Conquering Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis

  • 10 Nov 2009
  • Reading time 13 mins
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Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are auto-immune inflammatory diseases that can actually be diagnosed by the presence of inflammation along the digestive tract.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease - A Complex Equation

While there is no one universal therapy for inflammatory bowel disease a complex picture is emerging of a number of causative factors which, together, lead to inflammation of the bowel.

These factors include:

  • Genetically inherited tendency towards inflammation
  • Certain food allergies or sensitivities
  • Dysbiosis including bacterial imbalance and infections
  • Increased intestinal permeability
  • Eating too many pro-inflammatory foods and not enough anti-inflammatory foods.

Are You Auto-Immune?

Your immune system is designed to react to, not only unwelcome substances from the outside world, such as a viruses, harmful bacteria, pathogens and food allergens, but also to misbehaving cells such as cancer cells. But sometimes the immune system can attack healthy cells. This results in auto-immune diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Wrongly, many people think that since the immune system seems to be over-reacting that anything that could ‘boost’ the immune system, for example, vitamin C, could make matters worse. But auto-immune diseases are a ‘system-control’ problem and many of the foods and nutrients that help an immune system to work make matters better not worse.

In relation to ‘cause’ there are two sides of equation, being the cell and the cell’s environment. A classic example is coeliac’s disease, an extreme form of wheat allergy that is very common among sufferers of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis and should always be screened for. This is an extreme reaction to gluten, and usually the gliadin protein, which is in wheat, rye and barley, but not in oats. (80% of coeliacs don’t react to oats). Susceptibility to coeliac’s is, in part, genetically inherited. For example, if your mother, father, brother or sister have coeliacs you have a one in four chance of having it too. It is far more common than most think. Many medical textbooks say in affects 1 in several thousand. However, studies involving a new diagnostic test called anti-tissue transaminase (ATG), finds that it affects 1 in 111. But for coeliacs to ‘cause’ disease you have to eat gliadin.

So that’s the other side of the equation – what you expose your cells to. For this reason, for any auto-immune ......

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