Researchers have yet to identify the genes responsible for the development of Crohn's and colitis.
Our discussion moved towards the genetic factor involved in colitis. She expressed that due to the genetic predisposition it was futile to attempt a dietary approach. (Crohn's and Colitis affects those with specific genetics, passed down to some but not all family members. Interestingly, researchers have yet to identify the genes responsible for the development of Crohn's and colitis.)
I remained undeterred by her argument and I expressed that because there was a genetic component nutrition was not just important but vital. My friend then stated that I must know that colitis had to be managed by pharmaceutical medications, it was the only way. Given the pain and distress experienced by those newly diagnosed it is understandable why there is an urge to choose pharmaceuticals, which offers quick relief. However, there is no reason why a nutritional intervention cannot be implemented afterwards with the goal of weaning off of the pills. Medications function the same way as other substances we put into our bodies, by affecting chemical and physiological reactions. Using balanced nutrition to treat nutritional deficiencies, bacterial overgrowth, and/or food allergies, we affect the physiological and immune functioning of the body. Pharmaceutical interventions for Crohn's and colitis don't treat causative factors but instead target and repress the immune system, leaving the underlying causes of inflammation and resulting damage to the body unaddressed. That is the reason why individuals on biological medications (Remicade or Humira) are at 3x's the risk for some cancers than those not using immune compromising drugs.
The very thought of putting controls on what she ate was more terrifying to her than the disease itself.
My friend's second set of defences were interesting and very sincere. She acknowledged that she had not attempted to balance her nutrition, at all, to improve her colitis and overall health. The very thought of putting controls on what she ate was more terrifying to her than the disease itself. "When I go to the transfusion clinic for my Remicade I get to sit there for a few hours dreaming about all the bacon, gluten, and treats I will be able to eat pain free", she told me. "My doctor told me that just because my risks for other health problems, like cancer and infections, are higher than the average person due to the medications, it doesn't mean that I will develop those problems. "So bacon, bacon, bacon", she repeated triumphantly." Shortly after that we parted company, each of us content with our different lifestyle and health choices.
Advocating for your health,
David Chochinov, O.T. Reg. (MB)