What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease or Crohn disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which causes inflammation in your digestive tract. This condition leads to weight loss, malnutrition, severe diarrhea, fatigue, and abdominal pain. Health experts have revealed that inflammation related to Crohn’s disease can occur in different areas of your digestive tract and vary from person to person.
In most cases, this inflammation affects bowel tissues and spreads deep into their layers. This disease is painful and leads to further complications in young and senior people alike. Studies have indicated that there is no specific treatment for Crohn’s disease.
However, you can opt for therapy and medicines to reduce the symptoms. With the right and quick treatment, people can improve their condition in a short time.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease occurs in the small intestine (ileum). In some cases, this disease is limited to the colon (a part of the large intestine). The last part of your small intestine and your colon are the common areas that are affected by the disease.
Moreover, the symptoms of Crohn’s disease are mild to severe. Some of the signs develop gradually whereas some symptoms occur rapidly. You might witness flare-ups of symptoms as well.
Doctors have revealed that in most cases patients witness no symptoms for a short time. You can detect the disease by keeping an eye on the following signs.
- Mouth sores
- Pain or drainage near or around the anus due to inflammation
- Weight loss
- Reduced appetite
- Slow growth in children
- Skin inflammation
- Liver inflammation
Causes of Crohn’s Disease
The causes of the Crohn’s disease are unknown. Many studies have indicated that stress and diet are the leading causes of the disease. However, other factors such as heredity or malfunctioning of your immune system can also contribute to Crohn’s disease.
Health experts have indicated that people who have a history of Crohn’s disease are likely to develop the disease. If you identify the symptoms at an initial level, you can prevent your condition from turning into a chronic disease.
It is common that a virus or bacterium leads to the onset of Crohn’s disease. It occurs when your immune system fights a foreign microorganism but it destroys the cells in your digestive tract instead due to an irregular immune response.
Treatment of Crohn’s Disease
Your doctor prescribes medicines to reduce inflammation after examining the severity of inflammation and your overall health. You can achieve desired results by following the treatment as per your doctor’s instructions.
Surgery is performed depending on the location and severity. Some cases require removing the affected portion of your intestine. Moreover, your doctor might suggest removing the ulceration in your digestive tract if it does not heal by medicines. Studies have indicated that Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition that may reoccur after a couple of years.
Underweight people are prone to Crohn’s disease. The inflammation in their intestines affects food absorption. Therefore, dietary supplements or nutritional counseling are suggested to control the symptoms.
Several medicines are available to manage this debilitating condition. Your doctor may prescribe one or more depending on the level of inflammation.
This anti-inflammatory drug treats mild to moderate symptoms and helps prevent the disease steadily.
These agents are quite drugs that are used in chemotherapy. Biological agents are prescribed to patients with severe symptoms. You can use them by self-infection, intravenously, or orally.
Corticosteroids control inflammation and improve the condition of your immune system. Steroids have adverse effects; so, doctors usually prescribed them for a short time.
This agent is effective for controlling your immune system. That is why doctors prescribe them to suppress your overactive immunity, which is common in Crohn’s disease.
Antibiotics treat infection and reduce the bacterial growth in your gastrointestinal tract.
It is true that stress affects your overall health condition. In Crohn’s disease, stress can increase the severity and frequency of flare-ups. Therefore, opt for stress management therapies and emotional support to treat the disease successfully.
Diagnoses of Crohn’s Disease
Health experts have revealed that it is difficult to diagnose Crohn’s disease as the symptoms are similar to other diseases and conditions like:
- Celiac disease
- Colon cancer
- A parasitic infection
In addition, in most cases, lack of specific blood test delays the diagnoses of the disease as well.
This is one of the reliable ways to make Crohn’s disease diagnosis. A colonoscopy allows internal examination of your intestinal wall and helps your doctor remove tissues for a thorough examination.
History and Physical Exam
Doctors often begin the treatment after learning your medical history and family history of bowel diseases or autoimmune disorders.
CT Scan or MRI
These methods are effective for monitoring the risks of further complications such as abscesses or fistulas.
To examine intestinal obstruction and narrowing, your doctor may suggest an abdominal x-ray. Doctors recommend this x-ray only in a medical emergency.
This is a useful way to diagnose diseases in your abdominal organs such as the pancreas, gallbladder, and liver.
Useful Tips to Follow in Crohn’s Disease
There is no permanent way to eliminate the disease altogether. However, you can follow the treatment and some precautionary tips to improve your debilitating condition.
You can opt for a low-fiber diet to decrease excessive bowel frequency. Doctors have suggested that limiting dairy in Crohn’s disease can improve your condition significantly. You should also avoid gas-producing foods such as broccoli, cabbage, beans, raw fruits, and vegetables. Furthermore, you can replace three large meals with six small ones to speed up the recovery process.
You need to quit smoking to impede the flare-ups. In Crohn’s disease, occasional smoking can trigger the condition and lead to severe symptoms, which affect the treatment and delay the healing process.
Crohn’s disease can be challenging, which puts patients under severe stress. Take note that you cannot get the benefits of treatment in a stressful state. Therefore, you need to learn stress coping skills and relaxation techniques. This way, you will be stress-free and focused on the treatment.
Like other diseases, you should not overlook the signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Keeping an eye on the symptoms cannot only help in diagnoses, but it can prevent severe damage to your health as well. In addition, be consistent with the treatment to control the signs of this debilitating disease.