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arthritis, Asthma, Chronic Fatique, Crohn's Disease, Diabetes, Headache, Hepatitis, Irritable Bowel, PMS and Sinusitis.
 

 
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Natural Healing Tips

Crohn's Disease is a serious condition and must be actively managed and monitored. At Crohn's Disease Junction, we hope to complement, not replace, your current approach. Below we suggest general dietary, supplemental, and lifestyle approaches that can help you keep your condition under control.

Note: The recommendations listed here are not a substitute for conventional care. To determine which herbs, vitamins, and supplements are optimal for your specific condition, you should speak with one of our licensed practitioners. Click here for a free, confidential phone consultation.

Herbs
Vitamins and Supplements
Dietary Principles
Lifestyle Guidelines
Body Movement and Exercise
Mind-Body Connection

Herbs

Chinese herbs address Crohn's Disease symptoms with formulas that have stood the test of time, thousands of years in fact. These herbs have consistently been found effective in improving the symptoms of Crohn's Disease.

However, which combination of herbs is right for you depends on the specific nature of your symptoms. Please sign up for a free, confidential phone consultation with one of our licensed practitioners to determine which herbs and other approaches are best for you.

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Vitamins and Supplements

Omega- 3 (essential fatty acids):
Helps reduce inflammation, also helps mend the digestive tract. Found in flax seed oil, fish oils or evening primrose oil

Vitamin B complex:
Helps build the immune system, tones the gastrointestinal walls and maintains the health of many systems through out the body

Zinc:
Excellent for the immune system and is needed for the proper absorption of Vitamin E. Also helps the healing process

Taurine:
An excellent antioxidant. Take 500 mg a day between meals

Bromelain and Pancreatin:
Two enzymes that break down protein, assist digestion, and bring down inflammation

Liquid chlorophyll:
Builds the immune system and brings essential nutrients to the body

Calming herb teas:
Chamomile, Kava, and St. John's wort can be helpful

Vitamin K:
Very helpful for the health of the colon

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Dietary Principles

Here we will make available pertinent news and information on Crohn's Disease. We will also offer general guidelines on diet, exercise, lifestyle, and other important issues. If you have any news or information you would like to share with us, please send it to us via email or the comments box on the questionnaire page.

Diet is one of the most important aspects of staying healthy. The idea that what we eat is not important to our well being is one of the greatest failings of western medicine. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine said, "Food is medicine, medicine is food." We must eat to live, but many of us act like we live to eat. If you have not paid attention to your diet then the time has come.

We would like to share some basic eating principles. These are basic guidelines and should be followed up with a consultation with a physician or nutritionist knowledgeable with an optimal Crohn's Disease diet.

Foods to consider:

  • Cooked carrots, steamed zucchini and squash, papaya, grated raw apple, okra, steamed and mashed parsnips, squash, pumpkin, figs and flax seed tea, applesauce, ripe peaches without skin, rice porridge
  • Miso soup, psyllium seed powder, flaxseed powder
  • Eat foods high in the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids such as: black currant oil, flaxseed oil, nuts, seed oils, cold water fish, evening primrose oil

Other things to do:

  • Drink plenty of liquids, such as steam-distilled water, herbal teas, and fresh juices. Fresh cabbage or aloe juice is very beneficial.
  • During an acute attack, eat organic baby foods, steamed vegetables, and well-cooked brown rice, millet, and oatmeal. Add papaya to your diet.
  • Make sure the bowels move daily, but do not use harsh laxatives. Gentle enemas made by adding a teaspoon of nondairy acidophilus powder to 2 quarts of lukewarm water are good.
  • Toxic body wastes can become breeding grounds for parasitic infestation. Toxins can also be absorbed into the bloodstream through the colon wall. Psyllium husks can be used daily for fiber; this helps in removing toxins.

It is very important to eat a high complex carbohydrate, high fiber diet: Crohn's Disease is virtually nonexistent in cultures consuming primitive diets, the disease is on the increase in cultures which consume a Western diet.

Eat a diet of non-acidic or cooked vegetables. Avoid frying, try to broil, boil, or bake your food. Decrease consumption of refined foods. One must be very careful not to aggravate the condition so refined and easy to digest foods are important. When it stabilizes, fiber and unrefined foods are important to continue the health of the colon. Try to avoid eating too many types of foods at one time. Stick to one starch per meal. Eat more steamed vegetables than raw ones. Short fasts are recommended as is an alkaline juice fast. Food should be eaten slowly, chewed and salivated well Try to eat in a calm atmosphere, do not read or watch television or talk about distressing issues while eating.

