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Posts Tagged ‘Crohn’s Disease’

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Genetic Mutation?

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013



About half the population has a gene mutation making them prone to genetic vitamin B12 deficiency, according to researchers, which would explain the growing epidemic of pernicious anemia from untreated vitamin B12 deficiency. About 40 percent of people between the ages of 26 and 83 have dangerously low levels of vitamin B12, and many don’t even realize it until the debilitating symptoms begin to set in. Here are the facts on genetic vitamin B12 deficiency.

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Genetic Mutation?

The MTHFR gene and B12 Deficiency

Everybody has two MTHFR genes, one from each parent. These genes are necessary for efficiently converting vitamin B12 to a usable form, and in effect also maintaining healthy homocysteine levels.

If you have defective MTHFR genes, then you’re not able to convert cobalamin to usable vitamin B12 as effectively as somebody without the gene defect.

However, nearly 50% of all people have a defected MTHFR gene from one parent, and 10% have mutated MTHFR genes from both parents, making them more likely to suffer genetic vitamin B12 deficiency, and also elevated levels of homocysteine, which has been linked to hardening of the arteries and increased risk for heart attack.

Causes for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 absorption is a complicated process, and there are many things that can go wrong. Certain health conditions, medications, invasive surgeries, dietary restrictions, and yes- genetics- can impede your ability to digest vitamin B12 properly from food sources and vitamin supplements.

Common causes of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Vegan and vegetarian dieting
  • Family history for autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and fibromyalgia
  • Family history for pernicious anemia
  • MTHFR gene mutations
  • Gastrointestinal infections or illnesses, such as leaky gut, Crohn’s, celiac, and Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Bariatric surgeries or ilium removal for Crohn’s treatment
  • Medications such as metformin for diabetes and PPIs for GERD
  • Old age
  • Alcoholism

Find out if you have genetic B12 Deficiency

There are several ways of finding out if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, including plasma vitamin B12 level screening, complete blood count (CBC) and homocysteine blood screening for Hyperhomocysteinemia.

As for testing for the MTHFR gene mutation, there are no official guidelines as to who should be tested. So unless you request a test for genetic vitamin B12 deficiency from a doctor who is able to comply, then your best bet is to stay on top of vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels, and supplement daily with vitamin B12, folate and vitamin B6.

Treating vitamin B12 Deficiency

If you’re tested with genetic vitamin B12 deficiency caused by a gene mutation, or any form of vitamin B12 deficiency that doesn’t stem from diet, then it’s absolutely essential to supplement with vitamin B12 in order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency and other severe malnutrition. Diet alone will not provide you the amount of vitamin B12 needed in order to prevent pernicious anemia.

Please tell us…

Would you consider getting tested for genetic vitamin B12 deficiency? Do one or both parents also have vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

25 Medications that Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Disease- Scientists find New Cause

Image courtesy of dream designs/freedigitalphotos

Here’s your Crohn’s Disease Survival Kit

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013



To manage Crohn’s disease, it’s important to assemble a group of essential items that help with symptoms of stomach cramps, indigestion, and frequent diarrhea.  On Amazon, you can find thousands of vitamins, personal care items, and informational resources that aid people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Whether you’re looking for a good ice pack for hemorrhoids or a travel bidet for Crohn’s flare-ups, you’ll find these items amazingly helpful.

Here’s your Crohn’s Disease Survival Kit- B12 Patch

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

If you’re taking plenty of extra vitamin B12 as part of your Crohn’s disease survival plan, then great! In addition to preventing vitamin B12 deficiency, your IBD prevention and management plan should include some of the following indispensable health tools.

Washmate Portable Bidet in a Bottle (300 ml)

Keep yourself clean at work, while out to eat, or on-the-go. What makes this product especially helpful is the small packaging- you can discreetly slip this into your purse or laptop bag without attracting attention on the way to the bathroom. This is a must for all people who suffer from chronic Crohn’s disease.  Order on Amazon

Here’s your Crohn’s Disease Survival Kit- B12 Patch

What customers say about this: ” It fits comfortably in one hand, and it holds more than enough water to clean you up very well… it makes washing up at the commode SO EASY, especially if your abdominal mobility is jeopardized. This is super helpful!”

