Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation of the entire lining of the digestive system starting from the mouth to the anus. Our gastrointestinal tract is one of the most important parts of your body. So, it is important to know Crohn’s disease causes, the symptoms, and treatment.
Our digestive system plays a role in digesting foods, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating wastes. Moreover, 80 percent of the immune system located in it. This disease generally appears in the small intestine, especially in the ileum and large intestine (colon). So when inflammation strikes, it will disrupt the body processes and cause debilitating pain at the same time.
This condition can be painful, makes the body feel weak, and sometimes cause complications that threaten the lives of sufferers. Complications that occur generally are narrowing of the intestinal space and the formation of a channel. People with this disease have symptoms starting from mild to severe.
Crohn’s Disease Causes
The real Crohn’s disease causes are still unknown. Health experts are still unsure of what exactly causes of it. Although this disease causes still unknown, there are some risk factors. The following are some risk factors that lead to this disease.
- Hereditary. Studies confirm that genetics may indeed play a role in the development of this illness. There is evidence that Crohn’s disease is a hereditary disease in families about 20 percent of people affected by it have a close relative who has or had this illness
- Abnormal Immune Disorders. It causes immune cells that are supposed to protect the intestine from harmful bacteria attack the good bacteria which help in the digestive process. This situation causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract
- Having Previous Bacterial Infection. Some genetically susceptible individuals who had a previous infection during their childhood may actually be at risk of this illness, as the infection may trigger an abnormal immune response
- Smoking. People who smoke have twice the risk of developing this disease and usually experience more severe symptoms that usually end up requiring surgery
- Using Certain Medication. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can lead to inflammation that may trigger or worsen Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases. The medicines include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin
Crohn’s Disease Symptoms
Symptoms that appear vary ranging from mild to very severe. They can affect any part of the body’s digestive system. Since Crohn’s disease is chronic, the symptoms may seem mild or even disappear (known as remission). The following are the common symptoms:
- Abdominal pain and cramping which usually worsens after meals
- Fatigue and low energy
- Recurring diarrhea
- Unintended weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Blood and mucus in stool
Some symptoms that may appear in patients but not always appear are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever above 38degree
- Mouth sores similar to canker sores
- Inflammation and irritation of the eyes
- Swollen and painful joints (uveitis)
- Tender red bumps under the skin
The following are some of the severe conditions and symptoms that should be treated immediately by a doctor.
- Persistent diarrhea for seven days or more
- Bloody stool
- Extreme weight loss
- Persistent and frequent abdominal pain
Crohn’s Disease Treatment
Unfortunately, there is currently no known remedy for this disease. The treatment for Crohn is only intended to relieve the symptoms that experienced and to maintain a period of remission. The following are some treatments you can do.
Be warned that conventional methods like drugs and surgery may only do further damage to your health.
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- Anti-inflammatory drugs. It is often used as the first treatment. Some types of anti-inflammatory drugs include 5-Aminosalicylate orally and Corticosteroids
- Immunosuppressant. It works by suppressing the workings of the immune system so that inflammatory reactions in the digestive tract can be reduced. Some immunosuppressant drug combinations for patients with Crohn’s disease are azathioprine and mercaptopurine; infliximab, adalimumab, dan certolizumab pegol; methotrexate; cyclosporine and tacrolimus; and natalizumab and vedolizumab
- Antibiotics. It can reduce fluid secretion in the fistula and treat abscesses. The purpose of antibiotics is to prevent infection in patients. Two types of antibiotics commonly used are metronidazole and ciprofloxacin
Surgery may also be done. Crohn’s disease surgery usually entails removing a damaged portion of the digestive tract and allowing healthy sections to be reconnected. The effects of surgery are also temporary so the disease may recur. Beside by medication, there are safer natural techniques to alleviate the pain such as:
- Optimizing the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your gut by consuming traditionally fermented foods regularly or taking a high-quality probiotic supplement
- Paying special attention to your diet. Consuming the right types of healthy foods may also replace lost nutrients and promote healing
- Increasing your omega-3 fatty acid intake to help to reduce Crohn’s disease symptoms
- Doing acupuncture. This ancient practice is believed to stimulate your brain to release endorphins, which are chemicals that block pain, help strengthen your immune system, and help fight infection.
- Taking herbal treatments may help ease the symptoms of this disease
Crohn’s disease causes are still unknown and include chronic inflammatory bowel disease. The medication that you can take is only to relieve the symptoms by conventional medication or natural methods.