Are you experiencing chronic gastrointestinal problems that are impacting your daily life? You should consider being tested for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These are two inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) that affect more than 80,000 people in Australia. Both conditions are becoming more widespread across all ages and increasingly impacting younger people.
Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic disorders that affect the bowels, and they share some similarities in symptoms. It is important to acknowledge your symptoms and seek professional assistance to manage your condition appropriately. In order to help you differentiate between the two, we will discuss the various symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and natural treatments for each condition.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two most common inflammatory bowel diseases, and they do share some of the same symptoms. However, ulcerative colitis is limited to the gastrointestinal tract, whereas Crohn’s disease can also affect other areas of the body including eyes, skin, liver, and joints.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease usually worsen following a meal, and can include:
- Persistent diarrhoea
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mouth ulcers
- Rectal bleeding
- Inflammation of skin, joints, and eyes
Because ulcerative colitis, in contrast to Crohn’s disease, affects only the large bowel (colon), symptoms are confined to this area. Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:
- Abdominal pain
- Urgent and loose bowel movements
- Blood and or mucus in stools
- Loss of appetite
Causes for these IBDs
Unfortunately the exact cause of these diseases is still undetermined. Some studies suggest that poor diet and high stress could be related to the development or at least aggravation of the diseases. Others propose that they could be caused by genetics or a defective immune system are to blame.
Many people underestimate the role that diet and stress management play in the health of our digestive and gastrointestinal systems. Because Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune condition, sufferers may truly benefit from managing their stress and overall health in a natural and holistic approach in order to prevent flare-ups and aggravation of symptoms.
There is no single test that can diagnose all cases of inflammatory bowel disease as results are not always independently reliable. Typically people require multiple tests to receive a conclusive diagnosis because various diseases and conditions share similar symptoms.
Common tests for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis include:
- Blood tests
- Examination of faeces specimen
- Abdominal x-rays
- CT scans
Natural Treatment for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
Because there is no existing ‘cure’ for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, the purpose of treatment is to alleviate symptoms, reduce inflammation, and improve your quality of life. There are various approaches you can take to treating your IBD, and it is important to do your research and choose a health professional that you trust to help manage your condition.
We believe that a natural, holistic approach can achieve remission – the absence of symptoms – and maintain this state sustainably. At Capalaba Natural Health, we focus on achieving a quality diet that reduces pain and inflammation. Removing foods that you are intolerant through a Food Intolerance Test can help reduce inflammation, pain and reduce flare ups.
There are mainly natural supplements which reduce inflammation in the gut, repair the digest tract and reduce symptoms. Specialist prebiotics and probiotics can also help to reduce signs and symptom plus balance your immune function. Balancing your immune system is extremely important as over 60% resides in your digestive tracts and plays an important role in managing both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Supporting your stress levels, improving energy and balancing your mood is also important.
If you suffer from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or another form of IBD, you can talk to our gastrointestinal health specialists at Capalaba Natural Health about a Natural treatment plan by contacting us here or calling us on 07 3823 3103.
For more information on Crohn’s disease and how we can help, please click here.