Drip Drop Hydration 4 Powder Packs

Dehydration is one of the most debilitating ailments that result from GI illnesses that cause frequent episodes of diarrhea and vomiting. These hydration powder packets are easy to use, taste great, and are safe for adults and children alike. Order on Amazon

Here’s your Crohn’s Disease Survival Kit- B12 Patch

What customers said about this: “My children never would tolerate Pedialyte but they seem to like the taste of Drip Drop (it tastes like lemonade)”

Florastor Maximum Strength 250 Mg Capsules

Maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora by taking these essential probiotic supplements.  This is useful for sustaining digestive health and preventing gastrointestinal damage associated with chronic diarrhea, ulcers, and acid reflux from GERD or Crohn’s disease.  Order on Amazon

Here’s your Crohn’s Disease Survival Kit- B12 Patch

What customers said about this: “Out of desperation I began trying probiotics. Within just a few days my heartburn was completely gone. I’ve been taking Florastor daily for almost a year now, and feel great.”

BodySport Ring Cushion

Give yourself a comfortable seat when your bottom really hurts. This pillow for your behind conforms easily, is washable, and will fit in most car seats or chairs. People like this because of its discreet design. This is great for relieving pain from hemorrhoids, coccyx injuries, colitis, or Crohn’s flare-ups. Order on Amazon

Here’s your Crohn’s Disease Survival Kit- B12 Patch

What customers said about this: “The red rubber and clear vinyl donuts scream ‘Hey everyone, I’m having trouble with my bottom.’ The BodySport Products Donut Cushion is by the most comfortable, durable and discreet.”

Your turn!

Do you suffer from Crohn’s? What helpful tools would you add to this IBD survival kit?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

IBD or IBS- What’s the Difference in a Tummy Ache?

Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD or IBS- What’s the Difference in a Tummy Ache?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013



People often mix up irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in speech, but really they are quite different. Although IBS and IBD both cause similar symptoms- stomachaches, nausea- only one is a gastrointestinal disease that can be severely debilitating and life-threatening.

IBD or IBS- What’s the Difference in a Tummy Ache? B12 Patch

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Other terms include spastic colon, irritable colon, mucous colitis, or spastic colitis.

About one out of every six people experience irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes abdominal pain and cramping, in addition to abnormal bowel movements.

IBS may occur as a result of an infection in the intestines, or it may be caused by stress. There are no tests to diagnose IBS, rather several diagnostic procedures to rule out IBD, colon cancer, or celiac disease.

Also see: Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

Symptoms of IBS:

People with irritable bowel syndrome suffer from the following symptoms at least three times per month, for at least three months:

  • Stomach pain
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Uncomfortable fullness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) refers to a set of gastrointestinal illnesses that are chronic or very frequent, and occur because of an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the stomach and intestines.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two most common types of IBD, and both can result in ulcers, inflammation, and other types of stomach damage.

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation, sores, and ulcers all along the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, but most often occurs in parts of the small and large intestines.

Ulcerative colitis causes similar damage and ailments in the large intestines and rectum.

Read this- Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

Symptoms of IBD:

Chronic symptoms of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may include:

  • Intense stomach pains, cramps
  • Uncontrollable frequent diarrhea
  • Bloody stools
  • Rectal pain
  • Unexplainable weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Fever, chills
  • Vomiting
  • Mouth sores
  • Joint pain
  • Liver disease


There are no complications involved with IBS, which is more of a functional condition of the stomach that causes no perceivable damage.

With IBD, flare-ups, a worsening of symptoms or long-time illness may cause several comorbid conditions or complications, including:

  • Infected fistula caused by deep ulcers
  • Colon rupture caused by toxic megacolon
  • Anemia caused by low iron or vitamin B12 deficiency, resulting in too few red blood cells.


IBS is distressing and uncomfortable, but it causes no actual damage to the gastrointestinal tract, and is not life-threatening. To treat, avoid foods that irritate the stomach, and eat small frequent meals, in order to prevent overstuffing.

With IBD, portions of the intestines and stomach are diseased and vulnerable to rupture, which can be deadly. Diagnosis may require colonoscopy, X-ray, barium enema, blood tests, MRI, and CT scan.

Depending on the severity of IBD symptoms, treatments may include medications, restrictive diet, vitamins, including vitamin B12 supplements, and possibly, surgery.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Four Reasons to check your Vitamin B12 Levels with Crohn’s Disease


Irritable bowel syndrome- PubMed Health

Ulcerative colitis- PubMed Health

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Image(s) courtesy of dream designs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

13 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Crohn’s Disease

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012



Crohn’s disease is a chronic bowel disorder that causes damage to the intestinal tract, leading to vitamin deficiencies, severe stomach pains, diarrhea, and fever.  Doctors recommend following a restrictive diet for treating Crohn’s disease, in addition to adopting a strict vitamin regimen.  Here are the top 13 vitamins and minerals recommended for Crohn’s disease patients.

