After twenty years of doing private consultations for people with Crohn’s disease, I have come to see that there are seven key protocols that nearly everyone needs to implement in order to see their digestive healing progress rapidly.
By the time people find their way to various protocols, their bacterial flora is usually unbalanced throughout their gastrointestinal tract. If they haven’t already had repeated antibiotic use since childhood, then the medical exploratory and diagnostic tests alone have destroyed much of the good bacteria in their small and large intestine. When the good, protective bacteria are depleted, then pathogens like yeast (Candida), viruses, parasites, and bad bacteria flourish.
This profusion of pathogens, combined with (and causing) inflammation and damage to the mucosal lining, then results in Leaky Gut Syndrome; whereby undigested food particles and bad bacteria leach into the bloodstream and trigger allergic reactions and infection in other locales.
The protocols needed to heal Crohn’s disease therefore focus on providing bowel rest via a special Crohn’s disease diet, eradicating pathogens from the gut, rebalancing the bacterial flora, healing the damage done to the mucosal lining and intestinal wall, healing the emotional factors that lead to susceptibility in the gut in the first place (and ongoing), addressing any nutrient deficiencies, and balancing the endocrine system.
Crohn’s Diet – Bowel Rest
In extreme cases, the best and fastest way of alternative healing for Crohn’s is to go on an elemental diet in order to provide bowel rest and eliminate any trigger foods, whilst addressing the underlying conditions of infection and inflammation in the digestive system. This is also used frequently if the person is very malnourished or underweight, or if there is ongoing intestinal bleeding.
If the person doesn’t require anything as drastic as an elemental diet, then they just follow the Healing Diet (in Chapter 3 of the book 'Listen To Your Gut' by Jini Thompson) for their symptom profile, whilst implementing the protocols below. If they do begin with an elemental diet, then they also begin simultaneously on the protocols below. If tolerated, the multi-pronged healing approach produces the quickest results.
The great news is that a number of my clients have now tested clear by using raw milk (unpasteurized milk from pasture-fed cows) and they have tolerated it well and shown great improvement. Others have used a combination of a product called, "Absorb Plus" and raw cow or goat’s milk.
To get rid of pathogenic bacteria, viruses, yeast (Candida albicans), mycobacteria and parasites, utilize Wild Oregano Oil. If you have a mycobacterial infection, you will need to cycle on and off the Protocol for 2 –3 years to eradicate all the mycobacteria.
People generally start with Wild Oregano Oil Protocol and then upon completion of the first cycle, move onto high dose, therapeutic probiotic supplementation. Of course, they have already begun probiotic supplementation with the Wild Oregano Oil Protocol, so their system doesn’t usually have much difficulty transitioning to high dose probiotics.
Probiotic Supplementation for Crohn’s Disease
Probiotics for Crohn’s disease treatment must be ingested in a potent, bioavailable form; the bacteria must be capable of colonizing the gastrointestinal tract and must be ingested in high enough amounts to have a therapeutic effect. This means, that to see results (based on clinical trials), you need to ingest a minimum of 7 – 10 billion c.f.u. of each species, per day. This works out to 1 teaspoon, 3 times a day of the Natren powdered probiotics: Megadophilus, Bifido Factor and Digesta-Lac. Or, 1 Healthy Trinity capsule, two times per day.
However, if your Crohn’s disease is in a very active state, or you are highly sensitive to probiotics, then you must start out with small amounts and very gradually build up. In these cases, it is often best to start with an infant species of bacteria called B. infantis and then gradually work your way up to the adult species of L. acidophilus, B. bifidus and L. Bulgaricus. B. infantis is available from Natren (called Life Start) in either cow or goat’s milk based formulas.
Note: If you are having more than 3 bowel movements per day, then you must not take anything in capsule form (probiotics or supplements) as the transit time through the gut is too fast to be properly absorbed and utilized.
Once you can tolerate therapeutic levels of probiotics (and many can right away) then the best results are seen from probiotic layering. This means you take both the powders and the capsules to maximize the beneficial effects of each. Probiotic layering can be done in a number of ways, but what most people usually do is to take 1 teaspoon of each powdered species, two times per day and 1 Healthy Trinity capsule, once per day.
Healing Crohn’s Inflammation & Ulceration
Whilst the protocols already outlined above greatly contribute to the healing of intestinal inflammation and ulceration, targeted herbal supplementation is also highly beneficial and produces more rapid healing.
If the person has ongoing bleeding from the colon, charcoal and Bismuth is utilized whilst on an elemental diet. Once bleeding is no longer acute, or is only from the small intestine, MucosaHeal is used along with George’s Aloe Vera Juice.
