What Causes Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease in which parts of the digestive system swell and develop deep sores, or ulcers. The ulcers usually occur in the last part of the small intestine and the first part off the large intestine, but can occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract, including the mouth, stomach and anus. The cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, but an abnormal immune system response, bacteria, viruses, genetics and smoking may all play a role.
Common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include abdominal pain, loose bowel movements or diarrhea, and weight loss. As the disease progresses, sufferers may develop mouth ulcers, rectal bleeding (blood in the stool), bowel blockages, anal fissures (tears) and anal fistulas (an abnormal passageway or opening between organs). Some Crohn’s sufferers develop anemia as a result of intestinal bleeding.
Crohn’s disease is often simply called Crohn’s, and sometimes referred to as Crohn disease. Inflammation of the small intestine is also called enteritis. Enteritis is usually caused by a bacterial or viral illness. Crohn’s disease is related closely to another form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis involves only inflammation of the colon. Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease are considered chronic, incurable diseases by the mainstream medical profession.
After healing myself of serious Crohn’s disease, consulting with people with all types of colon and bowel conditions for over ten years, and answering thousands of questions on my online forum, I have become internationally recognized as an expert on natural remedies for gastrointestinal disease. Even if you have tried every Crohn’s treatment available without success, don’t give up hope – my natural remedies for bowel and colon disease have helped tens of thousands of people worldwide and my books are sold in over 40 countries.
J.P., California, USA
“I have better health now, then before I got the disease! Basically I’m calling because when I read this book I was in bed and I weighed about 129 pounds. And I had lost 45 pounds leading up to that and was just so weak and couldn’t move. I kind of felt like my entire life was going to be about that. And I knew that there were some answers out there, if I could just find them, that would help me get back on my feet. I had resisted taking Prednisone for a very long time and had gotten just so sick that it was starting to compromise greatly the quality of my life. My wife was pregnant. It was just not a good time for me not to be a hundred percent. I don’t think there ever is a good time not to be a hundred percent. But – so, you know – Jini’s book was like a friend.
Natural Remedy For Crohn’s Disease
In 1989, I was skeletally thin, malnourished, weak and wracked with pain – unable to eat almost anything without suffering intestinal bleeding and cramping. Despite their best efforts, the medical profession was unable to help me. I was taking 13 pills a day, and my doctors told me that I would never be able to work, have children, or live a normal life.
I came from a family of doctors and pharmacists and, after three years of feeling tortured by my illness, I literally decided to heal myself, or to die trying. Refusing surgery, I began a seven-year mission, researching and experimenting with alternative and indigenous (native) healing therapies:
Years of research and experimentation led me to discover eight key steps that nearly everyone with a bowel syndrome such as Crohn’s disease or enteritis needs to take in order to heal their gastrointestinal illness quickly.
When my healthcare professionals realized how much healthier I was using my holistic Crohn’s treatment methods than their other patients with similar colon and bowel conditions, they encouraged me to share my knowledge of natural healing for IBD. That resulted in my first book, Listen To Your Gut, now published in over 40 countries.
8-Step Treatment to Heal Crohn’s
My eight key steps to healing inflammatory bowel disease (described in detail in Listen To Your Gut) are:
- Providing bowel rest using a special elemental (pre-digested) liquid diet
- Killing off the bad bacteria and fungus in the gut (disease-causing organisms)
- Re-populating the gastrointestinal tract with good bacteria
- Healing intestinal inflammation and ulceration
- Resolving nutritional deficiencies
- Detoxing your living environment
- Healing the contributing emotional factors
- Balancing your hormones
By the time people find their way to my Crohn’s disease protocols (treatment plans), their bacterial flora is usually unbalanced throughout their gastrointestinal tract. The repeated use of antibiotics (often since childhood) and the invasive medical diagnostic tests alone have destroyed much of the “good” protective bacteria in their small and large intestines. When the good, protective bacteria are depleted, then disease-causing organisms like yeast (candida albicans), viruses, parasites, and bad bacteria flourish.
