At Life Source Chiropractic, we see many people who have digestive problems. Some of our patients experience inflammation, irritability, and pain as a result of the chronic condition known as Crohn’s disease. The following information is being provided by Life Source Chiropractic with the intention of shedding some light on this issue as well as some of the chiropractic for Crohn’s interventions we provide.
What Is Crohn’s?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition that mainly affects the small intestine but can also impact the large intestine. It results in painful areas of inflammation and is one of the most frequent forms of inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory bowel disease is any condition that involves inflammation of the intestines in some form. It is important to note the difference between inflammatory bowel disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome. Inflammatory bowel disease is a broad classification that consists of multiple diseases, while inflammatory bowel syndrome is a condition that consists of a category of symptoms that usually occur as a group.
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Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease whereby the immune system incorrectly identifies healthy gut bacteria as a harmful invader. When the immune system is triggered by these bacteria, it mounts a full immune reaction. This includes increasing fluid to the area, raising body temperature, and sending immune cells to contend with the problem bacteria. Because there are no harmful bacteria, the immune system targets healthy intestinal tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage.
The onset of Crohn’s is so gradual that many people indicate they were unaware they were in the early stages of the disease. The symptoms can be so subtle at the beginning that many patients believe their intestines are acting up due to extra stress they may be under. Sadly, this way of thinking frequently causes greater suffering because people disregard the symptoms, believing that they are nothing significant.
Crohn’s disease symptoms are known for how wildly they fluctuate, which can exacerbate the difficulties that people with Crohn’s experience. However, people with Crohn’s can go into symptom-free remissions that last for weeks and even years.
Who Does Crohn’s Affect?
Crohn’s disease is becoming increasingly more common and affects over half a million Americans. Aside from living in America, there are several factors that are associated with a higher risk of suffering from Crohn’s.
Many people with Crohn’s disease start showing symptoms in their twenties. Additionally, most people who contract the disease have an immediate family member who also suffers from some type of inflammatory bowel disease.
Aside from the genetic link, there are other risk factors for developing Crohn’s disease. According to some studies, smoking can double the likelihood of developing this illness. Furthermore, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin, and eating a high fat diet can also increase the risk of Crohn’s. Birth control pills and antibiotics are some other medications associated with the onset of Crohn’s disease.
Symptoms of Crohn’s
Crohn’s causes changes in the form and function of the intestinal tract due to the inflammation that occurs with the disease. Therefore, most of the main symptoms associated with Crohn’s are related to digestion. The three most frequent symptoms of Crohn’s are diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal cramping or some other form of pain in the abdomen.
Intestinal irritation brought on by Crohn’s disease can result in symptoms that are related to widespread inflammation. Some of these symptoms include nausea, fever, fatigue, anemia, joint and eye pain, and changes in the skin.
Although symptoms may vary from person to person, they can also vary based on the severity and location of the affected area of the intestine. While stress and particular foods can exacerbate symptoms, they do not cause Crohn’s disease.
How Chiropractic Helps Alleviate Crohn’s Symptoms
Chiropractic care is a less risky, natural alternative to medications, such as corticosteroids or immunomodulators. Both of these medications work by suppressing the immune system activity that causes intestinal inflammation. However, they also diminish healthy immune system activity, which can lead to a greater risk of infection. Prescription immune system suppressants are also responsible for many side effects, which include exhaustion, mood swings, weight gain, nausea, and vomiting.
Many people with Crohn’s disease must eventually resort to high-risk surgeries to relieve symptoms once the medication stops working. According to one study, up to 60% of Crohn’s patients had surgery within 20 years of being diagnosed with the disease. Surgery for this condition involves removal of the affected area of the intestine. It also involves the potential for complications, a greater risk of infection, and a guaranteed period of downtime. Additionally, surgery for Crohn’s requires an extended hospital stay as well as a minimum of one to two months for “full recovery” since these procedures require general anesthesia.
Although surgery cannot always be avoided, it can be postponed. One of the leading ways chiropractic helps relieve Crohn’s symptoms is by strengthening the immune system, allowing it to correctly identify actual invaders while leaving healthy tissue alone. Chiropractic care also assists in the body’s better allocation of resources for reducing inflammation and repairing damaged intestinal tissues, which may also delay the disease process.
Spinal manipulation, also known as chiropractic adjustment, is one of the leading ways that chiropractic helps relieve Crohn’s symptoms. At Life Source Chiropractic, when we manipulate the spine, we’re actually putting the vertebrae back into proper alignment. When our patients first learn about this, many of them find it to be quite strange. However, once they hear about the science behind it, they realize it makes a great deal of sense.
Initially, the spine is composed of 33 vertebrae, but by the time adulthood is reached, several of the lower vertebrae have fused together and leave most adults with a total of 24 vertebrae. Since these small bones enable people to do a wide variety of movements, they are very important. However, they are also susceptible to misalignment because they can move in a variety of directions.
Although the spinal vertebrae are strong, the nerves that surround them are somewhat delicate. This can easily result in compression of the nerves, which can interfere with communication between the spinal cord, brain, and body.
Since some of this communication is related to pain, the discomfort due to Crohn’s disease may seem more severe than the actual state of the intestine would suggest. Other signals relate to immune activity and aid the body in deciding which healthy tissues need to be replenished and repaired and which bacteria should be attacked. Additionally, there are signals that regulate the peristalsis, or motion, of the intestines during digestion. Although this isn’t formally recognized as part of Crohn’s, it can definitely have an impact on the symptoms related to the disease.
Comprehensive Lifestyle Coaching
The inflammation that exacerbates Crohn’s symptoms can be significantly impacted by factors related to one’s lifestyle. For this reason, effective lifestyle management is always a part of natural relief of Crohn’s symptoms. We delve into areas as varied as dietary modifications, health-improving exercise, and stress-reduction methods during these in-depth sessions. At Life Source Chiropractic, our focus is on more than just alleviating symptoms. We aim to improve overall health.
Why Choose Chiropractic for Crohn's Care
Chiropractic care goes beyond what we do on a daily basis or what our patients say has enhanced their quality of life. Chiropractic interventions for Crohn’s are supported by research. According to one study, receiving chiropractic care led to the long-term stability or remission of Crohn’s symptoms in 70% of participants.
If you’d like to experience natural relief of Crohn’s symptoms, we’d be happy to schedule a consultation for you. Life Source Chiropractic is ready to help you relieve symptoms as well as transform your life.