B.S., C.N.C.

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CROHN'S DISEASE

Gastrointestinal problems run rampant in todays Westernized society. With the availability of fast foods, our fast-paced workaholic lifestyle, and complete ignoranace of the FDA concerning preventative nutrition, is it any wonder?

Crohn's disease is one of the more serious of the disorders, and if not caught early on, may be very hard to remedy holistically. Crohn's is commonly classified as an autoimmune disorder.....where the body attacks itself. You will understand why after you read the following information. In addition to the seriousness of the disorder, if/when drugs are used, the myriad of side effects attached to them often results in secondary disorders - which are, again, treated with drugs. I have known people with Crohn's disease who were concurrantly being treated for hypertension, cholesterol, depression, thyroid problems, and bladder/kidney problems. As is often seen in allopathic medicine....what a vicious circle.

For people already diagnosed with Crohn's, prevention is out of the question for now. It is necessary to focus on healing. Nutrition and supplementation will play a VERY prominent role in this healing process. After the healing takes place, it is then extremely important to continue proper nutritional and supplemental choices to avoid recurrence.

Continuing studies on biochemical individuality or polymorphism (the blood type ), has found that individuals with blood type O have a very strong predisposition to gastrointestinal disorders. This is found to be due to the fact that the blood type O digestive system is very high in hydrochloric acid and intestinal alkaline phosphatase; making it necessary for them to eat predominantly high meat protein diets. Increased carbohydrate intake (especially refined carbohydrates) in these people creates an acidic condition throughout - among other things. This does not mean to imply that individuals of other blood types do not get digestive disorders (or Crohn's, in particular); anyone making poor nutritional and lifestyle choices is vulnerable to all disorders. It is simply that studies have found a prevalence with blood type O because it is the only blood type that is genetically meant to eat a high amount of meat protein and a small or no amount of grains and refined carbohydrates..... unlike the recommendations of most ADA licensed nutritionists and MDs, all trained by the pharmaceutical industry and FDA regulations.

High carbohydrate consumption may not be the only reason for this prevalence of GI disorders for the blood type O person... it may often be the choices of foods. This holds true for blood types A, B, and AB. It is known that, due to biochemical individuality, all foods contain "lectins". These are glue-like proteins that may or may not be compatible with the blood type antigen of a person - depending on the lectin, and on the antigen. Blood type is very important – it is the key to the entire immune system. It controls the influences of viruses, bacteria, infections, chemicals, and stress. Your blood type defines “self” from “non-self”. All cells have antigens – the most powerful antigen in the body is the blood type antigen. When the body finds foreign antigens (food, bacteria, etc) it creates antibodies to that antigen. These antibodies tag the foreign antigen for destruction. When eating foods that contain lectins that are not complimentary to the blood type, antibodies are formed that agglutinate the foreign antigens on that food…the same is true with viruses, bacteria, and parasites. When agglutination occurs, clumps are formed in order to allow the immune system to destroy the "non-self" invader. When you eat a food with lectins incompatible with your blood type, these lectins may target an organ or bodily system (liver, brain, stomach, intestines) and begin to agglutinate the cells. This enables the immune system to detect and destroy. It is known that lectins are also resistant to digestive juices, and may either react with the stomach lining, or get into circulation with the food. In many cases, the lectins penetrate the intestinal lining (leaky gut) and get into the blood stream where they attache to the various organs, as mentioned. Incompatible lectins are considered “non-self” or toxins and once they settle in the body begin to agglutinate cells for destruction (IBS or Crohn’s in the intestines, cirrohis in the liver, or blocking flow of blood through kidneys).

In the best interest of health, it is always best to avoid all foods with lectins that are incompatible with your blood type antigen. This is especially true when you are dealing with a disorder such as Crohn's. Actually, it is important when dealing with any health problems. When dealing with a specific health issue, the recommended compliance with the "Blood Type Diet" is 100%, if one is healthy, a 70% compliance is recommended. That would mean that you could make 7 good food choices, and 3 not-so-good choices. Since you are reading this, I will assume that you have a health problem.

When antibodies attach to antigens, immune complexes are formed to signal destruction. If these immune complexes are in an organ or bodily system, the body will attack itself at that area. The immune complex also initiates “complements”. These complements are the body’s powerful defense system. They will destroy unwanted cells(cancer, bacteria, viruses) by bursting them open (lysis) or by coating the foreign particles with a complement protein to be used as a marker for destruction. If unwanted antigens constantly appear in the system, there can be an over abundance of antibodies. These attach to the antigens as they are found, and form complexes. The complexes are then found by other antibodies and are agglutinated again to form larger complexes. Eventually, these large complexes settle in the tissues. This activates the immune system's “death squad”, which brings about inflammatory reactions and tissue destruction.

