Crohn’s Treatment Diet: Treating Crohn’s Disease With Paleo

Could paleo principles be used as an effective Crohn’s treatment diet?

What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohns disease is an inflammatory bowel disease which can affect any or all parts of the gastrointestinal tract. The disease essentially causes the body to attack its own intestinal wall cells because of a chronic state of inflammation. This action may result in a multitude of symptoms, including abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and weight loss. Sufferers of the disease have also reported feeling exhausted constantly, being only able to stand for short periods, and having low strength.

Existing Crohn’s medications

Crohn’s disease is generally treated as an autoimmune disease, although recently it has been regarded as an immunodeficient state. Treatment usually consists of a combination of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Corticosteroids can also be administered depending on severity of inflammation. Due to the nature of steroid medications, they are not used to treat Crohn’s disease for the long term as they cause some severe side-effects.

Lifestyle changes are also prescribed to sufferers, such as the cessation of smoking, decrease in fiber intake and portion control. With regards to fatigue and exhaustion, exercise can help to maintain muscle strength and promote higher energy levels.

crohns-disease
Surgery unfortunately doesn’t help Crohn’s disease sufferers…

How paleo can help: A Crohn’s disease treatment that is natural

Because the paleo diet is focused on removing and recovering from diet-induced inflammation, it is particularly suited at providing an avenue of relief for Crohn’s disease sufferers. For starters, grains are highly inflammatory, and should be removed from the diet immediately. The aim of any Crohn’s disease sufferer should be to decrease the amount of inflammation they suffer from, and by removing inflammation-inducing foods from the diet this can be achieved relatively quickly. Because the paleo diet can be applied as a natural Crohn’s  disease treatment with no side effects, it has great long term prospects and requires no taking of medication to be effective.

The paleo diet focuses on proving the body with foods it evolved to eat. Grains, legumes, sugar and large amounts of carbohydrates are not good foods for the body. The largest offender in terms of causing inflammation here is without a doubt gluten and its partner in crime lectins. Gluten is a dangerous protein found in grains, and can cause inflammation of the intestines due to it globbing up and binding to the intestinal walls. This then promotes an immune system response, which basically causes the body to attack the infected tissue. As a Crohn’s disease sufferer, you are already predisposed to suffering from a similar state of the immune system attacking its own body, so eating gluten and lectin rich foods is like throwing napalm in a fire.

Unfortunately, many Crohn’s disease patients are advised by their doctors to continue eating grains and foods which contain gluten and lectins. This advice is terrible, and sufferers who manage to beat the initial bout of symptoms have these very same symptoms return once they are weaned off of medication. 

For an example of how the paleo diet helps Crohn’s disease sufferers, click here to read a story about a women who regained health after battling inflammation for four years.

Here is another article about how the paleo diet helps Crohn’s disease sufferers.

Take aways and what you can do right now

This article has covered how most people’s diets are not consistent and inflammatory free as they should be. We have spoken about the evils of glutens and lectins and have discussed how some people have managed to treat and ultimately rid themselves of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

If you would like to learn more about how the paleo diet and a paleo lifestyle could benefit you and your quest to rid yourself of Crohn’s disease, or if you would just like to get healthy in general, why not subscribe and receive the free 7 step paleo fast track guide. 

 

Keep well,

Andrew

 

 

Grains And Inflammation

What is the relationship between grains and inflammation?

If you’ve read much of my blog and articles on the paleo diet, you’ve noticed that the evils of grains is a recurring topic. The reason for their evil is that they contribute to inflammation in the intestines. This state of inflammation is caused mainly by lectins and gluten. Two proteins which globule up and promote, in some cases, a chronic level of inflammation. This is bad because when this chronic level of inflammation is achieved the body operates at an alarmingly retarded level of efficiency.

Anti-nutrients are also part of grain’s arsenal. What are anti-nutrients exactly? They are, simply put, remnants of a plant’s natural chemical defence against animals eating them. This is bad for our human digestive processes, because some of these anti-nutrients die hard, even after they have been cooked.

Why do grains cause inflammation in the body?

Lectins, for example, are effective at making the intestines inflamed. Once consumed, they globule up in the intestines and bind to its walls. Lectins also cause leptin resistance, which is not favourable because it means that the body becomes less efficient and effective at processing fats in the body. They also contribute to a deterioration in the metabolic system, which ultimately means that the body gets less effective at staying alive. Not cool!

Gluten is another protein which is detrimental to the human body’s health. This is largely due to the response it promotes in the human body. When gluten is consumed, one of its key proteins gliadin is detected by the body and determined to be a threat. This promotes a antibody response. So, simply put, gluten is treated by your body as an invader trying to wreak havoc. It tries to destroy gluten. For the most part, it is this prolonged eating of gluten that promotes the most inflammation in the intestines. The body is sensitive to even small amounts of gluten, and think about it, most people eat gluten every single day, sometimes for every single meal. It is no wonder grains cause inflammation with a weapon such as gluten in it’s toolset.

Thirdly, as if you needed more evidence of gluten’s foul play, are phytates. which ultimately make nutrients unavailable to the body. This goes against the “common” knowledge that grains are rich in minerals and vitamins. That statement is redundant and untrue if the very food (grains) being promoted blocks the absorption of nutrients.

grains-and-inflammation
Ouch…

Why are grains so hostile?

Grains, or rather certain plants, have developed abilities to passively protect themselves from predators. This means that parts of the plant are either inedible, cause discomfort or worse, or are merely indigestible. For the latter, most fruits’ seeds are impossible to digest in humans, and so are passed through the body as waste. This means that ultimately, in the “natural world“, seeds are dispersed.

Unfortunately for us humans, we haven’t adapted to eating grains and their gluten, lectins and phytates. While animals such as certain birds, antelope and other mainly herbivorous animals are okay at digesting these compounds, for us humans the process is problematic and really something we shouldn’t be attempting.

How you can reduce inflammation

Basically, the easiest and most effective way of removing a source of inflammation in the body is well, to remove it. By stopping the consumption of gluten, you will stop the ingestion of gluten, phytates and those nasty lectins. The paleo lifestyle is particularly focused at a grain and gluten free diet as part of great health. Actioning paleo principles in your diet could be the simplest and most effective way for you to decrease inflammation.

To learn why grains are so bad for you in much more detail, consider buying my book on the paleo diet. In it, I tackle many, many issues just like inflammation causing grains and focus on simplifying paleo concepts into bite sized chunks. Check it out here.