Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Cholesterol, its products, and its role in Crohn's

12-30-2010, 07:45 PM   #1
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Cholesterol, its products, and its role in Crohn's

For the last 12 years I was told I had IBS or Crohn's, with doctors totally unwilling to investigate further, and a family who was unsupportive as well. A few months ago I just couldnt handle it anymore and I pulled a fast one on the records department at my local clinic, and found that I had no bile, and my x-rays indicated no blockages of the bile duct.
From that, I assumed that if I had no bile, either I do not make it or I am not getting what I need to make it. A quick google showed me that Cholesterol is used to make Bile, but more importantly, it is also used to create Cortisol.
I later found out that I did have low cholesterol, and so did my brother, aunt, uncle, and grandmother, as well as all supposed crohn's suffers I know.

Why is this so important? Because Cortisol not only is the main fighter of inflammation, it also suppresses the immune system to its natural level. If you have low Cholesterol, you cant make Cortisol. Without it, you suffer nearly exactly the same symptoms of Crohn's, and doctors tend to completely ignore low cholesterol in medical results.

In my brief search of this forum, I have found that nearly half of the posters have some sort of signs of Choleserol issues, if not outright low cholesterol, diseases which rob the body of cholesterol like adrenal and thyroid disorders.
Some users have even had their gallbladders removed in an attempt to correct bile related problems, which are directly related to cholesterl metabolism as well.

I know you may be thinking "So maybe this is just you", but in fact, all three Crohn's sufferers I have talked to have shown low Cholesterol and have received relief simply by eating eggs. One of them had her gallbladder removed due to a problem with bile, and still received relief from increasing cholesterol intake to normal levels.

The symptoms of low cholesterol are: yellow/white stool due to lack of bile to process fats, diarrhea, Depression and anxiety, Mental impairment (temporary, possibly autistic like), Vitamin D deficiency, and Nightmares.

The depression and anxiety are a result of lack of hormones which the pituitary produces and which are very important to the Hypothalamus, which itself is responsible for a wide range of human emotion and is believed to be the main culprit in autism. Low Cholsterol may result in very autistic personality, and I myself scored off the chart on autism tests before I started taking in more Cholesterol. My anxiety and depression went away within days as well.

I've found as least two medical trials which connect crohn's with cholesterol levels (Since I cannot posts links, you will have to google them yourself):

"The active phase of Crohn's disease is characterized by altered metabolism of lipids, mainly of cholesterol. Our results show abnormalities in plasma concentrations of non-cholesterol sterols and provide evidence that the process of cholesterol synthesis and absorption is altered in active Crohn's disease."

"The results show that malabsorption of bile acids leads to parallel stimulation of cholesterol synthesis, cholesterol degradation, and low-density lipoprotein-receptor expression in human liver. The resulting effect in the present patients was a significant reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol."

There also seems to be a connection between caffeine and cholesterol metabolism, which could be caused by caffeine belonging to a family of chemicals which can absorb the family of chemical types which Cholesterol belongs to. I and the other sufferer I have talked to have noticed a direct correlation between how much cholesterol we eat, and how much caffeine we can take in.

I really believe that many of the people here may be suffering from a Cholesterol/Cortisol problem, and I would hate for anybody to have to suffer any longer because they are not aware of the function of cholesterol.
Please, make sure that you are not deficient in Cholesterol before you assume you have a genetic problem. The cause of Crohn's is not known, only the symptoms such as inflammation of the stomach and an uncontrolled immune system. Cholesterol and its products are almost totally responsible for these functions in the body, and so it is imperative that we make sure that we get a healthy amount of cholesterol in our diets.
If you have any doubt about your Cholesterol, its very simple to find out. Eat a few eggs and avoid caffeine for a few days, you will find out very quickly. I noticed a MASSIVE change in the first day.



12 year sufferer, and finally healthy
12-31-2010, 08:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Hmm definitely not my issue. I eat eggs, and I use real dairy butter and I always have. This was not it for me at all. I have also cut out caffeine for spots here and there for the purposes of conceiving.

I am glad you have found what works for you.
12-31-2010, 08:17 PM   #3
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Nytefyre's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Georgia
yeah, cholesterol has never been an issue for me either.
12-31-2010, 10:15 PM   #4
Creepy Lurker
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Low cholesterol is more likely a symptom rather than a cause. It's hard to digest and absorb fats when you suffer from 'rapid transit'.

The study that you quote actually says that Crohn's causes the altered lipid levels, rather than altered lipid levels being the cause of Crohn's.

Also, this would be pretty counter-productive:

This study [] also shows the difference between gall bladder issues caused by Crohn's, and gall bladder issues caused by cholesterol.

Finally - I've been here for a while and cholesterol is a pretty rare topic. A search shows only a few hundred mentions. Half of the forum having cholesterol issues is a bit of a stretch.

Last edited by Creepy Lurker; 12-31-2010 at 10:23 PM.
01-02-2011, 11:05 AM   #5
ameslouise's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pottstown, Pennsylvania
This is a really interesting topic. Thanks for bringing it up and sharing the links.

01-03-2011, 03:02 AM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: San Francisco, California
The whole connection of cholesterol levels and cortisol levels does have some interesting implications, but I would say is probably not well studied. Having learned a bit about steroid synthesis recently, it seems likely that as posted above it is more a side effect of malabsorption rather than a cause of the disease. However, your advice is sound that eating things like eggs and whole fat dairy products provides a big boost in anti-inflammatory fatty acids. These are the building blocks of things like cholesterol and a number of other chemicals that ultimately act as either pro- or anti-inflammatory messages. It turns out there are a lot of good fats that can really help our body produce the anti-inflammatory signals we want if you are able to manage eating them. You can get these fats from: whole fat, not even 2%/reduced fat, yogurt; nuts (if you can eat them) or nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew...just get all natural no preservative stuff) if you cannot; and eggs.

So essentially the message here should be, don't shy away from fats because they can be very beneficial to us. In addition to helping with inflammation they also help to keep us feeling full longer, thus having you eat less and snacking less on foods that might be less nutritious and more inflammatory. This same concept of good fatty acids is why people take fish oils: EPA = eicosapentaenoic (sp?) fatty acid and DHA is just another similar fatty acid that preferentially cause metabolism of fats to shift toward anti-inflammatory products as well.
01-27-2017, 07:21 PM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: San Diego, California
This is an interesting thread. I had no idea what my cholesterol was, so my new GP decided it would be a good idea to run the lipid material grandfather died at 49 of heart disease. Turns out my cholesterol is quite low, but in normal range except HDL under by 2 points. Total is 113, HDL 38, LDL 62, non-HDL 75, Triglycerides 64. My mom is an MD and she said they were great numbers, even though the HDL was a bit low, she said it was because my total cholesterol was so low. I eat whatever I want, just staying away from my trigger foods (fruit skins, uncooked veggies, beans, etc). But I'm thinking maybe Crohn's patients in general have low/normal cholesterol due to fat malabsorption from the disease. Anyone else have a similar experience?

Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Cholesterol, its products, and its role in Crohn's
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