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Crohn’s disease is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the digestive tract or gut. The inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can lead to severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fatigue, malnutrition and weight loss. It is also known as enteritis or ileitis.
Crohn's disease is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) out of the two main forms. The other form is known as Ulcerative Colitis.
The accurate cause of Crohn's disease remains unknown even today. Formerly, stress and diet were made accountable, but now it is known that these factors aggravate it but are not responsible for causing Crohn's disease. Factors such as heredity and an abnormal reaction in the immune system play a role in the development of this disease.
A bacterium or virus may also play a role in its development. For instance, E. coli bacteria has been associated with Crohn's disease. Smoking can be another risk factor.
Crohn’s Disease is known to be a very individual condition. It can effect any part of the gut, starting from the mouth and down to the anus. In the most common cases, however, the ileum (the lower part of the small intestine) or colon (part of the large intestine) is majorly affected.
Its symptoms may vary from person to person, and depend on the location of the disease in the gut. Crohn’s disease develops gradually, but sometimes it comes suddenly, without any warning. Symptoms exhibited change over time, with intervals of good health when your body shows no symptoms (remission) and periods of bad health when your symptoms are more vigorous (‘flare-ups’ or relapses).
Some of the major symptoms of Crohn’s disease when it is active are:
- Abdominal pain
- Anal Fistulae
- Mouth ulcers
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Perirectal Abscesses
Patients suffering from severe Crohn's disease also may experience:
- Inflammation of the bile ducts or liver
- Inflammation of eyes, joints and skin
- Delayed sexual development or growth, in children
There is no specific diagnostic test known for Crohn’s disease. Patients with fever, abdominal pain and tenderness, diarrhoea with blood, and anal diseases such as ulcers are sometimes diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Elevated white blood cell counts and sedimentation rates are mostly demonstrated in laboratory blood tests. Both of which suggest infection or inflammation in the digestive tract. Other blood tests may reveal low blood proteins, low red blood cell counts (anaemia), and low body minerals, reflecting the loss of these minerals due to chronic diarrhoea.
Although many effective medications are available in the market to control the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, yet there is no cure developed for it. Surgery can extensively improve the quality of life in certain individuals, but the reappearance of this disease after surgery is familiar to many. A better insight into the role of environmental factors and genetics in causing this disease can help in improved treatments and prevention.
The build-up of fat in the liver may lead to the development of a condition known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH. This condition is not related to the consumption of alcohol and the inflammation is due to the buildup of fats in the liver. In most cases, there are no symptoms till the stage when the fat deposition causes inflammation and damages the liver cells. This also hinders the normal functioning of the liver and if not treated, it may lead to an extreme condition known as cirrhosis. However, NASH does not always get worse and with some precaution, it can be treated.
The cause behind the development of this disease is not alcohol consumption and it could be some environmental factor that triggers liver inflammation or heredity might be another reason. However, the risk of developing this disease is high for people who are obese, have metabolic syndrome, have high cholesterol or are resistant to insulin.
There are hardly any symptoms of NASH that are seen in the early stage of this condition. However, at a much-progressed stage, the following symptoms may be seen:
Diagnosing NASH requires undergoing several tests that include a blood test, a CT scan, an MRI scan and also an abdominal ultrasound.
Ayurvedic home remedies for managing NASH
- Turmeric: Turmeric is said to facilitate the detoxification of the liver. It also enhances the body’s capacity to digest fats and prevent it from accumulating in the liver. Boil a glass of water with one-fourth teaspoon of turmeric powder and consume this mix twice a day for a few weeks.
- Amla: Gooseberry is an extensively used ingredient in Ayurveda. This is due to its high vitamin C content. Amla is very effective in treating liver problems and the best way of consuming it is on an empty stomach, early in the morning.
- Lemon: Lemons are packed with the antioxidant, vitamin C. And, it is this vitamin C that helps the liver in producing the enzyme, glutathione, which neutralizes the toxins and detoxifies the liver of all of the toxins. Simply squeeze half a lemon into a glass of water and drink it two to three times a day.
- Green tea: Green tea contains catechins, which are known to enhance the functioning of the liver. Green tea is great for blocking the fat stored in the liver and works wonder in fighting against diseases associated with the fatty liver disease.
- Papaya: Ayurveda considers both the fruit as well as the seed of papaya effective in treating fatty liver diseases. This fruit burns the dietary fat rapidly and also improves the functioning of the liver if consumed regularly.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is a storehouse of the fat-soluble Vitamin E. And, this is known to protect your liver against the accumulation of fats and will keep your liver healthy.
Apart from including these natural ingredients in your diet, you will also have to reduce your body weight, reduce cholesterol level, control your diabetes, exercise regularly and stop consuming alcohol. However, home remedies are just supportive, but not a complete line of treatment for NASH so you cannot depend completely only on them. As mentioned NASH can disturb your normal liver functioning and if not treated it can lead to liver cirrhosis so take proper Ayurvedic treatment under the guidance of an Ayurvedic doctor.