13 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Crohn’s Disease, B12 Patch

Vitamin B12

In order to digest vitamin B12 (cobalamin) from food sources, your body has to be able to make intrinsic factor, an enzyme produced in the stomach that aids in vitamin B12 absorption.  Because Crohn’s disease destroys stomach tissue, it’s common for Crohn’s patients to acquire vitamin B12 deficiency, in addition to other nutritional deficiencies.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include everyday fatigue, sluggishness, memory loss, painful tingling and numbness in your extremities (feet, hands, tongue), anxiety, and dizziness.

To find out if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, ask your doctor for a blood test to measure vitamin B12 levels.

Treatment requires non-dietary vitamin B12 supplements, usually from a vitamin B12 shot or alternative method.

13 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Crohn’s Disease, B12 Patch

Read Four Reasons to check your Vitamin B12 Levels with Crohn’s Disease

Folic acid

13 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Crohn’s Disease, B12 PatchFolic acid is another essential B vitamin; it’s crucial for preventing birth defects in utero.  If you’re using the sulfa drug sulfasalazine for Crohn’s disease, then you are at high risk for developing folic acid deficiency.  Experts recommend taking 1 mg of folic acid per day.

Vitamin A

Because Crohn’s disease sufferers often have difficulty absorbing vitamin A from food, doctors highly recommend adding the A vitamin to your vitamin regimen.

Vitamin D

Experts have noted a high correlation of vitamin D deficiency among Crohn’s disease patients.  Vitamin D deficiency causes bone loss, muscular soreness, and weakness.  It’s also believed that vitamin D is essential for promoting immune system health.  Sun exposure increases vitamin D levels, but supplements are also available.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E deficiency is high among Crohn’s patients who have difficulty eating foods like dark leafy greens and nuts.  To avoid symptoms like muscular weakness, tingling, and numbness, experts recommend taking daily doses of vitamin E oil.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K occurs naturally in dark leafy veggies, and is essential for healthy blood clotting and bone strength.  If you have difficulty absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, then you should include vitamin K in your daily vitamin therapy.


Iron anemia is a risk factor with Crohn’s disease, due to intestinal bleeding.  Iron deficiency causes symptoms like extreme fatigue, paleness, and headaches.  A blood test can determine if you have iron deficiency.

13 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Crohn’s Disease, B12 Patch


Crohn’s disease increases your risk for calcium deficiency, especially if you are using corticosteroids as part of your immune system therapy.  Additionally, vitamin B12 deficiency, common among Crohn’s patients, increases your risk for bone loss.  Health experts recommend taking 1,000-1,200 mg of calcium supplements each day.


Crohn’s disease causes severe bouts of diarrhea, during which time high doses of magnesium are expelled rapidly.  To prevent magnesium deficiency, experts recommend supplementing with extra magnesium, especially during flare-ups.

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety


Zinc supplies are also depleted with chronic diarrhea, making this another essential nutrient to take regularly if you have Crohn’s disease.


13 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Crohn’s Disease, B12 PatchProbiotics contain “good” bacteria that are helpful for boosting digestive health and preventing pouchitis, a common side effect resulting from pouch surgery.  For best results, ask your gastroenterologist to recommend a specific bacterial strain.

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as the kind found in fish oil, are helpful for fighting inflammation, a common side effect of Crohn’s disease.


Glutamine is an amino acid that promotes intestinal health.  Many doctors advise taking 400 mg of glutamine, 4 times per day, for preventing Crohn’s disease symptoms.

Please tell us…

Do you have Crohn’s disease?  If so, do you agree with these dietary recommendations?  Do you use any vitamins that are not included in this list?  Have you tested for vitamin deficiency, including vitamin B12 anemia?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Read more about Crohn’s and vitamin B12:

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)

Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore


Crohn’s disease

10 Vitamins You May Need if You Have Crohn’s

10 Herbs and Vitamins That Are Good for Your Gut

Images: Lori Greig, cohdra, bradley j

Top 9 Holiday Gifts for IBD Sufferers

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011



If you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD), then you probably won’t appreciate extravagant (albeit well-meaning) gifts like World’s Largest Cheese Ball, Seven-Spice fruitcake, or a subscription to the Beer of the Month club.  It’s hard for non-IBD sufferers to know what kind of gift to get for somebody with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.  Make it easier on them- print out this handy list, and avoid unnecessarily awkward gift-giving scenarios.

