Crohn’s, Ulcerative colitis and you!
These 2 chronic auto-immune diseases both affect the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. I’ve described them separately below but the symptoms they share can be similar.
Crohn’s disease affects the whole of the GI tract. Patches of healthy tissue are seen in-between the inflamed areas. Normally Crohn’s disease affects the last part of the ileum (small intestine).
Ulcerative colitis (UC) affects the lower part of the colon (large intestine) and rectum. UC normally presents as continuous lesions of inflammation.
With both conditions, sufferers are symptom-free between flare-ups.
Symptoms can include:
– diarrhoea mixed with blood/mucus
– severe abdominal pain
– unintentional weight loss
– severe fatigue
– mouth ulcers and/or cracks at the side of the mouth that don’t heal
Conventional treatments are oral steroids, immune-suppressants, or in extreme cases bowel surgery ending with an external stoma bag. In TCM, the bowels, skin and lungs are all linked energetically.
5 Top tips for Crohn’s and UC:
- Avoid inflammatory foods:
My January 2021 blog goes into detail with regards to this, but here are the main things to try and avoid or lessen in your diet: dairy, gluten, fatty meats, and processed foods.
- Demulcents, which can be soothing to the gut:
Marshmallow and slippery elm bark are very healing and have been used for many years to ease gut inflammation. Most health food shops sell these or email me for details of where to buy them.
Soft and tender cooked carrots are very easy to digest, and so do not irritate an already inflamed gut.
- B vitamins:
Taking a good B complex vitamin can be really good for sores in and around the mouth. This may be needed in a sublingual form especially if the person has suffered from Crohn’s or UC for many years. The absorption from the gut is comprised and hence a sublingual spray will ensure the B vitamins are absorbed into the system.
Consuming probiotics for ‘3 weeks on 1 week off’ cycle can help to heal a sore gut. They greatly aid the gut microbiome to produce Vitamin B12, Vitamin K2 and calcium. Examples of probiotics: kimchi, bio-live yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut etc.
Homeopathic remedies are wonderfully gentle and effective at treating the painful symptoms of a flare-up. They are also fabulous at tackling the side-effects of conventional medication used to treat Crohn’s and UC. Email me if you would like to know more!