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Probiotics and Crohn's Disease

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Dear Natural Choice Journal: My name is Geri. I am a Crohn's patient and at the moment, I am slowly getting a recent flare-up under control. I have been reading up on the probiotics supplement and it looks like it would be a very good for me (bifido) but I have been following the carbohydrate diet as shown in the book by Elaine Gottschall called, " Breaking the Vicious Cycle." It advises not to take anything with FOS(fructooligosaccharides) in it as it will offset the purpose of the diet! I don't know which would be better for me....diet or probiotic???? If I went with the supplement, (which I think should especially since I am on Imuran!) what kind of diet should I go on.? Also, surveys say yogurt is good for the colon (friendly bacteria) even though they say no dairy products allowed!!!! Can you also give me a sense of the price. If you can help my confusion, please reply soon. Thanks.
Geri C., Charlottetown, PEI

Response from a NaturoPath Doctor: Kali Simmons, Charlottetown, 894 -3868

I believe you are on the right track by following Elaine Gottschall's diet. The concern with FOS is that it has the potential to feed "disease causing bacteria", as well as healthy intestinal bacteria. What I would suggest is sticking to the diet, and supplementing with a probiotic which does not contain FOS, sugar (lactose, glucose, fructose, sucrose), starch , or gluten. A good one is PB8 or Jarrodophilius, 15 minutes before meals (when stomach acid is lower) with 8 oz of water. Approx. $22 at your local Health Food Store.

A few other items you may want to consider are evening primrose oil 1000 mg. 2x/day with meals, and salmon oil 2000 mg 2x/day with meals as they provide GLA and EPA/DHA which produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins 1 and 3, respectively. Also, if you are faced with prednisone 9 or another derivative of cortisone, in the future, consider solid licorice root extract, from Scientific botanicals, as an alternative - 1/4 tsp. 2x/day on an empty stomach. (If you have high blood pressure, do not use licorice root.) Licorice stimulates your own production of cortisol to control inflammation.

Also, make sure your blood level of vitamin B12 stays in the upper range of normal. Crohn's affects the terminal ileum of the small intestine, where B12 absorption normally occurs, therefore a sublingual form of B12 is preferred.

Response: Homeopathic Consultant, Sara Carrington, MS, BIHom(pract.),Rhom. Charlottetown, PEI 892-9355

Slippery elm, probiotics and a constitutional homeopathic remedy and of course diet change has resulted in good good recovery for those with Crohn's disease. A consultation would be recommended so that knowledge of what has been done for Geri already and her present signs and symptoms can be taken into consideration.

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