Acupuncture Can Be Used as a Complementary Treatment for Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is an illness that is marked by a distinctive inflammation of the bowel that may result in a set of symptoms. Any area of the gastrointestinal tract can be affected by this condition. The gastrointestinal tract or GI tract, for short, is a very long passageway that starts from the mouth, extends to the intestines all the way down to the anal sphincter. Depending on what part of the tract is affected by this condition, symptoms may vary, although the most common symptoms include weight loss, vomiting, stomach pain (in the belly or mid-section), and diarrhea.

Crohn’s disease can be a furthermore worse condition due to the fact that it can cause problems in other parts of the body resulting in other diverse symptoms such as fatigue, arthritis, skin rashes, and inflammation of the eye. These wide arrays of symptoms make the disease a bit difficult to manage. The disease itself may evolve from certain complex factors.

The bowel lining inflammation that characterizes Crohn’s Disease is assumed to be the result of involved arranged interactions between the immune system of the body, genetics, the environment, and bacteria. The immune system is the factor that actually causes the inflammation as the GI tract is the body part targeted by the defense mechanism of the body when Crohn’s disease develops.

The disease can develop in people at a young age, usually during adolescence and people in their 20’s, although there are some individuals in the ages of 50 to 70 who may also be at high risk for this disease. Due to the unknown etiology of Crohn’s disease, no known cure for it has been developed. In lieu of a cure, several different remedies exist and they are mainly designed to prevent the exacerbation of the disease, to relieve inflammation and to help better manage the other symptoms. Modifications in lifestyle especially smoking cessation are essential to the plan of treatment as they can make the symptoms much better. Smoking is a habit that is believed to increase twofold a person’s chances in having Crohn’s disease. As such, smokers with this condition are told to cease this habit as soon as possible as it will only worsen the problem. Adequate, regular hydration as well as frequent but small meals has proven beneficial in mitigating the symptoms and a lot of Crohn’s disease sufferers have been told to write down in a journal the foods they eat that seems to worsen or trigger the symptoms.

Western medicine uses medications as primary treatment for Crohn’s disease. These drugs include anti-inflammatory medicines and antibiotics. Another treatment option is surgery especially when obstructions or abscesses arises that complicate the disease. And as said earlier, Crohn’s disease has no known cure.

Because the proper control of the condition instead of curing the disease is the number one aim of the treatment of Crohn’s disease, especially for patients who are having a difficult time coping with the symptoms, there are sufferers who are beginning to turn to more natural and alternative forms of treatment. For several years in China, the main treatment for Crohn’s disease has been acupuncture as it has been shown that it has had consistent success in the treatment of many of the symptoms of this condition. There are also studies that confirm the effectiveness of this procedure for the proper management of Crohn’s.

Acupuncture is Effective enough in the Control of Crohn’s Disease Symptoms

Practiced for thousands of years in China and other parts of the Far East, acupuncture is an ancient healing art that is widely utilized in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to resolve inflammatory bowel conditions such as ulcerative colitis among others. Interestingly, in spite of its long time use by TCM practitioners, few evidences abound that verifies the potency of the treatment for the proper control of Crohn’s Disease. Be that as it may, some studies show that acupuncture has been proven effective in the symptomatic relief of Crohn’s although more studies are needed to validate its efficacy for the treatment of the condition.

No one, not even acupuncturists would advise their patients to use acupuncture as a first line treatment for Crohn’s disease. Several medications actually can help in the reduction of symptoms and acupuncture should be used as an adjunct treatment of drug therapy.

Besides the needles that are the trademarks of acupuncture, moxibustion can be added to the plan of treatment in order to amplify the potency of the therapy. Acupuncture aims to stimulate certain points in the body known as acupuncture points, or acupoints, for short, to help alleviate many symptoms. A lot of Crohn’s disease patients have responded positively to acupuncture despite the fact that it is treatment that is not widely accepted by doctors for treatment of Crohn’s; nevertheless, more and more people are pursuing this procedure to help cope with their symptoms in a much easier way.

It is highly advised that you only seek acupuncturists who are licensed by the state wherein they are practicing their profession and are registered by a highly accredited acupuncture organization in order to have confidence in the skill and training of the practitioner and to give you proper peace of mind.


Ivelisse DeJongh is a Miami acupuncturist and the medical director at DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic.