Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that can cause serious health problems as well as make a significant negative impact on a person's overall quality of life. Though Crohn's disease usually affects the small intestine, it can also manifest in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach.
Crohn's disease symptoms vary, and can include anorexia, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, flatulence, and/or unhealthy weight loss. In some case, intestinal bleeding can also occur due to ulceration of the intestinal lining, and can result in bloody diarrhea. Crohn's disease is compounded by the fact that it can often result in poor absorption of nutrients, leading to nutritional deficiencies that can further exacerbate symptoms. Health sapping autoimmune responses can occur as a result of Crohn's disease, due to immune cells reacting to cells breaking off from the intestinal walls and/or undigested food particles as if they were invading microorganisms. Such autoimmune responses can further debilitate people suffering from Crohn's disease, leaving them weak, and susceptible to anxiety and depression.
Crohn's disease can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor diet and nutrition, food allergies, imbalanced levels of hydrochloric acid, impaired immunity, infections, lack of exercise, "leaky gut" syndrome, pharmaceutical medications, and stress.
Diet and Nutrition:
One of the
causes of Crohn's disease, as well as other
disorders, is a diet high in commercially
processed foods, refined
carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats, and which
contains an abundance of
chemical additives and preservatives while lacking
Food Allergies: Food allergies, while often overlooked or misdiagnosed by conventional physicians, are another common cause of Crohn's disease, as well as many other disease conditions. If you suffer from Crohn's disease or any other gastrointestinal disorder, it is very important that you are tested for food allergies and sensitivities. Common allergy-causing foods include milk and dairy products, wheat, gluten (a component of wheat products), corn, and chocolate, but any food has the potential to cause food allergies.
Imbalanced Hydrochloric Acid Levels: Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is secreted by the stomach to aid in the digestion of food. Many people suffer from a lack of HCl production, which can lead to impaired digestion and poor absorption of food nutrients, and can eventually affect the areas of the GI tract where Crohn's disease occurs. Similarly, an excess of HCl production can result in a state of over-acidity, causing heartburn, flatulence, and ulceration of the lining of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.
Impaired Immune Function: Impaired immunity can also cause or contribute to Crohn's disease, as well as other GI disorders due to the relationship between diminished immune function and poor absorption of nutrients from food. In addition, poor immunity can also result in an increase in toxins within the gastrointestinal tract, as well as cause autoimmune reactions that actually attack the cells of the intestinal lining, leading to ulcers and inflammation. Autoimmune reactions have been shown by research to be linked to both Crohn's disease and colitis.
Infections: Infections caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses all negatively affect overall gastrointestinal health. Viruses and bacteria such as Epstein-Barr virus, Cytomegalovirus, Pseudomonas, Chlamydia, and Yersinia enterocolitica are especially common in cases of Crohn's disease. In addition to releasing toxins into the GI tract, these infectious microorganisms can cause autoimmune reactions, "leaky gut" syndrome, and malabsorption, as well as dysbiosis, or overgrowth of unhealthy intestinal flora such as Candida albicans, the primary cause of candidiasis.
Lack of Exercise: Failure to exercise regularly can result in diminished production of digestive and pancreatic enzymes, as well as hydrochloric acid (HCl), all of which are necessary for healthy gastrointestinal function and which, if lacking, can result in a wide variety of gastrointestinal disorders.
"Leaky Gut" Syndrome: "Leaky gut" syndrome refers to a condition caused by damage to the stomach and intestinal lining, specifically the mucosa. As a result of this damage, undigested proteins, as well as various microorganisms that normally remain within the GI tract pass through the intestines to enter into the bloodstream. This, in turn, causes the immune system to overreact, producing antibodies that attack the cells of the intestines. In addition to GI disorders, "leaky gut" syndrome has also been linked to rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
gut" syndrome can
develop whenever the digestive tract is
excessively stressed, yet it
is rarely diagnosed.
Pharmaceutical Medications: The following medications can cause and exacerbate various gastrointestinal disorders, including Crohn's disease: Accutane, Alka-Seltzer Antacid and Alka-Seltzer Pain Reliever, Anturane, Genuine Bayer Aspirin, Bayer Plus Aspirin, Bayer Regular Strength Enteric Aspirin, Bufferin Analgesic Tablets and Caplets, Ceptaz, Clinoril, Cuprimine, Ecotrin Enteric Coated Aspirin, Feldene, Ilosone, Lamprene, Leukine for IV Infusion, Lopid, Marplan, Meclomen, Novantrone, Paraplatin, Piroxicam, Prokine I.V. Infusion, Retrovir, Rynatuss, Supprelin Injection, Suprax, Ticlid, Tolectin, Toradol IM Injection, Trecator-SC, Trilisate, and Voltaren.
Chronic and poorly managed
stress has a direct effect on the gastrointestinal
elevated stress levels have long been linked by
to a wide variety of GI disorders, including
Crohn's disease, because
of how stress results in elevated acid production
and impairs overall