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

#1 Numi Organic Tea Flowering Gift Set

Who wouldn’t appreciate this lovely, aesthetically appealing gift of tea?  Drop a tea bud into a pot of hot water, and watch as it slowly “blossoms” into a breathtaking underwater bouquet.  Choose from an assortment of organic black, white, green or oolong teas.

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

#2  Charmin To Go

Part of coping with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis means always being prepared for bathroom emergencies, and these flushable bathroom wipes are the best thing since sliced bread! This is a great stocking-stuffer for anybody with IBD.

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety

#3 Travelon Hand Soap Toiletry Sheets

Let’s face it- you can’t always count on hand soap.  And while you’re ready to negotiate on comfort and convenience at rest stops, you’re not about to invite extra bouts of diarrhea from fecal contamination.  These soap sheets from Travelon are amazing- they’re compact, they last forever, they dissolve easily with very little water, and one small pack contains 50 sheets! Also available- body wash, shampoo, conditioner, shaving lotion, and laundry soap.

#4 Leather Toiletry Bag

Take your bathroom supplies with you without looking conspicuous.  This leather toiletry bag lets you bring your basic bathroom necessities like flushable wipes and Travelon soap sheets without raising any eyebrows.

#5 Heating Pad

Sooth lower back pain, ease hemorrhoids, or just get rid of an annoying headache by keeping an electric heating pad handy.  This should be a staple in the home of every chronic pain sufferer.

#6 Coca-Cola Personal Fridge with AC Adapter

If you spend an inordinate amount of time in bed, then you’ll appreciate having a compact refrigerator for storing things like iced tea, water, meds, or a soothing snack.  This cooler is great for people who live on a second floor, and don’t have the ability…or energy to climb up and down stairs.  Or, keep this in your car for emergency trips to the hospital.

#7 Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers

Uncle John has been entertaining restroom readers for 25 years, and it’s easy to see why.  Each tome is chock full of miscellaneous bits of interesting stories, anecdotes, facts, trivia games, and mini biographies.  It’s like having a compact library, right where you need it most.  You’ll probably never get through the whole book, but if you do, there are dozens of Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers to choose from, including one for kids!

#8 The Foul Bowel

By John Bradley, the Foul Bowel offers helpful facts, tips, and resources for all people suffering from Crohn’s disease.

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)

#9 Creative Colitis Cookbook

Not sure what to cook that won’t upset your tummy?  Take the blah out of your staple dinner routine by following some of the innovatively healthy recipes in the Creative
Colitis Cookbook for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Read more about vitamin B12 and Crohn’s disease:

Dressing after Crohn’s Surgery- 5 Post- Ostomy Fashion Tips

Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

Parasitic Worms for Crohn’s Disease- Friendly Gut Bugs

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011



Got Colitis? Skip Tequila, Go for the Worm: Scientists believe they have a cure for Crohn’s disease and celiac, and it involves using parasitic hookworms.  Here are some other surprising natural options for managing autoimmune disease.


Are we killing ourselves with hygiene?

Clean bottled drinking water, sub-zero refrigeration, anti-bacterial gels, dirt-free playgrounds, and sanitized kitchen counters- what do all these things all have in common?

If you guessed that these things all help to prevent disease, then guess again.

According to scientists, our standards of cleanliness are backfiring, killing healthy microscopic parasites that our bodies need to thrive.

Unlike people living in impoverished countries, where bug-ridden sacks of grain are commonly dealt with, we, with our clean, white processed bags of flour are nevertheless exclusive in our propensity for developing autoimmune diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and asthma.


Dish out the dirt.

The hygiene hypothesis implies that modern-day medical technology and sanitary standards, such as vaccines, antibiotics, purified water, and refrigeration have caused autoimmune disease by disturbing the body’s natural balance of healthy parasitic worms.

Worm therapy was part of standard medicine in previous centuries.  So it comes as no surprise to supporters of the hygiene hypothesis that autoimmune diseases were nonexistent in earlier times, arriving on the medical scene only in recent years.

