For children with  severe cases of Crohn’s disease ,  corticosteroids and disease modifying drugs are often used, since it is an inflammatory auto-immune disease.

An other possible approach is enteral  feeding through a feeding tube,  technically called Exclusive Enteral Nutrition (EEN). The treatment has been found to be as efficacious as corticosteroids [1].

However, there are many other treatments options such as aminosalicylates ;  immuno-suppressive and biologic drugs, as described in a New York Times article [2]. Note the absence of EEN in the NYT list.  EEN needs to be compared to those, too.

The children were fed a formula which may contain whole proteins (polymeric) or modified proteins (e.g. elemental).

The success rate has been rather good:

“…Twelve of 15 (80%) newly diagnosed CD and seven of 12 (58%) with long-standing disease entered remission…”

Two issues :

  1. The child has to be fed through  a feeding tube for 8 weeks [1]
  2. Besides the discomfort, the methods has some risks, namely , pneumonia and aspiration [4]

 

Enteral Food Against Crohn's Disease

Exactly why the treatment works is not fully understood, quoting  [2], the possible mechanisms are:

  • reduced gut activity due to the administration of a solely liquid diet,
  • indirect nutritional effects,
  • direct anti-inflammatory effects,
  • via modulation of the gastrointestinal microflora.
Talk to your Doctor

Sources:

  1. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. ; “Exclusive enteral feeding as primary therapy for Crohn’s disease in Australian children and adolescents: a feasible and effective approach.” ;2006
  2. New York Times ;
  3. Digestive Diseases and Sciences. ; “Longer-Term Outcomes of Nutritional Management of Crohn’s Disease in Children.” ; 2012
  4. INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE: A PRACTICAL APPROACH, SERIES #51; Seymour Katz, M.D., Series Editor;PRACTICAL GASTROENTEROLOGY • APRIL 2009
  5. Practical Gastroenterology,” Aspiration Risk and Enteral Feeding: A Clinical Approach” ;   2003

1 Comment for this entry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current month ye@r day *

© 2013-2019 Medical News Digest All Rights Reserved