Crohn’s & Colitis
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of conditions that inflame the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, making it difficult for the body to break down food, absorb nutrients, and form waste.
Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis are the most common of the two, and both involve symptoms of severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and abdominal pain. Colitis attacks the farthest end of the colon, creating ulcers and sores in the rectal and colonic lining, whereas Crohn’s can attack the entire digestive tract, including the mouth.
Acute flare up symptoms may include:
- chronic diarrhea
- abdominal pain
- rectal bleeding
- weight loss
However, symptoms are not limited to the above, and commonly patients will also exhibit IBS-like symptoms such as flatulence, bloating, etc. Interestingly enough, incidence is much higher in developed nations like North America and the UK, suggesting it is a condition of the “Western world”. It is believed that industrialization may be to blame.
Risk factors for development include recent antibiotic or oral contraceptive pill use, antibiotic exposure in childhood, smoking, urban living, low vitamin D status, and genetics. Also, we see higher incidence in those who has had their appendix removed, formula fed, or delivered by c-section.
Diet plays a large role, with high risk of develop in those who eat low fibre/vegetable based diets, or a westernized diet high in animal meats, dairy, and refined sugar.
Goals of Treatment
5 Aghdassi, E., Wendland, B. E., Steinhart, A. H., Wolman, S. L., Jeejeebhoy, K. & Allard, J. P. 2003. Antioxidant Vitamin Supplementation in Crohn’s Disease Decreases Oxidative Stress: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Am J Gastroenterol, 98, 348A353 PMID
6 Gerhardt,H., Seifert, F., Buvari, P., Vogelsang, H.&Repges,R.2001. Therapy of active Crohn disease with Boswellia serrata extract H 15 . Z Gastroenterol, 39, 11A7. PMID 11215357