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Crohn's Disease- Pathophysiology and Conventional and Alternative Treatment Options

Crohn's Disease

Table 1: Subcategories of Crohn's Disease

Table 2: Signs and Symptoms of Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Risk Factors



    The Genetic Component of Crohn's Disease

    Stress in the Etiology of Crohn's Disease

    Microbial Factors

    Inflammation/Immune Response

    Intestinal Permeability

    Other Abnormalities Contributing to the Etiopathogenesis of Crohn's Disease

Conventional Treatment of Crohn's Disease

Table 5: Conventional Medications and their Mechanisms in Crohn's Disease

Nutrient Deficiences in Crohn's Disease

Table 6: nutrient Deficiencies Associated with Crohn's Disease

Dietary Interventions in Crohn's Disease

Table 7: Diet Therapies Compared to Steroid Medications in Crohn's Disease

Probiotics in the Treatment of Crohn's Disease

Fatty Acids for the Treatment of Crohn's Disease

Table 8: A Summary of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Studies in Crohn's Disease


N-acetyl Glucosamine

Remicade Increasing Risk of Cancer

Botanicals in the Treatment of Crohn's Disease

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

Potential Sequelae of Crohn's Disease


N-acetyl Glucosamine

The protective mucus in the gastrointestinal tract consists of glycoproteins, a protein backbone with carbohydrate side chains. Half of these carbohydrate side chains consist of N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG). Glucosamine synthetase is the rate-limiting enzyme in NAG synthesis. Decreased glucosamine synthetase activity has been noted in biopsy tissue from IBD patients -- both Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis -- only in inflamed tissue with loss of epithelial cells. In patients with Crohn's Disease, elevated levels of glucosamine synthetase were found in nondiseased tissue, providing a diagnostic tool when involved tissue is not viewable on colonoscopy.252

A phase 1, open-label trial was conducted on 12 children with IBD (10 with Crohn's Disease; 2 with Ulcerative Colitis). Oral doses of NAG ranged from 3-6 g daily in three divided doses. The children had severe disease, some refractory to conventional treatments. Six Crohn's Disease patients and two Ulcerative Colitis patients responded favorably to treatment and were followed for as long as three years. Improvements included marked clinical, histological, and stricture improvements, with establishment and maintenance of remission.253


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