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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Alternative medicine for Crohn's Disease

    Hi there, I am new to all of this. I just found out this week that I have crohn's and scared ****less about what it all means. I have been informed about the possible side effects of taking steriods…i was just wondering if anyone has tried using alternative medicine to treat/ manage crohn's?

    thank-you
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Jon Gamble

    Naturopath

    Jon is author of ‘Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ and “Obstacles to Cure: Toxicity, Deficiency & Infection” - two books for CAM practitioners. He specialises … View Profile

    Since Crohn's disease is an inflammatory condition of the intestines, you have to make sure you are monitored by your health practitioner. You are probably already taking prescribed medicine, and now you are thinking of looking into alternatives. There are some natural anti-inflammatories for the gut: licorice root; quercetin, bromelain, to mention a few. Recently there has been promising research into probiotics too; including lactoferrin, which appears to have both immunological and anti-inflammatory properties. However, you really want to get to the cause of your condition: is it food reactivity? undiagnosed parasitic infection? If there is a family history of inflammatory bowel disease, then looking at the health of those family members can give you a clue.

  • Anonymous

    Hi I have UC and been on pred since october last year yes it helps it helps with the inflamation but can cause serious side effects and you can be come pred dependant which I have become, but  I have heard of people that have tried chinese herbal medicine and has helped their crohns/ibd Unfortunately I am unable to take them as I am allergic but you may want to look into that as well as what Jon has recommended, I also believe diet play s abig roll in IBD you may want to do an illumination diet or look at anti inflmatory diets.  good luck It can be daunting when you are first diagnosed but read and do lots of research knowledge is power.  good luck with it all.

  • 1

    Thanks

    Elizabeth Newsham-West is committed to optimising the health and well-being of people across all ages within the Mount Tamborine community.  She works as a domicillary … View Profile

    The biggest problem with complementary medicine is it is poorly regulated.Many of the supplements have no independance in testing as indicated by AUST L on the label. The TGA deems these as safe to take but whether they have the correct concentration or form of the food/substance or do what the research suggests is unknown. And what other things are in the supplement is unknown and may contain things which may affect you e.g lactose or gluten even if stated as free of these. When the research shows the anti inflammatory properties of some foods/spices etc it is highly unlikely that you will be able to find these exact preparartions in over the counter preparartions.

    There is some good research behind the anti inflammatory properties of a Mediterranean Diet.

    This is a journey for you where you will read and be told lots of information and try to work out what is going to work for you. Medication unfortunately is the main stay for this disease. Make sure you are a critical thinker and ask lots of questions to work out what is known to work and what might not.

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    Apart from steroids there is another class of medications which you could consider. They work by blocking the action of a protein called TNF - TNF is important in the inflammatory component of Crohn's Disease.

    They are all genetically engineered monoclonal antibodies. Infliximab (marketed as Remicade) and Adalimumab (marketed as Humira) are examples - there are others.

    They are an option which is worth discussing with your clinical care team. A friend of mine has found one of them effective in managing her Crohn's Disease.

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