This excess of disease-causing organisms causes inflammation and damage to the mucosal lining, resulting in leaky gut syndrome – a condition where undigested food particles and bacteria seep into the bloodstream, triggering allergic reactions and infection in other places in the body (the joints, skin, eyes, etc).
Let’s look at each of these eight healing steps in more detail below. Or you can watch this video as I walk you through each step:
1. Resting the Bowel
In extreme cases, the best and fastest way to heal Crohn’s disease is to go on an elemental liquid diet (as outlined in my second book, The IBD Remission Diet) in order to rest the bowel, eliminate any foods that trigger inflammation, and heal the underlying infection and inflammation in the digestive system. An elemental liquid diet is also a good idea if you are very malnourished or underweight, or if you have ongoing intestinal bleeding, intestinal obstruction, stricture in the colon (narrowing), or blockages.
In 2002, I introduced a liquid diet supplement shake especially for those with colon and bowel disorders like Crohn’s and enteritis, called Absorb Plus. Absorb Plus is a delicious elemental (pre-digested) nutrition and protein shake made of the highest quality natural ingredients. Absorb Plus requires very little digestion and is absorbed quickly by the body, nourishing even those who have difficulty eating and/or digesting solid food.
If you don’t require anything as drastic as an elemental liquid diet, then just follow the appropriate Healing Diet (in Chapter 3 of Listen To Your Gut) for your symptom profile, while following the other steps below. If you do start with an elemental liquid diet, then begin the rest of the protocols below at the same time. If you can tolerate it, the multi-pronged healing approach is the quickest natural treatment for ulcerative Crohn’s disease.
The great news is that a number of my readers have tested using raw milk (unpasteurized milk from pasture-fed cows or goats) instead of Absorb Plus for their elemental diet, and if they can tolerate it, they show great improvement. Others have used a combination of Absorb Plus and raw cow or raw goat’s milk. However, people in extreme disease states can usually only tolerate an elemental shake product, like Absorb Plus.
Vegan Elemental Shakes – Your other option, if you cannot tolerate whey protein isolate, is to use a vegan elemental shake. Absorb Plus is now available in vegan options.
Food-based Shakes – Alternatively, if you cannot afford any kind of specialized shake or supplements, then check out my article on how to Use Common Foods To Heal IBD.
2. Killing Off The Bad Bugs
To get rid of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, yeast, mycobacteria (a treatment resistant type of bacteria/fungal hybrid) and parasites in your gut, use Jini’s Wild Oregano Oil Protocol (see Chapter 2 of Listen To Your Gut). If you have a mycobacterial infection, you will need to cycle on and off the Crohn’s disease treatment protocol for 2 to 3 years to get rid of all the mycobacteria – as they have an inactive/active lifecycle.
People generally start with Jini’s Wild Oregano Oil Protocol and then after completing the first round of treatment, move to high dose, therapeutic probiotic (“good” bacteria) supplementation. Remember, they have already begun probiotic supplementation with Jini’s Wild Oregano Oil Protocol, so their system doesn’t usually have much difficulty making the change to high dose probiotics.
3. Re-Populating The Gut Flora
Probiotics for Crohn’s disease treatment must be taken in a powerful bioavailable form (able to be absorbed and used by the body); the bacteria must be capable of colonizing (multiplying in and sticking to) the gastrointestinal tract, and they must be taken in high enough amounts to have a therapeutic effect. Based on clinical trials, you need to take a minimum of 7 to 10 billion CFU (colony-forming units) of each species, per day. Learn how to choose a potent probiotic for therapeutic use, so that your probiotic will actually be capable of shifting your bioterrain (or gut flora).
However, if your irritable bowel disease (IBD) is in a very active state, or you are highly sensitive to probiotics, then start out with small amounts and very gradually build the dose up. In these cases, it is often best to start with an infant species of bacteria called B. infantis and then gradually work your way up to the adult species like L. acidophilus, B. bifidus and L. bulgaricus.
