Medical Condition: Crohn’s Disease
June 30, 2021
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract and can further lead to abdominal pain, fatigue, severe diarrhea, malnutrition, and weight loss. The inflammation caused by Crohn’s Disease can include diverse areas of the digestive tract in different individuals and often spreads to the bowel’s deeper layers.
Crohn’s disease can be both debilitating and painful and may also lead to life-threatening complications. However, there is no appropriate cure for the disease, but the treatment or therapies reduce symptoms and signs. With the proper treatment, people with the disease are also able to function well.
Any part of the large or small intestine is involved in this disease, and it may affect multiple segments or be continuous. In several people, the condition is confined to the colon that is a part of the large intestine. It can affect any of the gastrointestinal tract ranging from mouth to anus.
The symptoms and signs of the disease can range from mild to severe and usually develop gradually. But sometimes, the symptoms come on suddenly devoid of any warnings, and conversely, you may have periods where you have no symptoms.
What are the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?
When Crohn’s Disease is active, the symptoms and signs of it may include
- Abdominal Pain
- Mouth sores
- Blood in your stool
- Weight loss
- Reduced appetite
- Pain or drainage near or around the anus
Patients with severe Crohn’s Disease may experience:
- Inflammation of liver
- Inflammation of eyes, joints, and skin
- Iron Deficiency
- Kidney stones
- Delayed sexual growth
When to see the medical doctor?
You need to visit your doctor immediately if you have persistent changes in bowel habits or you are experiencing any of the symptoms below:
- Blood in your stool
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained fever lasting more than two days
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unexplained weight loss
- Ongoing bouts of diarrhea not responding to the counter medicines
What are the causes of Crohn’s Disease?
The exact causes of the disease remain unknown. Earlier, stress and diet were the two causes suspected, but later, it was figured that both the factors may aggravate the condition but do not cause it. However, several factors like malfunctioning immune system and heredity are likely to play a crucial role in its development.
Crohn’s disease is more common in people who have a family history of the disease. So, genes may play a crucial role in making people susceptible to the disease. However, it is also seen that most people with the disease do not even have a family history of Crohn’s Disease.
- Immune System
The bacterium or virus may trigger the disease. However, the scientist is yet to identify such a trigger. When the immune system tries to fight the invading microorganism, an abnormal immune response causes the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract also.
What are the risk factors included?
The risk factors of Crohn’s Disease may include:
- Family History
You are maybe at a higher risk if you have your first family, like parents, siblings, or children with the disease.
The disease can occur at any age. But it is more likely to develop when you are young.
Although the disease can affect any ethnic group, whites have a higher risk of the illness.
- Cigarette Smoking
Smoking is one of the essential controllable factors for developing the disease. Smoking leads to a severe form of disease that may put people at a greater risk for having surgery.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, including diclofenac, ibuprofen, and many more, can lead to inflammation of the bowel, making the disease worse. Still, there are no signs that these medications even cause the disease.
Crohn’s Disease Diagnosis
There exists no single test that can be enough for the doctors to diagnose Crohn’s Disease. However, the tests will begin by eliminating the other possible causes of the symptoms. Still, the doctor usually uses several tests to make the diagnosis of the disease.
- Several tests include:
- Blood tests can help doctors to look for specific indicators of potential issues like inflammation.
- An endoscopy to get a better image of the upper gastrointestinal tract
- A stool test to detect blood in the gastrointestinal tract
- A colonoscopy to examine the large bowel
- Some imaging tests like MRI or CT scan that give more details than X-ray and allow the doctor to see specific areas of tissues and organs.
Crohn’s Disease Complications
Crohn’s disease can cause two types of complications.
- One is local that affects just the intestine. The local complications may include abscess, fissure, bile salt diarrhea, fistula, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, strictures, malabsorption, and malnutrition.
- The other is systemic, which affects the whole body. The systemic complications may include arthritis, skin issues, bonelessness, lack of vitamin D, eye problems, kidney issues, liver issues, and physical development issues.
Treatment for Crohn’s Disease
An appropriate cure for the disease is not available, but the disease can be managed by treating the symptoms and lessening the severity and frequency. There are several types of medications that are commonly used to treat a medical condition. The commonly used drugs include:
- Anti-inflammatory Drugs
Doctors usually recommend anti-inflammatory drugs to treat Crohn’s Disease. The often recommended anti-inflammatory drugs include Oral-5-aminosalicylates and Corticosteroids. Anti-inflammatory is the frequently used first drug recommended by medical doctors to patients with Crohn’s Disease.
An overactive immune system generates inflammation leading to Crohn’s disease symptoms. Immunomodulators affect the immune system and may diminish the inflammatory response and confine the immune system’s reaction.
Some doctors believe that antibiotics reduce the disease’s symptoms, as they are well known for lowering drainage and healing fistulas that are the abnormal connections among the tissues Crohn’s Disease can cause.
- Biologic Therapies
If Crohn’s Disease is severe, the doctor may recommend biological therapies to treat the complications and inflammation.
Surgeries are the extreme step that can help with the disease and if the other treatments and lifestyle changes do not improve the symptoms.
After diagnosing the health condition, dietary changes are also suggested. The nutritional changes can help the patient deal with the health condition and improve the patient’s overall health. After all, diet plays a crucial role in enhancing the health of a patient. The commonly recommended dietary suggestions may include:
- Adjust fiber intake
- Confine fat intake
- Confine dairy intake
- Drink enough water
- Consider alternative sources of minerals and vitamins
The research is still ongoing to find effective treatments for the disease. Apart from the potent medications, the patients usually incline towards natural remedies. Yes, natural remedies can also help treat a health condition. If you are also looking for the answer to the natural remedy, then stay connected with us as in our next blog, we will reveal the name of an effective natural treatment. The best part is that even the doctors recommend the natural remedy. So, no more adjustments with the potent medications and their side effects. Treat the health condition the natural way.
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