There are other contributing factors to Crohn’s disease. Many naturally minded physicians, practitioners, and nutritionists believe that this affliction literally begins in the gut. They have been of this opinion for some time. A great deal of exploration and investigation seems to confirm this. Researchers evaluated indicators of excessive intestinal permeability, so-called “leaky gut syndrome”, in patients suffering from a variety of autoimmune disorders.
They found much higher rates of permeability in these patients as compared with healthy individuals. This held true even when there were no digestive symptoms, and the patients had not been taking anti-inflammatory medications known to damage the lining of the intestinal tract.
A 2001 study published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, looked at the effects of Lactobacillus GG on childhood allergies. Lactobacillus GG is a supplement containing beneficial bacteria. It is found in Culturelle, a product that many of my patients are very familiar with.
Researchers in Finland gave this product to a group of pregnant women and continued giving it for six months after delivery if the women were breastfeeding. If the infant was bottle-fed, the supplement was given directly to the newborn. By age two, the children who had received the Lactobacillus were found to be half as likely to develop allergies, the most remarkable result ever seen in allergy prevention research.
Researchers believe that exposure to beneficial bacteria early in life may train the immune system to defend from disease instead of overreacting to normally benign substances. In another study, from 2003, the same Lactobacillus GG was given at a rate of one capsule twice a day for six months to children suffering from Crohn’s disease.
This resulted in a 73% reduction in symptoms within four weeks of starting the supplement and the improvements were maintained throughout the duration of the study. Interestingly, no other treatment was used in this study. With dietary changes and a few other targeted supplements, the improvement may well have been 100%.
All of the above information is certainly positive for those suffering from this crippling disease. Most encouraging is the effects dietary change and the use of far infrared sauna therapy have on Crohn’s. It is always heartening to discover that pharmaceuticals may not be the only avenue for better health especially in terms of this disease.
Never go against the advice of your health practitioner however why not add in some of these options when battling Crohn’s? It certainly wouldn’t hurt and only might improve not only your health but your lifestyle, as well.