Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. Scientists believe that Crohn’s disease is caused by a combination of these factors:
- Immune system problems
- Environmental factors
In more advanced cases this inflammation can lead to ankylosis — new bone formation in the spine — causing sections of the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position.
For some reason, the immune system in those with Crohn’s disease reacts inappropriately, causing it to either attack healthy bacteria, or lose it’s ability to “turn off” when fighting bad bacteria, causing inflammation and damage to the digestive tract, and often other areas of the body called “extraintestinal manifestations.”
+ Constipation (in rare cases or if strictures have developed)
+ Abdominal cramping and pain
+ Very frequent bowel movements
+ Blood in stool
+ Reduced appetite
+ Mouth ulcers or canker sores
+ Rectal Pain
Extraintestinal Manifestations may include:
+ Iritis/eye inflammation
+ Joint pain
YOUR POINT OF CONTACT
ABOUT |Hi, my name is Madi! I am 23-years-old, and recently graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Human Development. I live in Tennessee, and absolutely love all things outdoors. I am also extremely passionate about holistic health, and providing resources for others through recipes, tips, and encouragement in their journey’s toward health. I love
Jesus, and believe my purpose on earth is to share His love, and
use my own story and challenges to be an encouragement to others.
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES | Crohn’s Disease
ABOUT |Stacy Ransom is a wife, mother and marketing specialist living in Southern California. Since being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, Spondyloarthritis and chronic migraines in 2015, Stacy has been a dedicated advocate for the autoimmune community through her blog, The Gutsy Girl.
With a focus on sharing science-based solutions, she has found a balance between conventional and natural medicine to promote healing and overall well-being, and is driven by her mission to empower patients to be their own best advocate.
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES | Crohn’s Disease, Spondyloarthritis
Questions to ensure right fit:
+ Will diet aid in healing? (this is a good way to ask without making them feel threatened. If the answer is no…run!) -How do I contact the office if I’m having problems or complications (do they have an online portal for quick communication?) -How quickly can I be seen in an emergency? -Do you offer alternative methods of healing alongside medicine? (dietary and supplemental approaches to correct deficiencies, alongside more extensive blood work) -How often do you take labs, and what will you be testing for? (Many medications require testing, and many doctors do not keep up with this. It is good to know the doctor’s approach to this, and compare to the medication’s suggestions. Remember: A proactive doctor is a good doctor. You want one who will work to manage your condition, not just put a band-aid over symptoms).
+What is your philosophy on colonoscopies? (Routine, or when symptomatic? *compare this to your philosophy) -Do you believe in a bottom-up or top-down approach? *insurance may play a huge part in this, as well as the severity of your condition
* Things to ask on-going
+ Pre-treatment for infusions (to prevent reactions)
+How often do you take labs, and what will you be testing for? *When being placed on a new medication (Many medications require testing, and many doctors do not keep up with this. It is good to know the doctor’s approach to this, and compare to the medication’s suggestions).
+Are there certain patients who can eventually be medication free, or do you continue medication for precaution? *This may depend on the severity of your condition upon diagnosis. Keep an open dialogue with your doctor to come up with a plan that you both feel comfortable with. Differences between a Gastoenterologist and an IBD-specialist/How to find a doctor:
CCFA Specialist Search, other online doctor review sites.
+ There is a chart here that explains the benefit of various types of blood tests (and whether they are used in clinical practice). This would be a good one to reproduce in a more easily understood format.
+ Medications vary widely and should be determined by a licensed physician. Here is a link of the most common medications used to treat/manage CD, but all treatments depend on severity of condition: Additional support supplements include: Multi-vitamin (due to absorption issues) Calcium (most CD patients cannot tolerate dairy, so adequate Calcium intake is important) Vitamin D (many CD patients are severely vitamin D deficient, contributing to fatigue symptoms. Vitamin D has also been proven to anti-inflammatory properties). Vitamin B12 (may also help with fatigue, but users should have their levels checked before started any new regimen)
+ Turmeric/Curcumin (clinically proven to have anti-inflammatory properties. Most manufacturers include black pepper to assist with absorption. However, black pepper is a gut irritant and should be avoided in CD patients. Instead, take on an empty stomach to improve bioavailability.)
METHODS OF HEALING
– Journaling -Yoga -Prayer -Devotions -Meditation -CBD Oil -Gaba – Ashwagandha
– Fish Oil (correct DHA to EPA)
– Exercise (what exercise works best for autoimmunity in general? what exercise works best for your body personally?)
– Infrared Sauna
Information on how to find them in your area, how to connect with other CD patients, CCFA groups, MeetUp.com, etc.
Here are some great websites, authors, podcasts and other resources to help you navigate your Autoimmune Disease.
These are the women that have shared their autoimmune journey with us. Please take a moment to read some of their brave, honest and revealing stories about their diagnosis, successes, hardships and their lives.