Crohn’s disease is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that affects the colon and the intestines. It causes inflammation anywhere along the digestive tract, and when the gut becomes chronically inflamed, it interferes with proper digestive function and often leads to the poor absorption of nutrients. As functional medicine and nutrition practitioners in Tulsa, OK, we offer our clients dietary and lifestyle advice to address symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
The whole body suffers when the gut isn’t functioning as it should. Not only that, but symptoms can be so severe and painful that they affect everyday life.
What are the signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
As time goes on, symptoms can move from the gastrointestinal tract to other areas of the body, such as your skin and joints. Some of the signs and symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain & cramping
- Persistent diarrhea
- Joint pain
- Stomach ulcers
- Mouth sores
- Dry & inflamed eyes
These symptoms can be chronic and moderate to severe if you have Crohn’s disease. Functional laboratory tests such as stool and blood tests will need to be done to check for signs of nutrient deficiencies, anemia, inflammation, digestive function and infection. You may also have other tests done to confirm Crohn’s disease, such as a colonoscopy or endoscopy.
What causes Crohn’s disease?
Although Crohn’s disease is not officially classed as an autoimmune disease, it does fall under the same umbrella and shares some of the same risk factors, which can be categorized as these four factors:
- Leaky gut
- Infection and stress
Many people suffering from Crohn’s disease feel hopeless and that there is nothing that can be done to help them. But there are ways to relieve symptoms and improve your digestion and symptoms. Our functional medicine practitioners in Tulsa, OK, will begin with these four factors and start by healing the gut, cleaning up your diet, and looking at any toxins, infections, and stresses causing inflammation.
Things You Should Know About Crohn’s Disease:
Gut Infections Could be a Cause Suggests Functional Medicine Tulsa
Both candida and bacterial overgrowth are common issues in Crohn’s disease. A gastrointestinal tract that does not function correctly means that your body cannot clear things like bacteria, yeast, and other bacterial matter from your body. Unfortunately, one symptom of Crohn’s disease can be ulcers and fistulas that create pockets in the gut, making perfect places for yeast and bacteria to live and flourish.
Functional Medicine Tulsa Dietary Changes
With the gut already being highly inflamed, our functional medicine and nutrition practitioners in Tulsa, OK, will often recommend avoiding foods like gluten, dairy, and grains, which are well-known instigators. We also recommend removing sugar from your diet, which will reduce bacteria and yeast overgrowth within the body. A diet rich in protein can be highly beneficial to those with Crohn’s disease also.
Most Crohn’s disease sufferer would benefit from cutting out or reducing their intake of below, especially in the first few months:
- Raw fruits
- Spicy food
- Processed food
- Nuts and seeds
- Beans and legumes
- Grains containing gluten
- Raw vegetables
- Sorbitol, xylitol & other sugar alcohols
Add nutrients back into your diet
Once symptoms have improved, you can introduce some of these back into your diet, especially if you love certain things like a coffee to start your day. Some of the most beneficial foods you can have in your diet if you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease are:
- Fatty fish
- Fruits and vegetables
- Organic meats
- Dark, leafy greens
- Cooked vegetables
Conventional medical treatments look at medications that suppress inflammation and the immune system. You will most likely be offered antibiotics or anti-diarrhea medication. The functional medicine approach to Crohn’s disease is to look at the underlying causes of the inflammation and identify diet and lifestyle functions that may be causing the symptoms or making them worse. Our practitioners at Functional Nutrition Resources will look at your diet and any trigger foods and fully assess the intestinal microflora to check for imbalances. We can create a personalized diet plan, nutrition, herbs, and supplements to rebalance gut flora.
If you have Crohn’s disease and would like to begin your journey back to health, our functional medicine practitioners in Tulsa, OK, are here to advise you on your personalized healing journey and some diet and lifestyle changes that could ease your Crohn’s disease symptoms.