Crohn's Disease is an irritable bowel disease, popularly known as the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD is an umbrella term used for Crohn's and other conditions such as ulcerative colitis. Crohn's gives rise to inflammation of the digestive tract, which can further lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, and severe malnutrition.
Inflammation can involve various parts of the digestive tract. The degree of effect largely differs from person to person. In more severe cases, the inflammation can spread into deeper layers of the bowel.
Crohn's Disease is both extremely painful and enfeebling. It may also give birth to fatal complications.
Unfortunately, medical experts are yet to find an exact cure for this type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. However, therapies are considered an effective way of reducing the signs and symptoms of this illness. Similarly, these therapies also diminish the severity of inflammation and healing the same in the long run. With correct treatment, people dealing with Crohn's Disease can regain their functionality.
Most commonly, Crohn's occurs in the small intestine and colon regions. It can cause damage to any part of your gastrointestinal tract (GI), starting from the mouth to the anus. Additionally, it can also involve some parts of the GI tract and skip other areas.
Here's a brief guide for Crohn's Disease to understand this ailment better.
The gravity of Crohn's depends on the seriousness of the symptoms. Symptoms vary and can change over time. In graver cases, the implications of an untreated Crohn's Disease are life-threatening.
The symptoms of Crohn's Disease develop gradually; certain symptoms may get worse with time. The chances of dramatic or sudden development of symptoms are few and far between. The most common symptoms of Crohn's one should look out for are-
These symptoms are often mistaken for some other health condition such as food poisoning or an allergy, to name a few. It is better to consult a doctor if any or all of these symptoms continue.
With time the Disease may get worse. Some of the more troublesome symptoms to watch out for are:
Early detection and diagnosis help one to avoid fatal complications. The earlier the problem is identified, the sooner it is cured.
It is not possible to put the finger on one precise set of causes for Crohn’s Disease. However, in the previous decades, diet and stress were considered a very probable cause. Today, modern-day doctors opine that diet and stress may aggravate the condition however do not cause Crohn's Disease.
Some of the most plausible causes of Crohn's Disease are -
Egregious Immunity - A person with poor immunity is more prone to getting infected by a virus or a bacterium. Experts are of the view that a certain type of virus or bacteria may trigger Crohn's. Scientists are yet to identify a trigger of that nature. When the immune system fights the outside microorganism, an abnormal immune response may cause the immune system to attack its cells present inside the digestive tract.
Heredity- Your genes may have a crucial role to play when it comes to Crohn's. It is more common in people who have had a family history with this disease. However, it is not always necessary for the person infected with Crohn's Disease to have a history of such a condition.
The risk factors for Crohn's Disease are -
Family history - You're at high risk of having an immediate family member, such as a parent, sibling, or child, dealing with the Disease. One out of every five people with Crohn's Disease has or had a family member with the same health concern.
Cigarette smoking - Cigarette smoking is an essential risk factor for developing Crohn's Disease. Fortunately, it is controllable. Smoking also leads to greater complications and a higher risk of having surgery. Doctors suggest that one should quit at the earliest to stay healthy.
Anti-inflammatory medications include ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin IB, others, naproxen sodium (Aleve), diclofenac sodium, etc. They do not necessarily cause Crohn's Disease. However, they can potentially lead to inflammation of the bowel that makes Crohn's Disease worse.
A single test result is not sufficient for your doctor to initiate treatment for Crohn's Disease. They will start with the elimination of other possible causes of the symptoms that manifest in your body.
Your doctor may use several different types of tests to make a diagnosis. These tests are -
As mentioned above, a specifically designed cure for Crohn's Disease is not yet discovered. With correct combinations of medicines, diets, and exercises, one can manage it well and live a healthy life. There are various treatment options available that can lessen the pain and frequency of the symptoms and ultimately heal them.
Plenty of medicines are considered effective in treating Crohn's Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are the most common of all types of drugs. Advanced medications include biologics that make use of the body's immune system to fight diseases. Although Crohn's Disease medications are readily available, it is always better to consult a physician before taking any medication as the anti-inflammatory medicines may cause side effects to your body.
Surgeries are often the last resort to any health concern as they involve a greater risk of complications. However, in cases where less invasive treatments and lifestyle changes do not make situations better, surgery becomes necessary. According to some studies, about 75 percent of people dealing with Crohn's Disease will have to undergo surgery at some point in their lives.
In some surgeries, the damaged portions of the digestive tract are removed and reconnected with the healthy parts. In comparison, other procedures focus on repairing the damaged tissues and treat the deeper infection.
Food is connected to the triggered flares of the Disease. A person diagnosed with Crohn's Disease will require a registered dietitian to understand the impact of their food choices on the symptoms.
Generally, patients are asked to maintain a record or diary of the foods they eat throughout the day and how it makes them feel. This monitoring helps the RD in creating a diet chart for the patient. The changes are made in your eating habits with a vision to provide your body with as many nutrients as possible while limiting the negatively impacting foods simultaneously.
Every human body is different, so one single diet plan may or may not work for all. Your RD will design a customized diet plan that suits your body and its needs.
It's quintessential to understand your body well and then focus on what works best for you. For this reason, doctors around the globe ask their patients to monitor and keep track of their symptoms and then add or remove certain types of foods from their diet plan accordingly.
Some people require a high fiber diet, while for others, a little residue from high fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables can cause trouble. Therefore, one needs to make diligent adjustments in fiber intake from time to time. The doctor must first consult any changes made in the diet.
Crohn's Disease may cause hindrances in breaking down and absorbing fat. This excess fat passes from the small intestine to the colon, which further causes diarrhea. Some studies suggest that a diet rich in plant-based fats can make positive changes in the gut microbiome. Medical experts are intensively researching it. In the meantime, it is advised that patients take the help of their doctors in matters of fat intake.
Many people complain of becoming lactose intolerant after contracting Crohn's Disease. In this condition, the body loses its ability to digest some dairy products. Consumption of such dairy products leads to abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and an upset stomach.
Crohn's Disease can also lead to urinary incontinence. You may feel the urge to urinate often. Some people get tired of using the toilet too many times a day and end up dehydrating themselves. However, drinking enough water helps in curing Crohn's Disease at a quicker pace.
Crohn's Disease adversely affects the ability of your intestines to absorb nutrients from your food sufficiently. Simply eating a balanced and nutrients packed meal might not do enough. In that case, your doctor may suggest some multivitamins and other important supplements that can help you regain your strength.
Many people prefer complementary and alternative medicines or CAM to manage symptoms of varied health complications, including Crohn’s.
Although Crohn’s Disease Natural Treatment is not certified by doctors per se, they are widely popular amongst people worldwide. Prefer not to use them without your doctor's prior approval of the same.
Some CAM treatments for Crohn’s disease consist -
Although surgery might seem as an extreme step for any condition, it is generally recommended and a common treatment option for Crohn’s disease. Surgery cannot cure Crohn’s, but it can make the life of an individual easier and more comfortable.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC) are placed under the same umbrella term, IBD. They have several similar characteristics; hence they are often mistaken for one another.
They have the following in common:
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