According to Dr. Joel Weinstock, chief of gastroenterology and professor of immunology at Tufts University, instances of IBD went up from 1 out of 10,000 in the 50s, to 1 out of 250 in modern days.

Read more about Crohn’s disease here- Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore


Open up and say…well, you might want to close your eyes.

Beginning in October 2011, research participants will volunteer to swallow pig whipworm eggs, as part of a study focusing on treating autoimmune disease. By introducing worms into the digestive systems, scientists hope to find a cure for digestive disorders.  By the end of the year, the whipworm larvae will have passed through the intestines, and scientists hope to find enough evidence to further the advancement of worm therapy for immunological diseases.


In the meantime, swallow this…

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

Ten Foods to avoid if you have Inflammatory Bowel Disorder

5 Ways to Prevent Diverticulosis-Diverticulitis Gastro Illness


Worming Your Way to Better Health- Science News

Parasitic Worms: A Retro Cure for Autoimmune Diseases? Fox News

Worm treatment: Worm treatment trials underway for autoimmune diseases – OrlandoSentinel.com

Hygiene Hypothesis


kate*’s photostream, lilli2de, Shelly and Roy, Arlington County

Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

Thursday, September 8th, 2011



Deluded about the Digestive System? If you have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), then you’ll hear many myths about Crohn’s, colitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); here are 15 IBD facts.


“IBD is a mental disorder,” and other digestive system myths

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a debilitating, autoimmune disease that affects your digestive system.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both forms of IBD.  People diagnosed with IBD often suffer in silence with symptoms like stomach bloating, cramps, chronic diarrhea, heartburn, and constipation.

That’s because people who have IBD are often ashamed to discuss it with friends and family.  As a result, it is all too easy to fall victim to the many misconceptions, myths, and general confusion surrounding Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Fortunately, the truth is out there; you just have to know where to find it.  Listed below are some of the most common misconceptions you’re likely to hear about digestive diseases.




IBD fallacies we’re tired of hearing:

1) “Supplements are useless for treating Inflammatory Bowel Disorder.”

Many homeopathic medicines and other alternative treatments are helpful for relieving symptoms like occasional constipation, nausea, and stomach pains.

Moreover, vitamin supplements such as vitamin B12 are beneficial for anybody suffering from IBD.  More often than not, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs with digestive disorders, for several reasons.

Sometimes, gastritis or other kinds of damage to the stomach inhibit your ability to digest vitamin B12, leading to severe depletion.

Other times, treatments for IBD, such as medications or surgeries (ileostomy) are the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.

In such cases, regular supplementation of vitamin B12 is crucial to avoid debilitating symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

2) “Inflammatory Bowel Disease is the same thing as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

IBD and IBS are two separate conditions that affect the body differently, although the symptoms are alike.

IBD causes severe inflammation of the intestinal tracts; with ulcerative colitis IBD, the colon is also affected.

IBS, or “spastic colon,” causes no lasting damage to the intestinal lining.

3) “By following a healthy diet, I have completely cured myself of IBD.”

There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Eating healthy foods, avoiding junk food, and identifying “trigger foods” is an excellent way to alleviate many of the symptoms of IBD and prevent flare-ups, but you should nevertheless continue to visit your doctor, and take your medications, unless otherwise prescribed.

4) “I’ve heard that IBD is caused by really bad stress.  And depression.”

It’s unclear exactly what causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Some scientists believe it may result from a virus. Still, we do know that certain factors may complicate IBD; prolonged stress, unhealthy diet, and smoking may exacerbate the symptoms of IBD, but they are not the underlying cause.

To minimize stomach ailments and stay in remission, you must continue to eat healthy, reduce stress, and avoid smoking.

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety

5) You have Crohn’s disease?  I’ve heard that IBD is just a fancy term for chronic diarrhea.”

Diarrhea is one of many symptoms related to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In some cases, Crohn’s disease patients don’t even suffer from diarrhea, making it even harder to get an IBD diagnosis.  If you do suffer from chronic diarrhea, don’t ignore the symptoms; see a doctor immediately.

6) “If you don’t see any blood, then it’s just Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

See a doctor if you have any digestive disease symptoms, even when blood is not present.

Just as the absence of diarrhea symptoms does not negate Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, neither does the absence of blood in your stool mean that you necessarily don’t have IBD.

7) “I’ve been having fewer bowel movements, so I must be in remission.”

Only your doctor can confirm if you are in remission.

