Crohn’s disease is a severe medical condition that affects thousands of people. Crohn’s Disease has a specific set of symptoms that can make life for the sufferer quite miserable. Some of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease can include: weight loss, rectal bleeding, frequent or urgent bowel movements, stomach pain, fevers, diarrhea and constipation.
Many people who have Crohn’s disease go undiagnosed for years because they are too embarrassed to seek medical attention for their symptoms, or because they have incorrectly diagnosed themselves as having some other less severe problem, such as a nervous stomach. If you are uncertain about whether or not you may have Crohn’s disease, or you are unsatisfied with your current treatment plan for existing Crohn’s disease, this article can help you better educate yourself on this medical condition.
At Naperville Institute For NeuroMetabolic Solutions, our treatment plans for Crohn’s disease is both revolutionary and personal. We understand that each individual person is different and is need of individualized care. That is why we customize treatment plans to address your specific digestive concerns so that you can live a happy, productive, pain free life. There are many factors that contribute to Crohn’s disease and the flare ups associated with Crohn’s disease. The main objective of our staff is to identify as many of these triggers as possible.
What makes us different at the Naperville Institute For NeuroMetabolic Solutions? We believe that in order to be successful in calming down the flare ups, you need to look at the “BIG PICTURE”, we understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach for everyone. That is why we try to address all options for treating your digestive issues that will result in a healthier life. Our office does not prescribe medications, so you can rest assured that our approach relies on dietary changes, and lifestyle changes-Not more medications.
Many of the traditional treatment options, such as steroids or surgery, only give the patient temporary relief- and sometime not even that. We use functional metabolic testing methods to understand your current symptoms, but also to understand immune, chemical, and dietary triggers behind your Crohn’s disease. Some of these evaluation tools include: fecal and serological lab testing, Hydrogen Breath testing, Saliva testing, Urine metabolite testing as well as genetic testing. Using all of these factors helps us to get the BIG PICTURE of your digestive health.
Steps We Take to Treat Crohn’s Disease Naturally
Step 1: Gathering a Complete Diagnosis
Dr Hagmeyer will personally review the patterns of inflammation in your digestive system. In addition to this, Dr Hagmeyer will also review and consider your entire past health history including a seven day dietary assessment, metabolic assessment forms and a review of current and past health problems often seen in association with Crohn’s disease and flare ups. Again, because We believe strongly in the power of foods to heal, we will also do an intense evaluation of your dietary practices and your lifestyle as they pertain to your digestive issues.
One of our main objectives will be to access the patient’s risk of disease progression, because Crohn’s disease can progressively get worse with time.
Step 2: Diagnose All Triggers and Causative Agents
It is not possible at this time to document a specific cause of Crohn’s disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS). However, with aggressive evaluation and careful clinical overview, it is possible to pinpoint many of the contributing factors that lead to the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Here is an example of the thorough testing process conducted at Digestive Medical Solutions that truly sets us apart from other digestive specialists.
- Testing for infections whether viral, Lyme disease, fungal, bacterial as well as testing for parasites.
- Immunity marker testing.
- Chemical toxin exposure testing. Heavy metal toxic exposure is sometimes linked to auto immunity.
- Nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin deficiencies, mineral deficiencies and amino acids
- Food allergy, food sensitivities, and even emotional stressor testing, as all of these can be unlikely triggers.
Step 3: Complete Detailed Customized Treatment Plan
Our patients receive an individualized treatment plan that is specifically designed to address their personal triggers and lifestyle factors as they pertain to their digestive health. We try to not only treat the patient, but to also educate the patient in ways to treat themselves to ensure a healthy digestive life. The goal of our treatment plan is to minimize the occurrence of flare ups and hospitalizations. Over generalizing a patient’s symptoms is one of the main contributing factors to the overuse of steroid treatment in Crohn’s disease management. Each patient must be looked at as an individual case with individual needs. Over generalizing puts the patient at risk and decreases their chances of achieving long term health.
Regardless of your individual situation, Digestive Medical Solutions can customize a specific treatment plan to address your personal symptoms and give you the treatment and tools you need to obtain long term health and successful recovery.
