There are many conditions which can cause the various organs and aspects of the body to suffer from inflammation. Crohn’s disease affects the bowels and is classified as an IBD (inflammatory bowel disease). Crohn’s disease can affect different parts of the digestive tract depending on the person that’s afflicted. This can affect severity and symptoms.
Living with Crohn’s disease can be difficult. The symptoms are painful and can interfere with day to day life. What's worse is that they can go into remission for a while, then reappear with no warning! That’s one way to ruin a good day. This article will focus on educating about the basics of Crohn’s disease. Topics will include the causes, risk factors, symptoms and treatment of Crohn’s disease.
Causes of Crohn’s Disease
Currently exact causes have escaped medical science. That being said, there’s plenty of factors which do seem to play a role in development and increase the risk of getting crohn’s disease. Currently, it’s believed that heredity may play a role. People who have a family history of Crohn’s disease are more likely to get it as well. A person’s immune system may play a role in getting Crohn’s disease as well. It’s thought that an incorrect response can cause the immune system to attack cells within a person’s digestive tract.
Age is another risk factor. Unlike most diseases, it’s more common when people are younger. Most cases occur under the age of 30. Certain ethnicities have shown a higher incidence of Crohn’s. Smoking is a risk factor. Many anti-inflammatory medications can cause additional severity of Crohn’s disease.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
Like many conditions, Crohn’s disease don’t always show consistency in how severe the symptoms will present themselves. Sometimes it can be mild, while other times are more severe. There’s also periods of remission with few symptoms. Usually after that, symptoms will come on slowly, but sometimes they appear rapidly without warning. They feature a complete lack of consistently! Some of the common symptoms that people with Crohn’s disease will feel include:
- Abdominal Pain - This can be quite severe and is usually accompanied by cramping feelings.
- Diarrhea - This uncomfortable symptom is quite common.
- Fever - This generic symptom seems to be part of every disease and condition.
- Fatigue - Also a generic symptom, Crohn’s can cause mild to severe fatigue.
- Blood in Stool - Disturbing to experience, this symptom is common with many colon issues.
- Sores - These sores occur in the mouth.
- Weight Loss/Appetite Suppression - Crohn’s can cause a lack of interest in food and corresponding excess weight loss that goes with not eating.
- Anal Pain/Drainage - Many people may form a fistula. This is a tunnel into the skin. It can cause the anus to drain and severe pain to be felt.
Treatment of Crohn’s Disease
While there’s no cure for Crohn’s disease at this point, there are plenty of options available to help those who suffer from it. Medical goals are to reduce the number of triggers, as well as the severity of symptoms when an outbreak of symptoms does occur. The best case scenario is that symptoms can sometimes go into long-term remission.
Medications that reduce inflammation are often the first step. There are different variations of inflammation reducing medications. This is important since not every type works for everyone. Other medications can be taken with the goal of calming the immune system. The immune system can create more of the substances that cause the inflammation, so keeping it from doing too much of that can help.
There are other medications that can be taken to help with other symptoms. Pain relievers are common. Antidiarrheals work to try to relieve that symptom. Shots and supplements for calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-12 and Iron can be beneficial in specific situations.
The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.