Crohn’s disease, along with ulcerative colitis, is referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn’s is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, causing symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, and more. As of yet, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but if you have Crohn’s, don’t give up just yet. Try these four natural options for Crohn’s treatment, which can help you to get your symptoms under control.
By now, you have likely heard of the many benefits of probiotics, ranging from fighting the common cold to promoting digestive health, especially in those with IBD. Researchers know that people with IBD have significant differences in the bacterial composition in the gut; it is likely that probiotics could play an essential role in helping to restore balance in the bacterial population of IBD patients. So far, results of studies are mixed, and researchers suggest that although probiotics have great potential to treat Crohn’s, more research is needed to determine the specific strains and formulations that will be the most beneficial.
Taking a probiotic, as well as eating more prebiotic-rich foods, might help to control your symptoms.
2. Vitamin D.
People with Crohn’s disease often are deficient in Vitamin D. What’s more, vitamin D levels may be associated with the onset, progression, and severity of the disease. In one study, seasonal variations in vitamin D levels were associated with changes in IBD symptoms; lower vitamin D concentrations (below 30 ng/mL) were associated with worsened symptoms, while higher levels were associated with improved symptoms. In another study, supplementation with 1200 IU per day for one year reduced the risk of relapse from 29% to 13%.
People with Crohn’s also have a higher risk for some conditions such as osteoporosis and colorectal cancer; vitamin D supplementation can help with Crohn’s treatment by reducing the risk of these serious complications.
Studies suggest that Crohn’s patients may benefit by taking 1200 IU to 5000 IU vitamin D3 daily.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids
A study in 2014 found that low intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with an increased risk for developing inflammatory bowel disease.[6,7] EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids found in sources like fish, help to control inflammation and may help to protect from Crohn’s. While studies are still preliminary and evidence is conflicting, boosting your omega-3 intake, such as through a fish oil supplement, may be beneficial in Crohn’s treatment.
4. Dietary changes
Many people with Crohn’s disease find it especially helpful to make dietary changes to help treat their condition. In particular, elimination or exclusion diets can be particularly effective treatments. Try doing an elimination diet, where you remove foods for a period of time before slowly reintroducing them. If you notice symptoms when reintroducing certain foods, avoiding those food in your diet may help with your Crohn’s treatment. You might also consider allergy testing to see if your body is mounting an immune response against certain foods; by excluding those foods that your body reacts to, you may be able to reduce inflammation and control your symptoms better.
Share your experience
How to you manage your Crohn’s disease? Have you tried any of these Crohn’s treatment strategies? Did they help? Share your experience in the comment’s section below.