Diseases-Treatments

Crohn’s Disease – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

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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.

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.

  • Fatigue
  • Mouth sores
  • Pain or drainage near or around the anus due to inflammation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • 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.

Heredity

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.

Immune System

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

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.

Dietary Supplements

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.

Medication

Several medicines are available to manage this debilitating condition. Your doctor may prescribe one or more depending on the level of inflammation.

Aminosalicylates

This anti-inflammatory drug treats mild to moderate symptoms and helps prevent the disease steadily.

Biological Agents

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

Corticosteroids control inflammation and improve the condition of your immune system. Steroids have adverse effects; so, doctors usually prescribed them for a short time.

Immunosuppressive Agent

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

Antibiotics treat infection and reduce the bacterial growth in your gastrointestinal tract.

Stress Management

It is true that stress affects your overall health condition. In Crohn’s disease, stresscan 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
  • Diverticulitis
  • A parasitic infection

In addition, in most cases, lack of specific blood test delays the diagnoses of the disease as well.

Colonoscopy

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.

Abdominal X-ray

To examine intestinal obstruction and narrowing, your doctor may suggest an abdominal x-ray. Doctors recommend this x-ray only in a medical emergency.

Ultrasound

This is a useful way to diagnose diseases in your abdominal organs such as the pancreas, gallbladder, and liver.

****  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.

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