Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala for Crohn's Disease
UNDERSTANDING CROHN'S DISEASE
Anyone who has Crohn’s disease or anyone who has cared for a patient with Crohn's disease is familiar with its many daily challenges like sudden episodes of of abdominal pain, wanting to use the washroom frequently, rectal bleeding, diarrhoea, vomiting etc. Patients lose weight, experience extreme weakness and find it too hard to get out of their house and go to work or go about their routine chores. On top of these distressing symptoms, there are the invasive diagnostic procedures like repeated colonoscopies and treatments like Remicade infusions which come with its own set of unpleasant side effects.The impact all this has on one’s personal, social and professional lives is often not discussed because many a time, patients prefer to keep their concerns and anxieties around the disease to themselves. This shroud of secrecy and the misconception that the disease can be controlled just with diet and lifestyle changes, negatively affects the patient both mentally and physically. Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for Crohn's disease offers a gentle and effective way to obtain huge relief from those distressing symptoms and a far higher quality of life without harmful side effects or drug dependence.
What is Crohn’s disease?
There are some disease conditions where the mucus lining of the digestive system suffers from recurrent inflammation. The general term used for such conditions is Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Crohn’s disease is one such inflammatory bowel disease where either all of the digestive system or a part of the digestive system is affected by recurrent inflammation. In Crohn's disease, usually it is not just the innermost lining that gets inflamed but all the different layers of the gut wall that get affected by the inflammation. However the inflammation is usually seen in patches - that is, some parts of the digestive system will be normal and some parts will be inflamed.
What causes the symptoms of Crohn's disease?
Gut inflammation causes indigestion and negatively affects the absorption of essential nutrients from food. The combined effect of indigestion and poor absorption of water leads to frequent loose stools, often immediately after you have food. You may experience frequent bowel movements - for about 10 or more times a day - and many a time, it may be just a pool of blood caused by intestinal bleeding. To add to this agony, chronic inflammation may cause narrowing of your intestines, recurrent episodes of crampy abdominal pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue and weight loss. Complications like fistulas and abscesses are also not uncommon. Sometimes you may notice some symptoms outside the intestinal tract like skin rashes, arthritis, eye inflammation etc. You are not likely to experience these symptoms all the time and may have periods of symptom-free remission phase between such flare-ups. Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for Crohn's disease gives significant relief and enables patients to have a more or less normal life with extended periods of remission.
How do you get Crohn's disease?
Crohn’s disease is a condition caused by excessive pitta dosha. Long term exposure to chemicals in food or environment, indulgence in a spicy and sour diet or deep fried items, smoking, alcohol consumption, chronic stress and anger etc. can lead to pitta aggravation in the body, especially in the digestive system. Such pitta aggravation hampers digestion over a period of time, produces a toxic environment in the gut and also vitiates the vata dosha in the alimentary canal. All these pathological changes trigger a response from our immune system which attacks the bowel walls and causes inflammation. Genetic and hereditary factors also seem to play a role in causing Crohn’s disease. Ayurvedic treatment for Crohn’s disease in Kerala therefore gives special emphasis to eliminating pitta aggravating factors and restoring pitta balance.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT FOR CROHN’S DISEASE
What are the expected results of the ayurvedic treatment for Crohn's disease?
Ayurvedic treatment for Crohn’s disease mainly attempts to -
Detoxify the gut environment by removing toxins: Improper digestion leads to the formation of a toxic environment in the digestive system. Detoxifying the gut with suitable internal medicines is the first step usually employed in Crohn’s disease treatment in Kerala. Further treatment is beneficial only after the elimination of toxins from the alimentary canal.
Heal the inflammation: Vasti (medicated enema) is a treatment of choice in the ayurvedic treatment for Crohn’s disease in Kerala, especially a type of vasti called Piccha Vasti which has excellent healing properties and also ignites the digestive power by virtue of its ingredients like honey, rock salt and carefully chosen medicated oils and decoctions. It forms a protective sticky coating in the intestine preventing direct attack of inflammatory mediators on the mucosal lining and thus helps stop bleeding and frequent bowel movements associated with the disease.
Restore the absorption capacity of intestines: Indigestion which affects the absorption of essential nutrients leading to frequent watery stools, weight loss and deficiencies is a problem in Crohn’s disease. Vasti and specific internal medicines given as part of ayurvedic treatment for Crohn's disease regulate bowel movements in order to allow enough time for the food to get digested properly. It also increases the absorptive capacity of the mucosal lining of the digestive tract so that water and nutrients are effectively absorbed into the body.
