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Crohn’s Disease is one of the diseases I am most passionate about treating. Years ago my father was diagnosed with Crohn’s. Due to the genetic link to the disease, doctors recommended that he not have children. Of course I am here and carry the risk of developing Crohn’s. Because of this, throughout my medical training and externships with various gastroenterologists I have paid special attention to treating this disorder.
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. It usually affects the lower part of the small intestine, but can occur in other parts of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus. The inflammation in the GI lining can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss and a loss of appetite. According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation(CCFA) http://www.ccfa.org/ people with genetic ties to the disease are at least ten times more likely to develop it as compared to the general public. The disease affects men and women equally and onset can occur as young as 15 and as old as 80. People with Crohn’s Disease have a twenty times increased risk for gastrointestinal cancer.
Doctors may recommend a series of tests to check for anemia or elevated white blood cell counts. A colonoscopy is also usually done to analyze the GI lining of the patient. Most patients routinely get a colonoscopy at the age of 50 to check for any GI cancers, but if you have any symptoms and a family history of Crohn's it is imperative that you get diagnosed and treated before the age of 50.
The medical literature state there is no cure for Crohn's disease however the disease is caused by inflammation of GI tract. If the patient/physician is able to identify the item causing the inflammation there remains a great deal of hope for the patient.
At Global Integrative Medicine (GIM) we strongly recommend a food allergy test for this condition. Therefore the patient can stop ingesting food that will cause further inflammation. Alternative medicine offers lots of hope for people with Crohn's disease to live a healthy, vibrant life. Some of therapies include but are not limited to nutrition, homeopathy, natural anti-inflammatory agents and many more. At GIM, we endeavor to heal the GI tract from the previous insults that resulted in the symptoms of Crohn’s and work to try to find the cause to prevent further damage to the area. With conventional medical treatment the patients are given corticosteroids and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine). These medications have side effects like weight gain and decreased immune response. Sulfasalazine can inhibit the transport of folic acid and iron, which can make anemia symptoms worsen.
If you have Crohn’s Disease maintain a high anti-oxidant diet to circumvent the potential cancer risk and consider alternative medical treatments. For this disease it is imperative to try to identify the cause of the Crohn’s and not just treat the symptoms.
Wishing health and happiness to you and your loved ones.
Dr. Matesa Pringle is a naturopathic physician who practices in Mesa, Arizona. She practices alternative medicine as well as traditional medicine and serves the East Valley cities of Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, Tempe, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, Phoenix, and even has some patients who travel from West Valley!
Disclaimer: The information on this site regarding medical conditions is presented for general informational purposes only. It should not be considered exhaustive and doesn’t contain all available treatments. The information here should not be used as a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician. Global Integrative Medicine, PLLC or Dr. M. Pringle assumes no liability for anyone using information on this site but is not under the care of a medical professional. By using this site you agree not to rely solely on any of the information contained herein for medical treatment. It is strongly encouraged you see a licensed physician, like Dr. M. Pringle or a physician of your choosing and adhere to that protocol first and foremost.