Having fewer loose stools is only one of several indications.  To find out for sure, visit your doctor for blood testing and a complete checkup.


8) “You have Crohn’s disease?  That means you can’t have children.”

Most prescribed treatments for Crohn’s disease are safe to take during a pregnancy or while nursing a baby.

Unless you take antibiotics, thalidomide, or methotrexate, there is no reason why you may not plan to have a baby while continuing to take your Crohn’s disease medications.

Nevertheless, make sure that your OB/GYN knows about all medications you are taking, including IBD treatments and vitamin regimens.


9) “Once you’ve had ostomy surgery, you will never be able to conceive a child.”

There is no direct link between ostomy surgery and male or female infertility.

Ostomy surgery is a procedure in which a part of the intestines is removed, and the remaining piece is attached to a pouch that is connected to a tube protruding from a stomach opening.  While there are some instances of erectile dysfunction following ostomy surgery, in most cases, that is not the norm.

Likewise, women who undergo ostomy surgery might have reduced sexual desires related to physical discomfort, poor body image, and the “newness” of the whole procedure, but her reproductive organs remain unaffected.

Related reading:

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)

Best 15 Twitter Feeds to follow for Autoimmune Disease Info


5 Things You Need to Know About Colitis

Myths Revealed: Irritable Bowel and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Nine Digestive Disease Myths

Common Digestive Problems Myths: IBS, Gas, Diarrhea, Heartburn, and More

Qualitative research in inflammatory bowel disease: dispelling the myths of an unknown entity

I Hate IBD- Crohn’s Disease Diagnosis

Do Men Become Impotent After A Colostomy Or Ileostomy?

Crohn’s Disease Management: Stay in Control

Setting the Record Straight – The MYTHS of Crohn’s Disease

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Free Stock Photos

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Monday, September 5th, 2011



Avoid gastrointestinal surgery or harmful Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) drug treatments; Promote digestive system health in the midst of Crohn’s disease naturally, safely with home remedies.


What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is an autoimmune disease that causes severe damage to the digestive tract.  Illnesses that fall under IBD include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), however, is not a disease, but rather a condition also referred to as spastic colon. IBS does not cause any damage to the colon.

Symptoms of IBD include:

  • Anemia
  • Bleeding
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Fever
  • Loose irregular stools
  • Bloody stools
  • Inflamed colon
  • Stomach cramps
  • Swelling
  • Ulcers



Crohn’s Disease Suggested Dinner Menu, plus Recipes

Natural remedies for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis:

1) Probiotics- Lactobacillus (L. acidophilus) is one of the most popular types of “friendly bacteria” used to promote digestive health for people with ulcerative colitis.  Probiotics affect the amount of unhealthy bacteria in the gut, quell inflammation, and strengthen the stomach lining.  Good sources of lactobacillus include yogurt, fermented soy products, and nutritional supplements.



2) Diet- The best way to avoid Crohn’s disease flare-ups is by following a restrictive diet.  Some popular diets for IBD include the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and the Low Residue Diet (LRD). Read more about treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis through diet: Ten Foods to avoid if you have Inflammatory Bowel Disorder.

3) Blond psyllium- Blond psyllium is an herb that is used as a gentle stool softener for patients who have undergone anal surgery, in addition to sufferers of hemorrhoids, IBS, and ulcerative colitis.



4) Indian frankincense- Frankincense, or olibanum, refers to the resin that seeps from the Boswellia serrata plant.  Naturopathic medicine practitioners use frankincense to benefit arthritis patients, but it is also used for digestive health in the presence of ulcerative colitis, stomach cramps, and menstrual pain.

Natural Treatments for the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

5) Glutamine- Glutamine is an amino acid that boosts the immune system and digestion. Glutamine imparts healthy reactions in individuals with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers, in addition to people undergoing radio-chemotherapy.



6) Wheatgrass- Wheatgrass contains many essential vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, calcium, and magnesium.  Many wheatgrass juice enthusiasts claim that wheatgrass significantly impacts swelling associated with ulcerative colitis symptoms.

7) Acupuncture- In a controlled study, Crohn’s disease patients who received regular acupuncture treatments experienced significant results from the symptoms of IBD, in addition to an improved state of well-being.



Related reading:

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)


Common Vitamins and Supplements to Treat Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Herbs and Supplements for inflammatory bowel disease

Natural Remedies for Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn’s disease: Alternative medicine – MayoClinic.com

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety

Friday, June 10th, 2011



Crohn’s disease is hard to deal with in the privacy of your own home, but on the road, it can be painful and devastating.