Here are the nutritional supplements that pretty much everyone with Crohn’s disease needs to take due to increased loss through diarrhea and/or lack of absorption of nutrients:
Full spectrum multi-vitamin and multi-mineral – yes, it would be ideal to ingest these in whole-food form, however many people with IBD cannot tolerate whole food vitamins. Angstrom-sized, or nanoparticle minerals are very easily tolerated and highly absorbable, but are also a bit more expensive. So whilst the regular mineral supplements are not ideal, they do still produce beneficial results and are certainly better than nothing. In fact, due to the alkalizing effect of minerals (since people with Crohn’s have a hyper-acidic system), I strongly recommend that Crohn’s sufferers take both the Bone Support nanoparticle minerals and the Trace Minerals – these will produce the most rapid healing.
10,000 IU vitamin D3 per day
6 – 8 capsules cod liver oil per day (or 2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons Udo’s oil per day
Pycnogenol or grape seed extract
Most people with Crohn’s disease also suffer from anemia. But then iron supplements are irritating to the gut and can trigger intestinal bleeding. The solution again, is to take your iron in nanoparticle, or angstrom-sized form. This means that the iron is instantly absorbed into the bloodstream and does not require digestion. Therefore, it also does not irritate the GI tract.
Vitamin C in mineral ascorbate form – needed for immune system but also for blood clotting.
Each of these supplements is vital for healing various facets of the Crohn’s pathology and they also work synergistically to accelerate healing.
Note: If you are having more than 3 bowel movements per day, then you must not take anything in capsule form, as the transit time through the gut is too fast to be properly absorbed and utilized. In that case, you need to open capsules and dissolve the contents into an Absorb Plus shake, or diluted apple juice, or chew them.
Over 60% of your body’s neurotransmitters are not in your brain, but in your gut! (see Michael Gershon’s book The Second Brain for lots more about this). There is now an entire field dedicated to this emerging knowledge about the interrelation of the mind, emotions and the digestive system called Neurogastroenterology. This is not airy-fairy, woo-woo stuff, this is hard science. And if you don’t heal the psychological and emotional components of your dis-ease, then you will never have long-term health. It’s really that simple.
The most effective mind/body therapies are Somatic Experiencing (SE), EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), also called MTT (Meridian Tapping Techniques) and hypnotherapy. You need to work with a skilled therapist, at least initially, to really see good results. And it’s best if you can use someone who is experienced with chronic illness and trauma; which is more complex and has many more layers than regular illness. In our clinic we have an excellent SE therapist, Sarah Theismann.
Balance Your Hormones
If you have been ill for longer than eight months, or if you have taken any kind of steroid or immune suppressant drug, then it is highly likely your adrenal gland and thyroid glands (at least) are not functioning properly.
Ideally, you should see a doctor who specializes in hormone balancing and have your endocrine system tested properly. You should then follow a natural hormone supplement program tailored to your specific needs. However, since we have seen that many people either cannot afford to do this, or just can’t seem to allocate the time/energy to do it, I am going to give you a shortcut that is likely to help in the majority of cases.
Endocrine specialist, Jonathan V. Wright MD, has developed a holistic endocrine supplement called Thyroplex. He reasons that you should never just treat one gland in isolation – since they are all linked like dominoes. Therefore, you need to support the entire endocrine system in a return to balance. I agree with Dr. Wright and many of my clients with Crohn’s disease see very good results from taking Thyroplex (there is one for males and one for females). Women with Crohn’s usually also benefit from taking natural progesterone cream (a dime-sized amount rubbed into the soles of the feet 1x/day).
But again, it is definitely recommended that you see a doctor who specializes in hormones and have your individual situation assessed properly.
And there you have it! If you implement each of the seven steps outlined above (simultaneously if possible) you will have the fastest, most thorough Crohn’s alternative treatment plan. Of course, you will need to use various additional supplements as needed – FissureHeal if you have anal/rectal fissures, or HemorrHeal if your bleeding is from internal or external hemorrhoids, syringed wild oregano oil for fistulas, L-glutamine, bentonite clay or psyllium seed for diarrhea, etc.
But the basic protocol for rapid healing of Crohn’s disease can be summed up in these seven targeted steps:
Rest the bowel
Repopulate with good bacteria
Heal inflammation and ulceration
Resolve nutrient deficiencies
Heal emotional contributors
Balance the endocrine system
The key is to do all seven thoroughly – preferably simultaneously – without skipping over any of them.