About Crohn's Disease
Crohn's Disease is a chronic lifelong and relapsing condition characterized by inflammation of gastrointestinal tract of the body. It is an Intestinal Bowel Disease (IBD), which can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, but in most of the cases, it affects the end of the small intestine (ileum).
Though the exact cause of the disease is still unknown, yet researchers perceive it occurring due to the combination of various factors in the body like genetics, environment or a hyperactive or overactive immune system. It is, however, unclear whether the inflammation of intestine or Crohn`s disease is caused by something an individual eats or drinks.
Crohn's Disease is a chronic disease of which no cure has been found yet. There are medications to relieve the symptoms of Crohn's Disease but there isn't any authentic cure for it. In severe cases of Crohn's Disease, a patient might also have to undergo surgery.
Relationship Between Vitamin D & Crohn's Disease: How Does Vitamin D Help in Managing Crohn's Disease?
Crohn's Disease is characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal or digestive tract. Now the role of vitamin D comes into play because vitamin D is a sort of nutrient that has anti-inflammatory properties. Many recent studies have begun to shed light on how vitamin D helps in combating Crohn's inflammation.
A study which was published in the year 2016 in a journal called as "Gut," reiterated that vitamin D typically influences the activities of dendritic cells and immune cells that have the capability to mount any inflammatory response in the body. The participants of the study who received vitamin D along with medications, which were specifically used to reduce the levels of inflammation protein known as TNF alpha in dendritic cells, were found to significantly have low levels of TNF alpha, as compared to those participants who got the treatment without vitamin D. This study was a proof in itself that vitamin D is useful not only individually but is also effective in enhancing the efficiency of medications in treating Crohn`s disease. This clearly establishes the importance of Vitamin D in treating Crohn`s disease.
Extra Vitamin D in the Body Relieves the Symptoms of Crohn's Disease
According to medical studies and findings, Vitamin D supplements help in managing Crohn`s disease by combating fatigue, increasing muscular strength, and alleviating other symptoms typically associated with Crohn's disease. Extra vitamin D in the body fights off the physical, emotional and the general fatigue and promotes a greater quality of life. It is also found that Crohn's patients have low levels of energy and thereby Vitamin D is a nutrient that supplicates their body with energy.
Apart from acting efficaciously in treating Crohn's disease, Vitamin D also helps in boosting the growth of bone and remodeling its structure. Vitamin D reduces inflammation and helps an individual in better management of Crohn's disease and day-to-day activities. According to United States National Institute of Health, individuals aged between 40 to 50 should take 600 IU`s of Vitamin D per day and older adults should take 800 IU`s Vitamin D per day.
Sources of Vitamin D
The first natural source of Vitamin D is Sunlight. Vitamin D is also known as the "sunshine vitamin," because sunlight is one of the best natural sources of Vitamin D and is necessary for the body to prevent serious ailments like skin cancer. But at the same time, it is also true that it is quite difficult to obtain a healthy part of sunlight since prolonged exposures of the body towards sunlight has its own disadvantages. Milk and Eggs are two other natural sources of Vitamin D.
Requirement of Vitamin D can also be supplicated with the use of Vitamin D supplements. According to medical experts, taking Vitamin D supplements is a safer and inexpensive way of supplicating the deficit of vitamin D. According to NIH, intake of 2000 IU`s is safe and the upper limit of the adults is 4000 IU`s. But before taking any type of supplement, discuss it with your doctor.
Other Sources of Vitamin D are:
- Soya milk and fortified soymilk. This is best suited for those who are intolerant to lactose.
- Fatty fishes, such as tuna and salmon.
- Liver of beef and chicken.
- Fish oil.
- Those suffering from IBD diseases like Crohn's Disease will have low vitamin D levels in the body
- In Crohn`s disease, vitamin D effectively helps the immune system in reducing the level of inflammatory protein that gets overproduced in the body.
- High levels of vitamin D in the body helps and eases the Crohn`s symptoms.
- Vitamin D also reduces and minimizes the chances of severe complications like hospitalization, surgery, infections and even colon cancer.