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5 Holistic Tips for Living with Crohn's Disease

March 4, 2014

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We consume food in order to receive the nutrients, such as carbohydrates and protein, our bodies need to function properly. Once we eat something, our gastrointestinal (GI) tract then processes that food, absorbing the vital nutrients and eliminating the waste.

However, those with Crohn’s disease, a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that affects the digestive system, aren’t able to complete this process. Their immune system attacks the healthy cells in the GI tract, which causes inflammation, and symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and fatigue.

The cause of Crohn’s is still undetermined but it’s believed that it develops because of genetic and environmental factors, and worsened by influencers such as diet and stress. It’s impossible to prevent the condition, however with proper holistic precautions and planning, this disease is manageable.

Read on to discover 5 tips for preventing flare ups, easing symptoms, and living an overall happier and healthier life.

1.    Be mindful of your diet. Like most health conditions and complications, symptoms can be largely controlled with a conscious diet. When living with Crohn’s it is best to avoid nuts, seeds, and corn, and to minimize unhealthy fatty foods and salt consumption. Additionally, small, more frequent meals are easier for the body to digest. Keeping a food journal is a great way to identify which foods cause flares and should be avoided.

2.    Stay hydrated. One of the symptoms of Crohn’s is frequent diarrhea, which can dehydrate your body. Sipping on water replenishes your fluids and ensures your body stays hydrated and healthy.

3.    Reduce stress. Although stress can’t actually cause Crohn’s, it can trigger a flare. Simple practices for controlling and reducing stress include physical activity, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.

4.    Communicate with others. Effective communication is essential when managing a disease like Crohn’s. Although symptoms may be embarrassing to discuss, it is important to keep your doctors, Health Coaches, and loved ones up-to-date on your health and wellbeing.

5.    Get essential vitamins and nutrients. Many people with Crohn’s disease aren’t able to absorb the proper amount of calcium and vitamin D that are essential for bone health. Soaking up some sun and eating foods rich in vitamin D, such as beef liver, salmon, and egg yolks, are a good way to supplement.

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease? What actions do you take for a happy and healthy life?