The Back Story
"I know Crohn's can be uncomfortable." That's what the lady said as she sat across the table from me.
That's one way of putting it. I've been fortunate, lucky, had good karma. Call it what you will. When I was first diagnosed with Crohn's I had lost forty pounds, lived in the bathroom, and was so weak that to get to the upstairs of my house I had to crawl. I used a cane. In the dead of summer I wore a sweatshirt to bed and covered up with at least three or four blankets. Freezing to the bone, my body would be covered with sweat.
Untreated, Crohn's can kill you. Not directly, no, and not quickly, but through malnutrition and secondary infections brought on through the abscesses and fistulas that can develop. Crohn's is an autoimmune disorder similar to rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. The area of the body attacked by your own immune system is your digestive tract instead of your joints or the sheathing of your nerves.
After diagnosis it took a few years to get the disorder under control. It still flares up occasionally. I don't have the stamina I used to have. But it's under control. Every day I take a medication originally intended for leukemia that depresses my immune system. Every other month I get an IV treatment. I meditate. I watch my diet (mostly). Animal fats, beef, high fiber foods are all sure to cause a flare if overused. As a result, I eat what I would have one time called a horrible diet. Few fresh fruits and vegetable, little in the way of 100% whole grains. I never thought I would look with lust at a salad, but I do now. :) I eat foods to improve the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract, fish, some chicken, relatively low fiber fruits and vegetables. I take a B complex with iron and Vitamin C. I rest when I'm tired. I exercise regularly, primarily with yoga.
Disease Has No Single Cause
I'm not saying any of this for sympathy, or even to explain anything about me. I'm talking about it because, like many disorders, the actual cause of Crohn's isn't known. Even infectious diseases like the flu and other viral and bacteriological diseases are seen as being caused by a virus or bacteria only because the virus or bacteria has been pinpointed as common to every single case. But every single person who is exposed to a destructive virus or bacterium doesn't develop that disease. Even the Black Plague, which wiped out between a third and two thirds of the European population in the Middle Ages and up to 75 million people worldwide, left a large portion of the population alive, even though most, if not all, were exposed.
This is important. Even in cases where every single incident of a disorder has a common factor, not every single person who displays that factor develops the disorder. Disease results due to internal and external factors, not just due to internal or external factors. Our immune system is the physical mediator between our bodies, thoughts, and environment.
Treat All Aspects of The Person
Treatment of illness, to be most effective, will treat all of these aspects. It will look at our bodies. It will look at our environment. It will look at our diet. It will look at our emotions. Treatment of only one aspect will be ineffective or less effective than it could be.
See a doctor. They are most familiar with the physical aspects of whatever disorder you display and can best help you treat it. It can be an allopath. It can be a homeopath. It can be the type of doctor most used in your culture. They can help you. Even if you don't follow their advice, you will be ahead of the game.
Examine your diet. Each of our bodies is different. Each of us will need somewhat of a different diet. Obviously, since all of us are human, general things such as getting enough protein, vitamins, and minerals will hold true, but within such general boundaries there is a lot of room for difference depending on your body, your age, your climate, your activity levels, etc. See what effects different foods have on you.
Look into herbal supplements or remedies. Be well informed before using any, though. Until the past century, almost all medicine was herbal. These can be very strong, very active, and used improperly can hurt you as well as healing you. Natural doesn't always mean good, especially when you factor in that since most herbs are counted as nutritional supplements, their harvesting, preparation, and packaging can be somewhat less than desirable.
Meditate and practice progressive relaxation. These are effective tools to help normalize nervous system and immune system function.
Do something creative or enjoyable. Drawing, painting, music, writing, gardening, crafts; anything that allows you to express yourself just for the sheer joy of doing so can be therapeutic as well as meditative.
If you feel the need for a psychotherapist, see them. Sometimes our most basic beliefs and thought patterns are so much a part of our world view that we cannot see them. An effective therapist can help us do so, and in so doing, show paths to break out from them.
It Still May Not Help
Some people say we each have our cross to bear. Others say we have face our karma. However you want to say it, all things, once set in motion, must be played out.
Even with holistic treatment, you may, and often do, continue to experience the effects of disease. Often, though, you will make more progress than if you try just one modality of treatment. A treatment approach such as this puts the power to do something about your health in your hands, not just the hands of your physician. You are treating yourself as a whole person, not just a mind, not just a body, not as the victim of your environmental circumstances, but as a whole.
Note: I am not a doctor. More to the point, I am not a healer. As the old story goes "Doc. It hurts when I do this." "Then don't do that." Use your own good sense in regards to health.