Crohn’s disease is a chronic illness that affects the digestive system. The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, though various hereditary factors likely play a major role in its development. While there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, there are a number of effective ways to reduce symptoms and manage chronic pain caused by this disease. Many people suffering from Crohn’s disease find naturopathic treatments to be beneficial as an alternative to, or in conjunction with conventional medical intervention.
Naturopathic Treatments for Crohn’s Disease
Because Crohn’s often flares up due to sensitivity to certain foods, many naturopathic doctors will begin by suggesting that a patient experiment with some elimination diets, where they try eliminating a certain type of food (such as dairy, gluten, etc.) from their diet for a set amount of time to see whether it makes a difference in their Crohn’s symptoms. This can be a beneficial technique for determining what foods cause flare-ups.
Often, pain from Crohn’s disease is a direct result of inflammation. Naturopathic doctors will usually recommend a diet that is high in anti-inflammatory foods to help decrease inflammation-related Crohn’s discomfort. Foods that reduce inflammation, such as turmeric, are helpful in the reduction of painful Crohn’s symptoms.1 Integrating more anti-inflammatory foods into a Crohn’s sufferer’s regular diet is effective in mitigating inflammation-related pain.
Wormwood is an herbal remedy that has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years. Studies have shown that wormwood can help to reduce the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and promote remission. 2 Wormwood can be purchased in both capsules and tinctures. A naturopathic doctor can advise on the right dosage.
A high level of stress can contribute to Crohn’s symptoms.3 When treating a patient with Crohn’s, a naturopathic doctor will often work with the patient to identify stress triggers in their lifestyle and find ways to reduce or cope with these triggers, such as through regular meditation practice, physical activity, and implementing a self-care routine.
For questions about how naturopathic doctors treat patients with conditions like Crohn’s disease, click here to find an ND near you in the United States or Canada. The Gastroenterology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (GastroANP) is also a great resource!
Interested in learning more about alternative treatments for Crohn’s disease and other health problems? A career in naturopathic medicine may be for you.