What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s is a gastrointestinal disorder that causes inflammation of the bowels.

Scientists don’t know the exact cause of Crohn’s disease, only that it occurs when the immune system malfunctions.  

The symptoms of Crohn’s disease are:

  • Severe stomach cramping
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Mouth ulcers

Natural Treatments for the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

How does Crohn’s affect your daily life?

Crohn’s doesn’t leave much room for social anxiety as far as public restrooms are concerned; chronic Crohn’s disease patients rely on these “safety zones” to get them out of embarrassing predicaments while traveling or just shopping for clothes. But if you have anxiety about using a mall restroom, for example, then you’re likely to avoid leaving the house at all.  Don’t let awkwardness or nervousness about using public restroom facilities keep you from enjoying life.

Here are 6 coping mechanisms for overcoming public bathroom anxiety:

1) Check for supplies. Before you lock the door, make sure that there are enough toilet paper rolls and seat protectors in your stall. This sounds obvious, but imagine how embarrassed you’d feel if you had to beg a total stranger for supplies after the fact.

2) Stall for time. While in the bathroom stall, preoccupy yourself with rummaging through your messenger bag or purse, covering the toilet seat, or examining your shopping bags until you have enough privacy or until the noise level increases. Once you hear other occupants leave, you will probably feel more at ease.

3) Always opt for the private stall, as opposed to the open urinals. Resist the temptation to use the handicapped station, which is really reserved for people in wheelchairs.

4) Keep an mp3 player, such as an iPod, in your purse or pants pocket. Nobody will think anything amiss if you play a little music to mask background noise.

5) Plug your ears and close your eyes to create the illusion of being in a quiet, private restroom, and your nerves will react accordingly.

6) Pretend you’re at ease, even if you feel differently. Sometimes, just putting on an outward display of self-assurance will make you feel more self-assured on the inside, as well. Breathe slowly, and smile or hum while checking yourself in the mirror.  Act cool and confident, and everybody around you will assume that you are.

Read more about gastrointestinal disorders:

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

Boost Energy Now! 20 Practical Tips for Fighting Fatigue




Natural Treatments for the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

Friday, May 13th, 2011



Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder of the intestines which causes symptoms such as diarrhea and stomach cramps, in addition to non-gastrointestinal disturbances such as arthritis, eczema, chronic fatigue and mental distraction. Some of the debilitating symptoms of Crohn’s disease may be treated naturally through dietary changes.


What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s is classified as an auto-immune disease; the immune system is triggered into attacking the body’s digestive system, causing inflammation as the body attempts to counteract the symptoms of a weakened immune system.

What causes Crohn’s disease?

Scientists have noted a correlation between Crohn’s disease patients and the presence of anti-yeast antibodies. Crohn’s sufferers tend to have diminished lectin binding proteins, which are essential for utilizing mannan, a yeast derivative. Low levels of lectin combined with a compromised immune system result in production of anti-yeast antibodies which neutralize mannan, often creating a yeast infection or similar inflammation in the gut lining.


What are some natural treatments for Crohn’s disease?

Many of the symptoms of Crohn’s can be avoided by making certain dietary changes.

Here are some tips for preventing Crohn’s naturally:

  • Avoid yeast products and foods which trigger allergies, such as gluten, soy products and certain nuts.
  • Heavy protein foods are also to be avoided, such as meat, cheese and eggs, all of which are essential sources of vitamin B12.
  • In order to avoid getting vitamin B12 deficiency, Crohn’s disease patients are strongly urged to take regular vitamin B12, as vitamin deficiency is a common symptom among Crohn’s patients who neglect to take sufficient vitamin supplements.
  • For more information about avoiding B12 deficiency, read: Worried about Low B12 Lab Results?
  • Nightshade vegetables such as eggplants, onions and tomatoes are known to cause stomach upset in Crohn’s sufferers, and are to be avoided.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are effective at encouraging a healthy response to inflammation which results from Crohn’s. Other natural anti-inflammatory agents are berries, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and rosemary.
  • Naturally fermented foods are helpful for producing good bacteria, and are excellent treatments for sufferers of auto-immune diseases. Vegetable dishes which promote healthy “gut bugs” are sauerkraut, kimchi and pickled cucumbers.

Also read:

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

Crohn’s Disease: What You Can Do about it Now


Natural News, US News

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