Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause symptoms like stomach pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and weight loss. This condition can be mild, moderate, or severe. And depending on its severity, Crohn’s can be debilitating and affect your quality of life.

Crohn’s disease can cause complications like ulcers in the digestive tract and bowel obstruction. Controlling symptoms is important for long-term health. Treatment often includes anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressants. These medications can reduce inflammation. Antidiarrheal medication and pain relievers can also help ease symptoms.

But while these are common treatments for this disease, these aren’t the only options available to you. Several less common remedies may also ease your symptoms.

1. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

Stress doesn’t cause Crohn’s disease. But emotional stress, anxiety, and depression can worsen symptoms and lead to flare-ups.

Research has found a link between mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and fewer symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. This technique combines cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness practices. Cognitive behavioral therapy is talk therapy designed to change the way you think. The goal is to help you gain control over your emotions.

You’ll also learn how to identify warning signs of depression, as well as practical techniques to lessen stress on your own. These techniques might include deep breathing exercises and meditation.

Learning how to gain control over your thoughts can be the start to successfully reducing your Crohn’s disease symptoms.

2. Gut-focused hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is an alternative treatment that uses deep relaxation to produce a heightened state of awareness. This therapy can treat a variety of conditions and help a person break free of bad habits.

Different types of hypnotherapy are available. This includes therapy designed to ease symptoms associated with digestive disorders. This is known as gut-focused hypnotherapy.

With this therapy, your therapist will help you reach a state of deep relaxation. Once you’re relaxed, they’ll teach you how to control gut function through visualization and imagery.

In one study, 15 patients with severe or very severe inflammatory bowel disease received 12 sessions of gut-focused hypnotherapy. After five years, 12 of the participants reported having a “good or excellent quality of life.” Additionally, 60 percent of participants were able to stop taking corticosteroids for their symptoms.

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a holistic technique that uses needles to stimulate certain points of the body. This technique can relieve pain and reduce the severity of conditions like Crohn’s disease.

This method is effective because it encourages the body to heal itself naturally through nerve stimulation. According to one study of 92 participants, acupuncture with moxibustion provided significant therapeutic benefits. Moxibustion is a type of heat therapy. Dried plants are burned near certain points of the body to stimulate the flow of chi (energy) and blood.

4. Fish oil

Fish oil may also be an effective remedy for symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Fish oil comes from the tissue of oily fish and is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, this dietary supplement offers many other health benefits. One example is reducing inflammation in the body.

If you have Crohn’s disease and the illness goes into remission, taking fish oil may help you remain in remission longer. Fish oil is not suitable for everyone, so talk with your doctor before taking the supplement.

5. Glutamine

Another uncommon remedy for Crohn’s disease is glutamine. This is an amino acid that serves as an energy source for the cells in the lining of the intestines.

Glutamine has anti-inflammatory properties and protects the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, this supplement may reduce inflammation in the intestinal tract. Less inflammation can also lead to fewer symptoms of Crohn’s disease. This can help you achieve remission and stay in remission. Again, consult your doctor before taking a glutamine supplement.

The takeaway

Prescription anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive medications can reduce symptoms of Crohn’s disease. But lesser-known remedies for Crohn’s disease may provide relief and improve your quality of life. Don’t stop taking your medication without first speaking with your doctor. Consult your doctor to discuss possible alternative therapies, and then decide which one is right for you.