What is Crohn’s disease
Crohn’s disease is a kind of inflammatory bowel disease. Many people around the world have been affected by this and it has become a serious issue.
There are no proven reasons on how it happens. But there are few methods on how to minimize its and treat it, if possible.
Crohn’s disease is found in the small intestine and colon. It mainly affects your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from your mouth to your anus.
The severity of Crohn’s can be mild to deliberate. The symptoms are varied and change over time. Severe conditions can be life threatening and show more complications.
Causes of Crohn’s disease
There are no clear reasons on what causes Crohn’s disease. Few factors are listed which can be influencing it.
- Immune system
- Your genes,
- And your environment
20 percent of people who are having Crohn’s disease are those whose parents were also having the same problem. This has been proved by Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.
The symptoms are seen in severe conditions of Crohn’s disease. These are
- Smoking Habit
- Older Age
- Rectum may be involved
- Long duration of disease.
Crohn’s disease can be seen into intestinal infections from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. With infection, the severity can create more complications.
The treatment of Crohn’s disease could be harmful to the immune system and make your condition worse.
In Crohn’s disease, yeast infection is common and can affect the lungs and intestinal tract. It is better to treat such infections and should be taken antifungal medications to prevent more complications.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease are seen in a very slow manner. Some symptoms are seen when the condition gets worse.
It is rare that symptoms are seen suddenly and dramatically. These symptoms are
- abdominal cramps
- blood in your stool
- a fever
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- feeling as if your bowels aren’t empty after a bowel movement
- feeling a frequent need for bowel movements
In some cases, these symptoms can be for any other disease too. Those can be food poisoning, an upset stomach, or an allergy. It is better to visit a doctor before you doubt this.
If Crohn’s disease persists for a longer time, then complications can be more. Symptoms of severe conditions are given as.
- a perianal fistula, which causes pain and drainage near your anus
- ulcers that may occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus
- inflammation of the joints and skin
- shortness of breath or decreased ability to exercise due to anemia
If it is detected earlier, then you can be diagnosed and see a better cure for this. Early treatment can be very helpful.
A single test is not enough for a doctor to diagnose Crohn’s disease. This is checked after eliminating all the symptoms and deciding whether it is Crohn’s disease or not.
These are the following tests , which are done to diagnose it.
- Blood tests are done to check a few indicators of problems like anemia and inflammation.
- Stool test is done to detect blood in the GI tract.
- Endoscopy can also be done for better analysis of the inside of your upper gastrointestinal tract.
- Large bowel is also examined via colonoscopy.
Imaging like CT scans and MRI provide doctors a clear picture as compared to an X-ray. It provides more eye to specific areas like tissues and organs.
Doctors will have a tissue sample or biopsy taken during endoscopy or colonoscopy. For close examination.
After all these tests, you will be concluded for Crohn’s disease. Now the doctor will see if the disease is going worse or not.
Treatment for Crohn’s disease
There is no fixed cure for Crohn’s disease, but it can be well managed. Some home remedies are given here.
Few antidiarrheal and anti-inflammatory drugs are used for medication of Crohn’s disease. Few medications are done to strengthen the immune system of the body.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are used in treating crohn’s disease i.e. oral 5-aminosalicylates and corticosteroids.
These drugs can be taken if you have few symptoms with infrequent disease flares. Corticosteroids are used when symptoms are shown frequently.
Overactive Immune system that leads to symptoms of crohn’s disease. Drugs that help the immune system can reduce the symptoms like inflammation and help your immune system.
Antibiotics reduce the symptoms of crohn’s disease and other triggers on it. Antibiotics can help in reducing the drainage and heal fistulas. These are connection with tissues which causes Crohn’s disease. These antibiotics can kill bad bacterias present in your gut that can contribute to inflammation and infection.
Severe cases of Crohn’s disease , doctors try a few biologic therapies to treat inflammation and complications which can occur from the disease. These biologic drugs can block specific proteins that trigger inflammation.
Food is not much responsible for Crohn’s disease but can trigger flares. Those must be identified and must be avoided.
Doctors suggest hiring a dietician who keeps on suggesting your good food as per condition. Dieticians check the symptoms and let you identify all of them which can trigger your symptoms.
Also they ask you to keep a food diary. This diary will be seen by a dietician to see what you eat and how it reacts to your body.
Dietician helps you create guidelines that help you in keeping you healthy. Diet change helps you absorb more nutrients and helps you reduce negative effects.
Surgery for Crohn’s Disease
If the symptoms go too severe and there are no ways to improve your condition, then surgery is needed. 75% of people with Crohn’s disease require surgery at some point.
Crohn’s surgery includes removing the damaged portion of your digestive tract and reconnecting the healthy section. Few other procedures like repair damaged tissue, manage scar tissue, or treat deep infections can be done.
Crohn’s disease diet
Diet plan for a person with crohn’s disease is helpful in many ways. This disease can involve different areas of GI tract in different people. Lifestyle and diet can change the symptoms frequency and help in improving your condition.
Follow these steps for improvement in your condition.
Adjust your fiber intake
People need high fiber an high protein diet. The presence of extra food residue from hig fiber i.e. fruits and vegetables can aggravate the GI tract. In this case you have to follow and eat the low residue food.
Limit your fat intake
Crohn’s disease can reduce your body’s ability to absorb fat. The excess fat passed from your small intestine and your colon can cause diarrhea.
Limit your dairy intake
Dairy products can be difficult in digestion of lactose in the body for the people with crohn’s disease. Consuming dairy products can cause upset stomach, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea to some people.
Crohn’s disease can reduce your body’s absorption level and affect your digestive tract. This can lead to dehydration. This happens more in case you are having diarrhea or bleeding.
Consider alternative sources of vitamins and minerals
Crohn’s disease can affect your intestine’s ability to absorb other nutrients in your body and eating high nutrients is not enough. Better talk to your doctor and take a few multivitamins after consultation.
Take suggestions from your doctor to see what suits you better. Identify your dietary limitations and create a balanced diet for you.
Natural treatments for Crohn’s
People are also using few complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) for various conditions and diseases, including Crohn’s disease. Most of them are not approved by Medical organisation and you can’t trust them without experts and experience practitioners.