What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease involves inflammation in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. But what exactly is inflammation, and what causes it? 

Most people associate inflammation with infection. We recognize redness, heat and swelling at the site of a cut in the skin as inflammation that may indicate an infection. This type of inflammation is the result of a healthy process whereby the body’s white blood cells are helping the body heal. A problem that can occur however is when inflammation in the body fails to cease. The inflammatory process continues and is ongoing to the point where it’s a chronic condition. This causes a great deal of stress on the body and can wreak havoc on organs, glands and systems. 

A weakened, drained immune system is one problem that can develop when inflammation is prolonged. While the immune system is failing, illnesses have an opening. The individual becomes susceptible to health problems and conditions, including very serious ones like cancer. At the same time, the body’s dysfunctional immune system may even turn on itself, assaulting the body’s own organs or systems. This is the case in autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease. 

If you have Crohn’s disease, you’re likely seeking relief from symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever and fatigue. Unfortunately, symptoms are not the only problem Crohn’s patients have to face. The risk for additional serious health conditions is a reality. Chronic inflammation in the body is associated with colon cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, among other things. 

There is good news for Crohn’s disease patients related to inflammation, too. There are many uncontrollable risk factors for diseases such as heart disease or certain cancers. Yet chronic inflammation is something that can be well controlled and prevented with proper care. The key is to identify what is going on in your gut—what is causing the inflammation. There may be many culprits and it’s likely a combination of factors. Lifestyle choices, stress, diet, toxins, allergies, poor nutrition and low levels of nutrients are just some possibilities. 

One of the best choices for controlling inflammation and managing Crohn’s disease is the type of care provided by a naturopathic doctor. A practitioner who is trained in naturopathic medicine will evaluate your condition comprehensively through extensive testing. You’ll find out exactly what is going on in your body—what is contributing to the inflammation, and how it is impacting your health throughout all of the systems in your body. 

Once the causes or sources of inflammation are identified, targeted therapeutic support can help you control it and begin to heal. Naturopathic medicine relies on customized care plans and safe, natural therapies to promote healing. Dietary adjustments, lifestyle interventions, nutritional support and other types of therapies can be very effective in alleviating symptoms and promoting optimal wellness. As imbalances and dysfunctions are addressed, you’ll achieve the relief you’re seeking. You can also have confidence you’re doing all you can to minimize the risk for additional health problems due to chronic inflammation.