind mannan and help expel it from the body. Due to the lowered lectin levels and the insufficient innate immune system, individuals with Crohn`s very often develop anti-yeast antibodies. This overproduction of anti-yeast antibodies triggers an inflammatory response that damages the gut lining.
Individuals with Crohn`s disease should avoid all yeast products and other common allergens. The most common food allergens to avoid include gluten containing grains such as wheat, barley, rye, oats, kamut, & spelt. Soy products, different nuts (such as peanuts), eggs, and heavy proteins are often not tolerated well. Some individuals struggle with nightshade vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes, & potatoes.
An anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle are critical for full recovery from this condition. Anti-inflammatory foods help to modulate the immune system and give it a more accurate pair of eyes so as to not over-inflame when stimulated. To effectively de-inflame it is key to completely avoid man-made foods, sugars, and food allergens as listed above. The long chain omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA powerfully de-inflame the body by restoring natural balance to the lipid wall of the cell membrane.
Other great anti-inflammatory foods include coconut products, berries, and non-denatured, whey protein from grass-fed cows and goats. This protein source is also loaded with L-glutamine and enhances cellular glutathione stores which are both necessary for rebuilding the gut and de-inflaming the body. Anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, ginger, boswellia, cinnamon, rosemary, & oregano among others should be used as much as possible.
Dysbiosis is a common feature in individuals with auto-immune disease. Naturally fermented foods such as red cabbage sauerkraut, kimchi, & coconut kefir are phenomenal foods for restoring healthy gut bacteria. Additionally, a high quality probiotic supplement with 50+ billion microorganisms should be consumed regularly.
A balanced immune response in the body is also dependent upon healthy vitamin D levels. Vitamin D helps the body recognize between foreign and self proteins. This reduces inflammation and auto-immune reactions. Healthy Vitamin D levels also stimulate natural Killer cells and macrophages that destroy antagonistic microbes & other pathogens. Healthy Vitamin D3 levels should be between 60-100 ng/ml. Be sure to get tested and supplement if necessary.
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com