You might be feeling symptoms like bloody diarrhea, fever, rectal bleeding, or abdominal pain. All these are signs of Crohn's disease. What is the way out? Can CBD cure my Crohn's Disease?
In the United States, about 565,000 people have Crohn's disease. To diagnose this disease is very difficult, and its precise cause remains unknown. Experts believe that an autoimmune reaction, in which the immune cells of the body attack the healthy body cells, maybe the primary cause of the disease.
Cannabis treatment may alleviate Crohn's symptoms and improve the quality of life for people with Crohn's disease, according to a 2018 study.
This study is the first to show, contrary to traditional medical opinions, that the beneficial effect of cannabis on Crohn's disease is not a consequence of alleviating gut inflammation.
Dr. Naftali, the head of the study and gastroenterologist specialist at Tel Aviv University's Meir Hospital and Kupat Holim Clinic in Israel, presented the results of the study at the annual meeting of the United European Gastroenterology (UEG Week 2018) in Vienna, Austria.
However, in the United States, regulators are starting to ease cannabis restrictions to allow more research. Besides, more and more countries are legalizing their medical use.
Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of cannabis as a medical treatment but has approved the use of specific cannabinoids. These include nabilone and dronabinol, which some doctors use to treat cancer side effects as well.
An increasing number of people with Crohn's disease turn to the trust of cannabis as a complementary or alternative treatment.
Dr. Naftali says that "people with this disease mostly use CBD to alleviate their symptoms."
Doctors and scientists always assumed that the relief was the result of the anti-inflammatory effect. That is why Dr. Naftali and her colleagues decided to take a closer look at this problem.
In this article, we are examining the signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease and explaining the treatment options for the disease.
What is Crohn's?
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which is the primary cause of inflammation of the digestive tract. This inflammation can lead to abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, severe diarrhea, and malnutrition. Inflammation caused by Crohn's disease can affect different areas of the digestive tract in different people.
Inflammation caused by Crohn's disease often extends to the layers of the affected intestinal tissue. Crohn's disease can be painful and exhausting and sometimes lead to life-threatening complications.
What Causes Crohn's?
While the exact causes of Crohn's disease remain unknown, researchers suspect diet and stress might be attributed. However, doctors do not believe them to cause Crohn's. Factors, such as heredity or a defective immune system, may play a role in its development.
- Heredity: Crohn's disease is more common in a person with a relative with that disease. Genes can, therefore, help people become more vulnerable. However, most people with Crohn's disease do not have a family history of the disease.
- Immune system: A virus or bacterium may activate Crohn's disease. When your immune system is trying to fight the attacking microorganism, the abnormal immune response also causes the immune system to attack the digestive tract cells.
Current Treatment Options
There is currently no known cure for Crohn's disease, and no single treatment works for everyone. The primary goal of current treatment is to reduce inflammation that causes your signs and symptoms. Therefore, consult your doctor before deciding on the treatment option to be taken.
1. Anti-inflammatory drugs
Anti-inflammatory drugs are usually the first step in treating inflammatory bowel disease. These include:
- Oral 5-aminosalicylates: These include sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), which contains sulfa, and mesalamine (Asacol HD, Delzicol, others).
- Corticosteroids: These include prednisone and budesonide (Entocort EC), which reduces inflammation in your body, but do not work for everyone with this disease.
2. Immune system suppressors
These medicines also reduce inflammation but target your immune system, which produces inflammation-inducing substances. In some people, the combination of these drugs is more effective than one drug.
Immunosuppressive drugs include Azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran) and mercaptopurine (Purinethol, Purixan), Methotrexate (Trexall), Ustekinumab (Stelara), Infliximab (Remicade), adalimumab (Humira) and certolizumab pegol (Cimzia) and Natalizumab (Tysabri) and vedolizumab (Entyvio).
Antibiotics can reduce drainage and sometimes cure fistulas and abscesses in people with Crohn's disease.
Some researchers also believe that antibiotics may help reduce intestinal bacteria that contribute to activating the intestinal immune system, which leads to inflammation.
Commonly prescribed antibiotics include ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and metronidazole (Flagyl).
Many people with digestive disorders used some kind of complementary and alternative medicine. However, there are several well-designed studies on its safety and efficacy.
Some commonly used therapies include Herbal and nutritional supplements, Probiotics, Fish oil, Acupuncture, and Prebiotics.
46 persons with moderate Crohn's disease were randomly assigned to two groups who received 8 weeks of treatment.
In one group, treatment consisted of cannabis oil, containing 4% THC and 15% CBD. The other group took a placebo.
After treatment, there was a significant reduction in the symptoms of Crohn's disease in the group who used cannabis oil compared to the placebo group.
The results showed that 65% of the cannabis groups met "strict criteria for clinical remission" of Crohn's disease, compared to only 35% of the placebo group.
The group receiving cannabis oil also showed significant improvements in quality of life measures compared to the group receiving a placebo.
How CBD Can Treat Crohns Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease may range from mild to severe, and they usually develop gradually, but sometimes appear suddenly, without warning. You can also have periods without signs or symptoms.
When the disease is active, symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Blood in the stool
- Anal drainage
- Pain near or around the anus.
- Reduced appetite and weight loss.
Hemp is the origin of most cannabis oil used for medical purposes. Cannabis oil will not change your mental condition, but its use can have other beneficial effects.
Indeed, our body naturally produces chemicals similar to cannabis (cannabinoids), and we have these receptors called CB-1 and CB-2 receptors. They are present in the whole body and brain.
Cannabis oil affects these receptors to reduce pain and inflammation.
Naphtali said it could help relieve one of Crohn's toughest symptoms.
"In addition to increasing appetite, cannabis oil can reduce the circulation of food in the intestine and reduce the secretion of the intestine, thus reducing the risk of diarrhea."
With its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD oil can help reduce Crohn's and other related problems such as stress and anxiety, relieve pain, and much more.
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