Taking a functional medicine approach to Crohn’s disease treatment starts with seeking the root cause of this chronic inflammatory condition, then supporting the body’s natural healing systems to reduce or eliminate symptoms. Diet plays a key role in reducing inflammation, improving intestinal permeability, and supporting mucosal healing for Crohn’s disease patients.1
In addition to relieving the symptoms of Crohn’s, a personalized functional nutrition plan will help combat malnutrition, which is a side effect experienced by up to 85% of patients.1 Common nutrient deficiencies associated with Crohn’s disease include:
- Reduced protein absorption
- Micronutrient deficiencies
- Iron deficiency
- Vitamin D deficiency
A Roadmap for Crohn’s Disease Treatment
Your functional nutrition and lifestyle counseling for Crohn’s symptom relief should center around these goals:
- Supporting the immune system
- Controlling inflammatory processes
- Correcting nutritional deficiencies
- Reducing yeast and harmful bacteria in the digestive system
- Improving the gut microbiome with beneficial bacteria
- Eliminating parasites
- Detoxifying, especially from heavy metals, pesticides, and chemicals
- Reducing stress
- Incorporating beneficial exercise
Your Individualized Supplement Plan
Every patient is unique, and understanding your nutritional deficiencies will allow your functional medicine doctor to recommend the right therapeutic supplements for your individual needs. Testing will provide clues to which enzymes, bacteria, or microbes are missing or out of balance.
This comprehensive evaluation will determine if you need:
- Enzyme replacement
- Omega 3 fatty acids or fish oil
- Zinc glycinate
- B complex vitamins
- Vitamins C, D, and A
- N-acetyl glucosamine
Detoxifying to Cleanse the System
Because your lifestyle and environment are integral to your Crohn’s disease symptoms, a detoxification phase might be an important part of your treatment. Removing the load of toxins which have accumulated over time will eliminate these latent triggers and strengthen all of the body’s systems.
Identifying Trigger Foods to Avoid with Crohn’s Disease
Only your personal experience will determine the best diet for your condition, but some foods are generally considered inflammatory and are known to irritate the lining of the digestive tract.
You may need to avoid:
- Processed and GMO foods
- Red meat
Recommended Diets for Crohn’s Disease
There is no one-size-fits-all Crohn’s disease diet but, after developing a full understanding of your illness with a validated comprehensive stool study or reproducible food sensitivity testing, your doctor might recommend a Paleo diet or the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), or create a custom elimination diet tailored to your unique sensitivities.
Personalized Lifestyle and Nutritional Guidance
Recovering from Crohn’s disease and restoring healthy digestive system function requires focus on lifestyle and nutrition to reduce inflammation and boost the body’s healing abilities. Functional medicine is especially powerful in the treatment of Crohn’s and other types of inflammatory bowel disease, due to their complex nature and immune system involvement.
If you are struggling with chronic flare-ups and find Crohn’s disease is limiting your enjoyment of life, now is the time to embark on a new journey toward understanding your unique triggers and providing the ideal nutrition and necessary supplements to return to optimal wellness. Dr. Pollack has the expertise to guide you on the road to holistic healing, so schedule an appointment in Commack or Plainview today to take the next step toward feeling better.