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Crohn's Disease (Chronic Ileitis) (Regional Enteritis) (Granulomatous Colitis) Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Crohn's disease is a painfully chronic inflammatory autoimmune bowel disease, which is characterized by severe and persistent inflammation of the lining or wall of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn's disease is also referred to as chronic ileitis, regional enteritis, or granulomatous colitis. The part of the gastrointestinal tract most commonly affected is the segment between the ileum and the rectum. Although Crohn's disease can be difficult to manage and live with, it is usually not fatal.

Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

Crohn's disease can afflict anyone, although the prevalence in persons of Jewish descent is three to six times more than others. The disease typically involves young adults between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can also be seen in young children as well as the elderly. The male and female ratio is equal. About one-quarter of persons with the disease have a close relative with either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. It is not unusual to find other autoimmune diseases in the person with Crohn's disease or in their family members. Even though the specific causative antibody has not yet been found in Crohn's disease, it is generally accepted that autoimmunity is the underlying cause of Crohn's disease.

Since 1986 we have known that Crohn's is associated with the presence of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. Crohn's Disease is similar to Johne's Disease in cattle which is also caused by this mycobacteria and is also a severe enteritis that was first described in 1910. It is histologically similar to Tuberculoid leprosy (much inflammation, few organisms). Even more than TB, and like Leprosy it is hard to control, and impossible to reliably kill. It is a chronic infection often treated with steroids which will temporarily hide the clinical signs of chronic infection. Steroids, the mainstay of treatment in conventional medicine, worsen the ultimate course of this disease.

It is not enough to poison the mycobacteria. These bacteria are commonly found in human beings and some people develop Crohn's and other do not. Therefore the condition of a person's immune system is of ultimate importance. All nutritional measures should be taken to strengthen the patient's immune system. This is, of course, the approach of nutritional medicine in dealing with all infections and all autoimmune diseases.

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids with intolerable side-effects and damage to the immune system as well as "weak sister" anti-inflammatories which do not get the job done. Alternative treatments, which work better in my experience, are detoxification, expecially from heavy metals and a radically different approach described in this article: Inflammatory Bowel Disease, A New Treatment Approach.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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