It is an inflammation or series of inflammations that can occur anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract from the oral cavity to the anus. These inflammations can be found throughout (in multiple areas) the lining of the GI tract and may extend deep into its walls.
People who live with Crohn's disease are living with the everyday notion that proper nutrition, absorption, and digestion of nutrients from the foods eaten may be a challenge.
Please note: A professional health care provider can use blood tests to detect nutritional deficiencies and a nutritionist can help optimize wellness for people living with Crohn's.
Most importantly, each person and lifestyle is unique, and the right dosage and usage of each vitamin for people living with Crohn's disease needs to be taken into consideration holistically.
Close to 70 percent of people with Crohn's disease is thought to be vitamin D deficient. Actually, the general population is probably deficient in vitamin D at any given moment.
Vitamin D is important for metabolizing calcium, which studies have found to be a contributor to bone health. Many people with Crohn's disease take vitamin D supplements in liquid form instead of pill form because the body tends to absorb it better.
Low levels of calcium can be closely tied to deficiencies in vitamin D, which helps absorb calcium. It can also occur alone.
Oftentimes, people with Crohn's disease are lactose intolerant and avoid calcium-rich dairy foods. Others aren't able to absorb calcium because of disease or surgery of the small intestine.
Long-term use of medication, such as prednisone, can also interfere with calcium absorption and increase calcium loss from bones.
Getting the right calcium, potassium and magnesium ratios in the blood and body, as well as reducing the acidity, animal by-products and stress in a person's life is all inter-connected, and all important for bone health.
Generally speaking, people who are suffering from Crohn's should aim to take 500 mg of calcium, three times a day. It's important to break up your daily calcium intake because too much calcium can not be absorbed by the body all at once and may have an adverse effect on the bones.
Inflammation or surgery in the lower part of the small intestine is common among people with Crohn's disease. But both can cause problems with the absorption of vitamin B 12 in either food or supplement form.
To avoid vitamin B 12 deficiency, which can interfere with the creation of new red blood cells and affect the nervous system, there is the possibility of receiving a monthly injection of the vitamin.
Taking the drug sulfasalazine, which is a common treatment for Crohn's disease, may increase the risk of folic acid deficiency.
For those who are not approaching Crohn's disease naturally (without medication), note that daily dosages of folate can help the body create healthy new cells.
Low iron levels, a common cause of anemia, can result from blood loss caused by inflammation of the colon. Iron supplements in liquid or tablet form can provide additional iron, an important nutrient for blood cell function.
Deficiencies in potassium can occur if drugs such as prednisone are taken (for people who are afflicted with chronic diarrhea).
Potassium is vital for the functioning of virtually all the cells, tissues, and organs in your body. potassium supplements are available in tablet form.
Low amounts of magnesium can stem from chronic diarrhea, caused by inflammation, or surgery of the small intestine.
Magnesium helps many functions of the body, including the ability of the muscles to contract and relax. People deficient in magnesium may need to take magnesium oxide supplements."
These suggestions have been provided by CNN Health, reviewed by Dr. Robert Williams and taken out of Health Grades, Inc 2013.