Foods to avoid:

  • Eliminate all dairy foods (including yogurt and cheese), fermented and yeast products from your diet, and see if symptoms improve. These foods are high in histamine. Many people with Crohn's disease are sensitive to histamines
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, chocolate, corn, eggs, foods with artificial additives or preservatives, fried and greasy foods, margarine, spicy foods, tobacco, white flour, and animal products, with the exception of white fish from clear waters
  • Mucus-forming foods should also be avoided
  • Limit your amount of barley, rye, and wheat
  • Avoid refined carbohydrates. Do not consume foods containing any form of sugar. Diets high in refined carbohydrates have been associated with Crohn's disease. These foods must be elimi-nated from the diet
  • Try to avoid allergens and food intolerances. Avoiding allergens or food sensitivities is an essential part of the treatment
  • Avoid artichokes, grapeskins and seeds, roughage, raw foods, cold foods, peanuts, corn, soybeans, coffee, caffeine, oranges, alcohol, hot sauces, spicy foods, fried foods, fatty foods, rich foods, salty foods, meat, sugar and sweet food, refined and processed foods

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Lifestyle Guidelines

  • As much as possible, avoid stress. Our thoughts, nervous systems, and bodily functions are deeply interconnected. Our bodies are greatly affected by our thoughts and moods. During an attack, rest is important.
  • Check the stools every day for blood.
  • If you are constipated, use a cleansing enema.
  • Attempt to maintain an alkaline pH in your body.
  • It is important that nutritional deficiencies be correct for healing. If chronic diarrhea is present, electrolyte and trace mineral deficiencies should be considered. Chronic diarrhea can result in deficiencies of minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.

Get plenty of rest. If stress is part of your life, as it is for everyone, find simple ways to defuse it. Take a walk in nature, meditate, help someone with his or her problems, work in a garden or just take some deep breaths. You must explore and find what works for you. The idea is to turn down the inner dialogue that we all have going on in our minds, take a step back and enjoy this life. If you are in a situation that seems unsolvable, then you might want to get counseling. Very often we stay in relationships, jobs, homes, or any number of situations that are toxic to us. It's easier said than done to change things, so start with small steps.

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Body Movement and Exercise

Life is movement. Without it we atrophy. Sometimes exercise is difficult to do if we can't breathe or are in pain or any number of reasons. Yet we need to move to stay well.

Historically in Chinese medicine, exercise is one of the branches studied and offered in approaches to disease. Yoga and Tai Chi are well known aspects of this application. These are wonderful techniques that can help improve our stamina, increase flexibility, and boost the immune system. They also have been shown to help calm the mind and reduce stress. There are many books and tapes on Yoga and Tai Chi that can help get you started.

Our suggestion is that you find some way to bring movement into your life. If it is currently difficult to do any exercise, start very slowly. Even if it is only five minutes a day. If you find any of your symptoms increasing, do less, but do something.

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Mind-Body Connection

Transformation

The famous Chinese physician, Huang Ti (2500 BC) wrote in the The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, which some consider the oldest medical text, "If you truly want to heal the body you must heal the spirit first." This means that we must look in our hearts if we want to make our transformation complete.

If you do not have severe symptoms, you are lucky. But this could be an obstacle, too. Because you don't necessarily feel badly, there might not be much motivation to treat your condition seriously. That would be a mistake.

Whether you have a severe condition or no symptoms at all, you have an opportunity to change the course of your illness. There is no "magic bullet", no herb, no drug or anything that can completely cure it. Many of us have been taught that our bodies are machines that can be fixed with the incision of a knife or the ingestion of a pill, using a mechanistic approach that usually ignores the mind-body connection. Western medicine has come up with miraculous interventions that have helped many. But, as you know, it has not come up with a satisfactory treatment for every condition.

Spirituality and healing

A positive mental attitude can only aid the healing process. It might mean going to church and praying or taking a walk in the woods or helping another person. What is it that makes you feel connected?

We all struggle to obtain things even if it is as basic as paying the rent or putting food on the table. Developing a spiritual life is as important as exercise or diet. If we go through life angry, fearful, jealous, or bitter it will affect us physically. If we already have a condition that is life threatening, we are doing even more damage.

Creating harmony is essential in healing. So how do we develop spirituality? It's not easy. It takes commitment to work on the negative patterns that have been part of our lives.

We must try to embrace love and reject fear. Most of our lives are built around fear. The fear of losing what we have, our homes, our jobs, our lives. Our fear ends up controlling us, blocking out the love we have for others and ourselves. If we find methods that help us lose that fear, we only stand to gain.

Since this fear is borne of our mind, calming practices such as prayer, Yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi can help us tame the habitual patterns that control us. Most of us have an inner dialogue that we carry on with ourselves, often worrying about things that we can't even control.

What we are trying to do with these calming practices is turn that dialogue down and in time gain some control over it. For you, it might be gardening or cooking, but whatever it is, the idea is to truly relax and curtail the negative patterns that stress us out and actually make us sick.

Explore. Look for the things that you know relax you and give you peace. Help others who are suffering. Go out in nature, when possible given your condition. Remember, life is short.

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  HealingJunction.com of Chicago: Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and other alternative medical interventions treating
arthritis, Asthma, Chronic Fatique, Crohn's Disease, Diabetes, Headache, Hepatitis, Irritable Bowel, PMS and Sinusitis.
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