Note: If you are having more than 3 bowel movements per day, then don’t take anything in capsule form (probiotics or supplements), as when you have very loose bowel movements the travel time through the gut is too fast for them to be properly absorbed and used. In that case, you need to take powder or liquid supplements, or open the capsules and dissolve them in liquid.
Once you can tolerate high, therapeutic levels of probiotics (and many can right away) then the best Crohn’s disease treatment results are seen from probiotic layering. This means you take both the powders and the capsules to maximize the beneficial effects of each, and then perform Jini’s Probiotic Retention Enema – where a probiotic enema is held in your colon until all the liquid is absorbed, so the probiotics can immediately begin to colonize the large bowel, without having to go through the digestive tract.
4. Healing Intestinal Inflammation and Ulceration
While the steps above greatly contribute to the healing of intestinal inflammation and ulceration, targeted herbal supplementation is also a highly beneficial natural Crohn’s disease treatment for more rapid healing.
If you have ongoing bleeding from the colon, then use Jini’s Healing Implant Enema, MucosaCalm and George’s Aloe Vera Juice, along with an elemental liquid diet. If bleeding is mild or sporadic, or is only from the small intestine, take MucosaHeal along with George’s Aloe Vera Juice and L-glutamine. Probiotics are also very helpful, along with the appropriate Healing Diet for Crohn’s disease (from my book Listen To Your Gut).
5. Resolving Nutritional Deficiencies
Here are the nutritional supplements that I believe pretty much everyone with Crohn’s disease needs to take, because of increased loss of nutrients through loose bowel movements, diarrhea and/or lack of absorption of nutrients:
- A full spectrum multi-vitamin and multi-mineral – although it would be ideal to take these in food form, many people with Crohn’s symptoms cannot tolerate whole food vitamins. Angstrom-sized, or nanoparticle minerals, are very easily tolerated and highly absorbable, but are also more expensive. While regular mineral supplements are not ideal, if you cannot afford the nano-sized minerals, they are certainly better than nothing. Due to the alkalizing (acid-lowering) effect of minerals (people with inflammatory bowel disease tend to have a hyper-acidic pH), I strongly recommend that those with Crohn’s take both the Bone Matrix nanoparticle minerals and the Trace Minerals for the most rapid healing (see product list on the left hand side of this page).
- 3,000 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. Use the right dosage for your skin color and environment.
- 4 to 6 capsules of cod liver oil per day (or 2 teaspoons).
- 2 tablespoons of Udo’s Oil per day.
- Many people with enteritis or Crohn’s disease also suffer from anemia. But iron supplements are irritating to the gut and can trigger intestinal bleeding. Again the solution is to take your iron in nanoparticle, or angstrom-sized form. This means that the iron is instantly absorbed into the bloodstream and does not require digestion, therefore it does not irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, nor trigger bleeding.
- Vitamin C in mineral ascorbate form – needed for your immune system and for blood clotting. Do not take it in ascorbic acid form, or it will cause loose bowel movements or diarrhea.
Each of these supplements is vital for healing the various symptoms of gastrointestinal disease, and they also work synergistically (better together) to accelerate healing. These are the exact products that I recommend for my natural Crohn’s treatment (which have been tested for tolerance by thousands of my readers with colon and bowel disease). If you don’t want to order online, copy down the names and get your local health store to order them in. Do NOT substitute brands other than the ones I’ve recommended or you will not get the same results and may trigger a flare because of a filler or co-factor that has been added.
Note: If you are having more than 3 bowel movements per day, take powder or liquid supplements, or open the capsules and dissolve them in liquid.
When, after using the various Healing Diets, therapies and supplements in Listen To Your Gut, your digestive tract is healed to the point where you can properly digest and absorb the nutrients from your food, continue onto the Maintenance Diet for ongoing bowel and colon health. Many people follow the Maintenance Diet guidelines for their entire family as a common-sense way to eliminate toxins and damaging additives from your food.
6. Detoxing Your Living Environment to Support Healing
A major part of healing Crohn’s disease involves reducing and eliminating as many as possible of the toxins in your life that you sense are harmful to you. You need to become aware of all the elements of so-called “normal” life that are actually toxic to the body, remove/change those, and create an environment that supports healing – not one that works against your efforts.