This last bit of information is somewhat of an overview of what may likely happen in the progress of Crohn's disease when poor dietary choices are constantly made. In Crohn’s disease, tissue destruction and inflammation has been found to be halted by dietary changes and the use of enzymes – which are known to stop the complement cascade. It breaks the vicious cycle that leads to continual destruction, making this a chronic disorder. Studies show that a proper diet is effective in stopping the production of an over abundance of antibodies, and enzymes will degrade the protein coating around the invaders, stopping the severe immune reaction and inflammation and tissue destruction. Systemic proteolytic enzymes have been found to be able to cleanse and remove immune complexes before they attach to organs or tissues. One thing to keep in mind, however, when first starting to use systemic enzyme therapy, is that there may be a temporary exacerbation of the condition. It does not mean the condition is coming back, but is simply your body’s reaction to the complexes present and their destruction. Digestive enzymes may also be of benefit. It is known through extensive study that the body is supplied with a set amount of enzymes at birth. This "enzyme pool" is used for every bodily function throughout your life. When a person constantly makes poor nutritional choices or chooses to overeat, our precious enzymes are being used up consistently to digest food. The other bodily functions that utilize enzymes for health and wellness, will come up short. It is always beneficial to take digestive enzymes at least with the two largest meals of the day. Proteolytic enzymes need to be taken on an empty stomach, or they will simply digest food.

Here are some basic nutritional guidelines, based on biochemical individuality:

FOR BLOOD TYPE O

BLOOD TYPE A

BLOOD TYPE B

BLOOD TYPE AB

The following is additional information that may pertain to any person with any blood type. In addition, it may also be of benefit for people with ulcers, irritable bowel disease, or any other gastric disorder:

