Recurrent inflammation of the ileum as it nears the large intestine, often with months or years between episodes; cause is not known. Between attacks, inflamed tissue heals and scars over, narrowing lumen of ileum and reducing absorption of nutrients (malabsorption); during flare-ups, symptoms are cramping pains after eating, Diarrhoea, general malaise, and sometimes slight Fever; if condition is very bad, there may be a risk of obstruction, severe bleeding leading to Anaemia, or, if the wall of the ileum perforates, Peritonitis; in rare cases, inflamed tissue may become malignant (see Cancer). In some people, condition is associated with joint, liver, skin, or eye problems.
Orthodox treatment includes painkillers, anti-inflammatory and anti-diarrhoeal drugs, and steroids; an ileostomy, in which affected section of ileum is removed, is a last resort.
For specific homeopathic remedies, see Abdominal Pain and Diarrhoea. Constitutional treatment from an experienced homeopath is advised.
Self-help: Conventional wisdom is to increase intake of milky foods. However, many people with bowel problems are allergic to milk. If you have any suspicions on this score, consult a dietary therapist first. Eliminate a single food daily and exclude those from the diets that cause pain or diarrhoea. Sugar and other refined carbohydrates should be avoided. You may also need to take extra Vitamin A, B, and D, and zinc.