If you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, your doctor might have prescribed you medication to help alleviate your symptoms. In addition, he might be recommended you make certain lifestyle changes, such as avoiding foods that trigger Crohn’s symptoms. If your case is especially severe, your doctor might have discussed surgical treatment options.
While medication, lifestyle changes and surgery can all be helpful in reducing the severity of Crohn’s symptoms, many people find natural and alternative treatments beneficial additions to their treatment regimens.
Before trying any natural or alternative Crohn’s treatments, be sure to discuss them with your doctor. All of the treatment options listed below might not be suitable for you and your specific condition.
Alternative Crohn’s Treatments
The following natural Crohn’s treatments can be used to compliment conventional Crohn’s treatment:
- Acupuncture: In acupuncture, a therapist inserts thin needles into specific points on the body in order to release endorphins, chemicals that block pain.
- Biofeedback: In biofeedback, a person trains himself to control his body’s response to pain and stress.
- Exercise: Exercise can help reduce stress and depression and can also normalize bowel activity. Even mild exercise is beneficial. Discuss exercise plans with your doctor.
- Herbal and Botanical Treatments: Some Crohn’s patients claim the following help reduce Crohn’s symptoms:
- aloe vera juice
- slippery elm bark.
It is especially important to discuss herbal and botanical treatments with your doctor prior to using them, as they could interfere with your Crohn’s medications.
- Relaxation Therapy: In many Crohn’s patients, stress can make symptoms worse. To reduce stress and learn to manage chronic pain, many people practice relaxation therapy. The following techniques can be used to cope with Crohn’s symptoms:
- Autogenic Training: In autogenic training, people use attention-focusing exercises to relax the body and mind. For instance, a person might repeat a phrase to enter a more relaxed state.
- Hypnotherapy: In hypnotherapy, a person undergoes hypnosis to access the subconscious mind and promote relaxation. In addition, hypnosis can help a person manage chronic pain. A person can either practice self-hypnosis or go to a hypno-therapist.
- Meditation: In meditation, a person concentrates and may employ repetitive phrasing to relax both mentally and physically.
- Muscle Relaxation: In this alternative Crohn’s treatment, people perform a series of exercises to contract and relax major muscle areas.
- Visualization: In visualization, people relax and focus on a clear mental image in order to manage stress and promote healing.
- Yoga: People who practice yoga perform a series of stretches and breathing exercises to relax and strengthen muscles.
- Vitamin Therapy: Researchers are currently studying whether the following nutrients that produce antioxidant enzymes can be beneficial to people with Crohn’s disease:
- beta carotene
- vitamin C
- vitamin E