Created by Dr. med. Andres Bircher |

Chronic inflammation of the intestines is causing people unspeakable suffering. It used to be a rarity. Nowadays, due to changes in people's living and eating habits and the ever-increasing supply of junk food, meat, dairy products, alcohol, strong coffee and industrially manufactured and artificial foods, one in every 250 inhabitants of the “civilised” world falls ill with these dangerous intestinal inflammatory diseases. Ulcerative colitis afflicts the large intestine with deep, bleeding ulcers and painful diarrhoea. Crohn's disease is different. It can manifest in any part of the intestine and creates a peculiar coexistence of islands of healthy intestinal mucosa with deep bleeding ulcers that are extremely painful, bleeding from the intestines, weakness and weight loss. Both diseases come in waves that can be triggered by psychological stress. At the same time, 40 bloody discharges per day accompanied by pain and fever are not uncommon. Even the urge to urinate can be painful. Patients are tormented by weight loss, enormous exhaustion and anaemia with tachycardia. During the flare-ups, the large intestine is often paralysed and dilated (toxic megacolon) as a result of the toxins released by pathogenic intestinal bacteria and decomposing matter from the inflammation sites. About 1/5 of the patients also suffer from symptoms that extend beyond the digestive tract, often from rheumatic inflammation of the spinal column and sacroiliac joint, 11% from arthritis migrating through the joints, 17% from nodular inflammation of the skin (erythema nodosum), inflammation of the eyes, scarring bile duct inflammation and osteoporosis. Colonic lymphopenia develop and increase the risk of cancer.

These two diseases are similar in that they can blend into each other.  The American physician Burrill Bernard Crohn identified the cause as being a pathologically altered intestinal flora, with anaerobic, toxin-producing bacteria taking the upper hand. The medical field considers the cause of both diseases to be unknown and focuses on the suppression of autoimmune phenomena through the use of drugs. Yet these are not the cause, because the immune system produces autoantibodies against all kinds of damage to bodily tissues. Since the immunosuppressive drugs, somewhat misleadingly called “biologics”, are not aimed at the root cause, they promote chronicity and increase the suffering through sometimes dangerous side effects. In terms of genetics, the NF kB transcription factor is a suspect, but no genetic cause has really been proven. Another suspected contributory cause is the increased hygienic standard with its many detergents and emulsifiers that can get into the intestines, as they can damage the barrier function of the mucus layer. However, it is not only the standard of hygiene that has increased. In the “civilised world”, general malnutrition, the industrial processing of food with its myriad of flavourings, preservatives and additives, and the consumption of industrially manufactured ready-made products have all increased tremendously. People who have repeatedly undergone treatment with antibiotics - especially during childhood - or who have been treated with antibiotics over a long period of time are significantly more likely to develop ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease later in life, and young people who consume a lot of fast food with meat are more likely to develop Crohn's disease. Both these scientific findings point to the major importance of damaged intestinal flora. Similarly, the positive effect of the probiotic Mutaflor with its healthy population of live Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 bacteria has been scientifically confirmed and points in the same direction.  Our experience confirms Dr. Crohn's hypothesis, because in both diseases there is severe abnormal bacterial colonisation of the intestine by pathogenic germs, in which putrefactive bacteria (anaerobes) that are cultured by protein-rich food gain the upper hand. Their toxins (endotoxins) attack the intestinal mucosa and destroy it deep down as well as destroying the blood vessels. The barrier function of the intestinal wall is breached, thus causing the immune system to react with extreme resistance against invading substances from food, intestinal contents, bacterial toxins and degenerated, destroyed intestinal mucosa cells and consequently, igniting the destructive inflammation as a vicious cycle. Our decades of experience demonstrate that these two intestinal diseases can be reliably and permanently cured by means of a consistent and carefully prepared dietary therapy that is immunologically tailored to the individual patient and that restores the enteral environment and the complex ecosystem of the intestinal flora. This approach to the prevention and cure of these diseases is described in the Bircher-Benner Manual Vol. 14 for patients with gastrointestinal conditions. A worthwhile journey.


                                                                                              Dr. med. Andres Bircher



An abnormal colonisation of the stomach and intestines is a contributory cause of many “diseases of modern society”, such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, heart attacks, strokes, migraines, reflux disease, flatulence and food allergies. Look after your intestinal flora's complex ecosystem by drastically reducing the intake of animal protein and fat, by consuming a high proportion of fresh vegetal food (raw fruit and vegetables) and by avoiding strong spices and stimulants like sugar, coffee and alcohol. A nutritional change that is well worth it.