Crohn's disease is a long-term, chronic disorder of the intestine. The etiology is unknown. Crohn's disease causes the gastrointestinal tract to become inflamed and weak, making digestion difficult and causing general debility.
Traditional treatments for Crohn's disease depend on the location and severity of disease, complications, and response to prior treatments. The goals of therapy are to control inflammation, correct nutritional deficiencies, and relieve symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. This may include drug therapy, nutrition supplementation, surgery, or a combination of approaches. Though treatment can help control the disease, there is no cure.
Aminosalicylates that disrupt colonic inflammation are the first line of conventional treatment for Crohn's disease. Steroids are often administered during acute outbreaks.
The most optimal approach for the overall management of the broad range of symptoms of Crohn’s disease is to utilize a range of nutritional therapies each of which addresses a specific type of problem related to the disease. The benefit of nutrient-based therapies is that they are free of serious side effects and can be used indefinitely.
Replacement of depleted antioxidants. The primary function of antioxidants is to help to eliminate harmful free radicals and oxidants. The intestinal mucosa contains an extensive system of antioxidants. Absolute levels of these antioxidants and the balance between the most important antioxidants are seriously impaired in intestinal mucosa during inflammatory bowel disease. Supplementation with antioxidants can improve symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
Replacement of depleted vitamins and minerals. Depletion occurs as a result of Crohn’s disease so it is vitally important to correct this disease-related malabsorption. Minerals often lacking in those suffering from Crohn’s disease include iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Vitamins that are most lacking are the B-complex vitamins, folic acid, vitamin B6, and particularly, vitamin B12. Supplementation with these vitamins improves symptoms of Crohn’s disease by improving endothelial function.