Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system had become confused and attacks its own cells. Changes have taken place – perhaps an infection or other condition – whereby the body interprets its tissues, in this case the lining of the gut (small intestine), as a foreign body. So the gut lining loses its ability to take part in the digestive process and to absorb vital nutrients, including proteins, fats, glucose and amino acids. This results in diarrhoea, the main symptom of Crohn’s.
Not only does the diarrhoea cause great nervousness, but sufferers become malnourished, weak and lethargic, and may suffer sleep disturbance. Steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs may help temporarily, but are not a permanent solution, and may themselves cause side effects.
However, I am surprised that a young child should be diagnosed with Crohn’s .This is not at all common and I suggest you seek a second opinion from a health professional specializing in allergies.
My basic treatment for patients with crohn’s is to ‘bung up’ the gut and provide nutrients to strengthen the body. I suggest that your sin stays on the prescribed drugs, but if he follows my regimen below, he should improve and be able to come off them.
Dr Ali’s diet and exercise plan to help treat Crohn’s:
For one month, follow a very easily digested high-protien diet, mashed up like baby food and organic wherever possible.
- Soft-boiled/poached eggs.
- Steamed/poached light fish.
- Minced chicken or other meat.
- Boiled potatoes with a little salt, black pepper and garlic.
- Mashed root vegetables (carrots, Swedes, turnips, parsnips, celeriac).
- Overcooked mushy rice/pasta/sago pudding/boiled barley.
- Very runny oatmeal porridge.
- Natural lice yoghurt.
- Runny honey (eg, Manuka honey from New Zealand).
- Shepherd’s pie (not made with gravy powder).
- Snack on baked apples with a little honey, or liquorice pastilles.
- Drink mint tea or liqoprice root tea and 1.5 litres still pure water daily between meals.
- Avoid food containing fibre, such as fruit and vegetables (other than root vegetables), bran cereals, wheat/yeast-containing products, sugary foods, coffee or alcohol.
- Avoid fizzy water and fizzy drinks; don not drink water until 45 minutes after a meal.
- Try pomegranate skin tea as a constipating agent: boil a 5cm sq piece of skin in pure water and drink with 1 tsp runny honey.
- Take multivitamin/multimineral supplements twice daily, for adults or Vitasorb for children (ten drops twice daily after breakfast and evening meal).
- Take 1 tsp psyllium husks (Isabgol if possible;) in 4-5 tbsp natural live yogurt daily.
- Adults should take 1 Diarex tablet daily after breakfast, and children 1 tsp kaolin and morphine, then massage the stomach with a little sesame oil in a clockwise movement. Also massage the neck and spine to help the blood flow to the brain.
- For bouts of diarrhoea, lie down with a towel rung out in cold water on the abdomen for ten minutes, three times daily.
- Ginger juice is a natural anti-inflammatory: juice a large piece of peeled fresh ginger and keeping small bottle in the fridge (it lasts for a week); take 1 tsp of the juice with 1 tsp runny honey daily after breakfast.
After one month, slowly introduce more foods:
- Cooked heads of cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus (no stems).
- Ripe bananas.
- 1tbsp sweet tangerine juice mixed into natural yoghurt.
Vigorous exercise is also important to persuade the body to absorb nutrients and solidify waste – athletes are usually constipated! Exercise produces natural steroids, so your son should walk, swim and play football as much as he can.