Part 1- Identification of Inflammation
Because each patient has differing symptoms and degrees of inflammation, it is crucial that we establish the groundwork of your current digestive situation. The GI Mucosa is the sensitive lining of the stomach which becomes inflamed as a result of Crohn’s disease. These irritations, however, can happen in different areas of each person’s intestinal tract.
It is crucial to monitor all changes that take place in the GI lining in order to evaluate whether or not a patient is improving with treatment. When you are dealing with a medical condition that has the potential to worsen over time, it is important to establish a base line of intestinal inflammation and then to monitor those areas over time in order to observe changes.
Changes often seen in Crohn’s Disease Progression
- Development of perianal disease
- Increased need for steroid treatment
- Obstruction of the bowels
The current trend in digestive medicine is to only address more advanced stages of Crohn’s disease once it reaches the point that only aggressive steroid treatment or surgery will produce results. This approach, however, only deals with the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, and does not address the underlying causes of your pain and suffering. At the Naperville Institute For NeuroMetabolic Solutions, we do not intend to put a Band-Aid on the problem. We want to help you achieve real, long-lasting digestive health.
Common Problems Patients Face
Crohn’s disease is, unfortunately, an ongoing health condition that most patients will deal with their entire life. With thorough functional assessment, and a holistic treatment, patients can learn how to manage their Crohn’s disease and flare ups.
It is important that patients learn all of their treatment options rather than only understanding steroid therapy. Long-term use of steroids and antibiotics can cause damage the immune system, and even increase the chances of infections. Other risks of long-term steroid use include cancer.
Part 2: Full and Proper Diagnosis of all Triggers
The cause of Crohn’s disease is currently unknown, which is why it is referred to as an idiopathic disease, similar to other autoimmune diseases. However, through our comprehensive system of assessment, and a methodical approach, we find that most people who suffer from Crohn’s disease have an above average exposure to infectious agents. This is an aspect of Crohn’s disease that generally goes untreated by many digestive specialists. We understand that infections are a crucial part of Crohn’s disease.
Genetic predisposition can also play an important role in Crohn’s disease. However, it is also important to understand that infections can be a large influence on genetic changes. We have found that one of the most important contributors to Crohn’s disease and flare ups is epigenetics. This term refers to environmental factors which have a powerful effect on our genetics. Epigenetics can contribute to infections and intestinal tract inflammation.
Environmental Factors and Triggers Behind Crohn’s Disease
When we talk of environmental factors, we speak of allergies to foods, sensitivity to chemicals, or heavy metal toxicities. All of these can trigger the inflammatory process associated with Crohn’s disease. In a healthy person, the gastrointestinal tract acts as a barrier. This barrier will only allow molecules of a certain size to pass through. Much of your immune system is located in the intestinal tract.
When the microenvironment of the intestines has been upset, larger molecules can pass through the barrier, which causes immune reactions. These immune reactions then cause inflammation and trigger auto immunity. This is why exposure to certain foods or substances can cause flare ups for a patient with Crohn’s disease.
Those who suffer with Crohn’s disease or other forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease will often have other symptoms that seem unrelated to their digestive health. These other symptoms can be related to the various infections that result when the intestinal tract is compromised.
Furthermore, Crohn’s disease can have far reaching effects on many other body systems. Many patients suffering from Crohn’s disease will also see symptoms manifested in their bones, joints, eyes, kidneys and joints. These types of symptoms are referred to as extra intestinal manifestations of IBD. This is a common problem with any type of autoimmune disease.
Better Diagnosis Leads to Better Treatment
Our thorough investigations into the causes of Crohn’s disease have lead us to believe that the factors listed below could be causes of Crohn’s disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Areas We Often Need To Investigate
- Parasitic, yeast, fungal, mold and bacterial infections
- Immunity and inflammatory markers
- Chemical and toxic exposure
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Leaky Gut
- Fructose Malabsoption
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
- Increased Neurotransmitter turn over ie Serotonin
- Hormone Imbalances
A Treatment Plan That Is Customized To Your Unique Biochemistry
Our individualized treatment plans are customized with the specific information that has been gathered from our in-depth testing process. We use this information to create a targeted approach to your treatment. Our goal is to help you achieve an optimal level of health and wellness with limited steroid medications or invasive surgeries. If you would like further information concerning your Crohn’s disease or your digestive symptoms, please contact us today.