In Chapter 4 of Listen To Your Gut, I take you through every room in your house and show you how to create a safe and supportive healing environment in your home. What pans are you cooking with? How much electromagnetic radiation is in your house? What elements of your home are giving off harmful chemicals while you sleep?
7. Identifying and Healing Emotional Contributors to Crohn’s Disease
I have long been convinced that if you don’t heal the underlying psychological and emotional contributors to Crohn’s disease, then you will never have long-term good health. After all, over 60% of your body’s neurotransmitters are not in your brain, but in your gut!
There is now an entire field dedicated to emerging knowledge about the interrelation of the mind, emotions and the digestive system, called neurogastroenterology. (See Dr. Michael Gershon’s book, The Second Brain, to learn more about this). This is not airy-fairy stuff – this is hard science. Consider blushing – a purely emotional event that instantly produces a marked physical reaction.
In my experience, the most effective mind/body therapies to treat Crohn’s disease, colitis, and other colon and bowel disorders are EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), hypnotherapy and craniosacral therapy (at Level II or higher). You need to work with a skilled therapist, at least initially, to really see good results. And it’s best if you can use a therapist who is experienced with chronic illness; which is more complex than regular illness.
8. Balancing Your Hormones
If you have had Crohn’s disease symptoms for longer than eight months, or if you have taken any kind of steroid or immune suppressant drug, then it is highly likely your thyroid gland is not functioning properly, and quite likely your adrenal gland isn’t either. Ideally, you should see a doctor who specializes in hormone balancing and have your endocrine system (glands that produce hormones) tested properly.
You should then follow a natural hormone supplement program tailored to your specific needs. However, since we have seen that many people either cannot afford to do this, or just can’t seem to find the time or energy to do it, here’s a shortcut that is likely to help in most cases.
Endocrine specialist, Jonathan V. Wright MD, has developed a holistic endocrine supplement called Thyroplex. He reasons that you should never just treat one gland in isolation – since they are all linked like dominoes. Therefore, you need to support the entire endocrine system to return to balance. Many of my readers see very good results from taking Thyroplex (there is one for males and one for females). Women with Crohn’s disease usually also benefit from taking natural progesterone cream (1/4 teaspoon rubbed into the soles of the feet once a day).
This is a shortcut endocrine treatment that usually benefits most people with symptoms of Crohn’s and other bowel and colon disease. But again, it is definitely recommended that you see a doctor who specializes in hormones to have your individual situation assessed properly.
You may heal Crohn’s disease and enteritis more quickly and get faster relief from adding other additional supplements as needed:
FissureHeal relieves anal/rectal fissures; HemorrHeal helps heal internal or external hemorrhoids; wild oregano oil treats fistulas (inflamed tunnels between the anal canal and the skin); L-glutamine, bentonite clay, and psyllium seed treat diarrhea, and StrictureHeal or hot castor oil packs relieve pain or obstruction.
And there you have it! If you implement each of these eight steps, you will benefit from the fastest, most thorough natural gastrointestinal disease treatment available today. I have been drug and surgery-free for over 20 years, using the natural methods I developed. The key is to do all eight steps – preferably all at once – without skipping over any of them. Step-by-step guidelines for using natural treatments to treat disease of the bowel, including targeted healing diets, self-assessment tests, symptom guides, and more are outlined in Listen to Your Gut.
Remember, in order to be truly freed from the oppression of Crohn’s disease, you need to take the time to address and heal ALL of the contributing factors and underlying causes. Read these examples of people’s Healing Journeys for personal evidence of how well my natural Crohn’s treatment has worked for other bowel disease sufferers.
PLEASE NOTE: This is the very short version of these treatments, to get the full instructions, dosages, etc. please sign up in the the green box below for my free Crohn’s Disease Quick-Start Guide; that includes Chapter One of Listen To Your Gut, common Q & A from readers, and a list of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) resources.