  • Soy is not recommended for anyone at any time. It is known to adversely affect hormones; is highly allergenic; and it lowers thyroid hormone production. Soy is a toxic endocrine disruptor and should not be ingested by anyone..... this especially includes infants and children who are inadvertantly put on soy formula instead of milk.
  • Coffee, both caffeinated and decaffeinated, is highly acidic and may stimulate an increase in gastric acids. Coffee is known to speed up the process of gastric emptying, which may lead to acidic contents passing into the small intestine too soon, which could injure the intestinal tissue. You can greatly decrease your risk of irritating the intestinal walls by limiting your coffee intake.
  • Probiotics (beneficial bacteria)is a very beneficial supplement. It is known to repopulate the stomach and intestinal tract; help keep the immune system functioning, and is very healing for the stomach. There are many brands, however, it is always best to use a multi-strain product with many, many billion units. A product available online called VSL#3 is exceptional. One capsule contains over 100 BILLION units
  • L-glutamine powder is known to be very healing for the gastric mucosa. It may also help prevent muscle wasting or cachexia during chemotherapy. Both glutamine and acidophilus can be taken together sprinkled on the tongue, swished around the mouth and swallowed. However, only use glutamine for the short initial healing phase, as there may be some risks attached to long term use.
  • A free form amino acid complex may be used to supply the purest form of protein, which is found to be very beneficial in healing.
  • MSM powder is known to be VERY healing for the gastric mucosa. It is a source of biological sulfur; a deficiency of which may cause a number of ailments. It is recommended that this be taken three times a day, however, not to late in the afternoon, as it may affect sleep. Also, be aware that MSM may cause headaches and/or muscle aches if taken in large doses.
  • Slippery elm bark is an herb known to neutralize stomach acid, boost adrenals, draw impurities and heal. It has been found to soothe the gastric mucosa in addition to being beneficial for burns, skin cancer, and poison ivy.
  • Marshmallow root herb is a known anti –irritant and digestive anti-inflammatory.There are products on the market that contain powdered psyllium , marshmallow root, slippery elm bark, acidophilus, and FOS - all of which are very soothing and healing to the digestive tract. It is always necessary to take plenty of water when using products such as this, though.
  • Pure aloe vera gel in a small amount of water is known to be very healing for the entire alimentary canal, in addition to having strong anti-cancer effects.
  • The herbs gentian, bladderwrack, Oregon grape root, goldenseal root are all known to be both very healing for the stomach and digestive process, and highly beneficial in the destruction of H. Pylori which is the bacteria that research has found to cause 99% of stomach and gastric cancers. When having active problems, it is recommended to use alcohol free tinctures; once healed, it is fine to use alcoholic tinctures.
  • Boswellia has been found to be a very strong anti-inflammatory. It is known to soothe the intestinal lining, and is a specific,non-redux, noncompetitive inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase.
  • Chlorophyll has been found to be very cleansing and purifying for the stomach and intestinal tract. An easy way to add this to your regimen would be to simply add about one tablespoonful to a liter bottle of good purified water and try to drink one or two of these a day.
  • N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) is known to be beneficial in repairing the mucosal lining of the intestines and colon or structuring diseases. Research has found that it may counter some of the damage caused by grains. It is a component of the barrier layer that protects the intestinal lining, possibly preventing leaky gut.
  • Vitamin K is known to be vital to colon health ad the absorption of calcium into the bones.This has been found to be deficient in people suffering with Crohn’s. It is recommended to use phylloquinone, which is the most bioavailable form of vitamin K.
  • Omega 3 fish oil has been found to be a very strong anti-inflammatory. If living in a northern area or if one receives no sunshine, it is recommended to use cod liver oil due to the vitamin A and D content. If that is not the issue, a good micro distilled fish oil is acceptable. The therapeutic dosage for fish/cod liver oil is 1-2 tablespoons a day.... that would equal 9-18 capsules.
  • Emergen-C (brand name)contains 200mg. of potassium as mineral ascorbate, and 1000 mg vitamin C as mineral ascorbate. Both of these are known to help balance the pH in the system. Ascorbate, as opposed to ascorbic acid has been found to be the most beneficial form of vitamin C.
  • B complex is very beneficial to supplement. Due to malabsorption known to be associated with digestive disorders, the B vitamins are usually deficient. They are also essential for the breakdown of foods and the effects of stress. A particular group of B vitams known as "Homocysteine Modulators" may be beneficial in addition to taking a complete B complex supplement. This product contains B6,B12, folic acid, and TMG all of which may be depleted due to the above mentioned malabsorption. These specific B vitamins are known to work together to lower levels of homocystiene in the body. Research has found that, in addition to creating high cholesterol, high homocysteine levels have also been cited in kidney stones.
  • Chorella is known to be a very healing nutrient, high in B vitamins, trace minerals, and amino acids – all of which may be depleted due to malabsorption. It has been shown to accelerate wound healing and enhance immune functions in addition to being a VERY potent chelator of heavy metals.
  • ARA-6 (arabinogalactan) is a very good soluable fiber that has been found to increase the levels of butyrate in the intestines and decrease the concentration of ammonia (which is the biproduct of protein synthesis)in the gut.
  • Digestive enzymes are known to be very beneficial for digestion and absorption, both of which are found to be defective in any digestive disorder.
  • Calcium and magnesium supplementation has been found to be very effective; the best dosage has been found to be between 1000-2000 mg. of calcium and 50-1000 mg. of magnesium due to decreased absorption, corticosteroid treatment, or vitamin D deficiency. These minerals have been found to be beneficial in relaxing spasms and lessening the risk of cancer. Symptoms of muscle cramps and bone pain may indicate a magnesium deficiency. Studies have found that the most effective source to consider may be a liquid or powder form (calcium citrate or hydroxyapatite and magnesium oxide are recommended).
  • Research has found that an oral supplement from Germany called Wobenzyme, a blend of pancreatic enzymes, may clear the body of the excess antibodies that characterize an autoimmune disease - of which Crohn's is considered, in most cases.
  • At least two clinical studies have shown that the therapeutic yeast (saccharomyces boulardii) nourishes and protects healthy intestinal flora and can significantly reduce Crohn's symptoms.
  • Ghee has been shown to be beneficial. It is high in butyrate, whidh is yielded after fermentation of fiber the the colon. the higher the butyrate content in the colon, the healthier the colon.
  • Raw, organic garlic (chopped and mixed with a small amount of unprocessed honey) is known to be one of the best choices for the eradication of h.pylori. In some cases, it has been found that eradicating H.pylori will treat Crohn's.
  • Olive oil is high in antioxidant phenolic compounds that inhibit free radical generation from the colonic mucosa in inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s. The mechanism of this free-radical generation may be high intakes of omega 6 fatty acids, which have been found to exacerbate inflammatory conditions. Omega 6 fatty acids are found in vegetable oils.(peanut, safflower, canola, etc.)
  • It is recommended to avoid totally all wheat or,basically, grains. Once symptoms are in remission, it may be possible to add Ezekial bread (which is made from sprouted grains and no flours) occassionally.
  • Avoid all dairy, and be cautious of the whey in protein powders and bars, etc. Whey may be a source of bovine serum albumin, which strongly exacerbates existing allergies. Depending on the cows from which it is achieved, whey could also be a source of recombinant bovine growth hormone. That is something that is absolutely not acceptable.
  • People suffering from Crohn’s disease, vegetarians, cancer patients, patients with severe infections, malnutrition have commonly been found to have low levels of ALBUMIN. Low levels of albumin is a predictor of mortality. The ideal value is 5.0. When attempting to increase albumin levels, it has been found to be more beneficial to provide the appropriate amount of protein- especially a protein source containing 50% branched-chain amino acids, which can nearly double the alblumin synthesis rate. Albumin synthesis is inhibited by severe protein and calorie deprivation, ethanol, severe liver disease, malabsorption, early forms of injury, burns, infections, cancer cachexia, and aging.
  • Mycoplasma para tuberculosis has been implicated as a possible cause of Crohn’s disease – not ulcerative colitis. Milk may be contaminated with this. In susceptible people, it can cause Crohn’s. Milk is the logical cause since mycoplasma para TB is heat resistant.
  • Corn, tomatoes( for a while) chocolate, soda, caffeine, fried foods, and convenience foods high in fat all need to be avoided.
  • Refined carbohydrates, in many cases, allows intense muscle spasms due to reduction of fecal bulk. This includes all sugar, and desserts (any thing processed).
  • There is a strong association between attitude, stress, and flare-ups of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s. Try relaxation, deep diaphragmatic breathing, meditation, or visualization.

    Please email me if you have any questions.