Improve appetite: Igniting the digestive fire to regain normal appetite is an important part of ayurveda treatment for Crohn’s disease. Suitable medicated ghee and other internal medicines processed with digestive drugs and specific diet modifications help in increasing the appetite.
Manage stress levels associated with the disease: Stress is an important factor in causing flare-ups in Crohn’s disease. Ayurvedic treatment for Crohn’s disease helps reduce the stress levels with specialised therapies like Shirodhara, Shirovasti etc. The pressure and temperature maintained during these therapies combined with the therapeutic activity of the medicines used help in controlling the secretion of stress hormones like cortisol and relaxing the mind.
How successful is the ayurvedic treatment for Crohn's disease in Kerala?
Crohn’s disease is increasingly seen in a younger population these days. If you belong to this category, do not hesitate to take the decision to undergo ayurveda treatment in Kerala at the earliest as the mucosal layer tends to show faster and greater healing capacity in the young and shows quicker response to treatment compared to senior citizens and super senior citizens. A course of treatment that lasts for 15 to 28 days is recommended based on the severity of the condition. Even if you are a senior patient, the severity and frequency of flare-ups can be effectively reduced and the duration of remission phase can be extended with proper ayurvedic treatment.
AYURVEDIC DIET AND LIFESTYLE ADVICE
What is the role of diet in the ayurvedic treatment for Crohn's disease?
Ayurvedic treatment for Crohn's disease places great emphasis on the role of the right diet. A diet that does not aggravate pitta dosha, is rich in nutrients and aids fast healing of ulcers is generally recommended in Crohn’s disease. Strictly avoid spicy substances like pickles and deep fried items as they are pitta aggravators and can further irritate the gastrointestinal mucosa. Multigrain breads, rotis and diet high in fibre are hard to digest and can affect the water retention ability of the colon, increasing symptoms like diarrhoea and stomach pain. Avoid sour food including citrus fruits like orange and lemon and say no to carbonated soft drinks. Coffee is best avoided as it exacerbates the symptoms. Moderate use of spices like cumin, coriander, asafoetida etc is beneficial since they enhance digestion process and do not irritate the gastrointestinal lining. Buttermilk may be included daily in the diet, but avoid other dairy products as much as possible, especially if you are lactose intolerant. While it is best to avoid red meat and poultry, small sized fish may be consumed as they are a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals. Substitute honey for regular white sugar as it acts as a wound healer and soothes the gastrointestinal wall. Cooked arrowroot powder, ragi etc.help reduce frequent bowel movements.
What is the role of lifestyle in the ayurvedic treatment for Crohn's disease?
Chronic stress is always the main villain in causing flare-ups in Crohn’s disease. Maintain your calm and peace by practising yoga and meditation. Consciously avoid being stressful, angry and irritable as these emotional imbalances will enhance pitta dosha. Do not skip meals and have small quantities of food at regular intervals so that it helps with digestion and also avoids acidity. Have food on time. Have fresh homemade food and avoid restaurant food. Completely avoid alcoholic beverages and smoking as these aggravate the symptoms in Crohn’s disease by worsening the inflammation. Avoid exposure to hot and humid weather and keep yourself cool and comfortable during summers. Before discharge from your ayurvedic centre in Kerala, talk to your physician about your routine diet and lifestyle and get their advice and tips on making necessary modifications.
Crohn’s disease is a debilitating disease only if not properly treated. Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease does not mean that you spend your entire life in fear and anticipation of flare-ups. Ayurvedic treatment for Crohn’s disease in Kerala can give you an extended symptom free remission phase of many years and significantly improve the quality of your life.
Can ayurvedic treatment for Crohn’s disease cure the disease completely?
Crohn’s disease is a condition where complete cure cannot be promised. With ayurvedic treatment, the remission period can be extended for many years. The frequency and severity of flare-ups can also be reduced significantly with ayurveda treatment.
Do I have to take lifelong medication after my ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for Crohn’s disease?
No. After discharge from your ayurveda hospital in Kerala, you will be asked to continue some medicines as follow-up treatment for approximately 4 to 6 months depending on your condition. Following strict dietary restrictions and a healthy lifestyle, as advised during your ayurvedic treatment in Kerala, will ensure a symptom free life.