Crohn’s Disease and Its Impact

Crohn’s Disease

Overview

Crohn’s disease also called regional enteritis or ileitis, is a lasting form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In this condition, the digestive tract is inflamed and irritated, particularly small and large intestines. Around half a million Americans are affected by Crohn’s disease, including men, women, and children. Crohns disease presents diarrhea and cramps along with other symptoms that will be discussed later in the blog. Treatment of Crohns disease depends on the severity, however, many Clinical Research Organizations in the US are trying to find a potential treatment option for it.

This blog focuses on the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, its causes, types, and treatment of Crohn’s disease.

Etiology of Crohn’s Disease

To date, there is no defined cause of Crohn’s disease. However, certain factors that may contribute to causing the disease are:

  • Autoimmune diseases: The bacteria in the gut can disrupt the immune system and cause it to attack the healthy cells of the body.
  • Genes: Genetics play a huge role in causing Crohns disease. If a family member has Crohn’s disease, you may be at a higher risk of having it, too.
  • Smoking: It can equally increase the risk of Crohns disease.

What are the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?

Crohns disease is periodic in nature, the symptoms can be severe at times (flare-ups) followed by periods of no symptoms (remission). The time between remission and flare-ups varies.

Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease are:

  • Abdominal pain,
  • Feeling of fullness,
  • Fever,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Weight loss,
  • Skin tags on buttocks, and
  • Anal fissures and fistulas.

Types of Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease can occur in different parts of the gut. Types of Crohns disease are as follows:

  • Ileocolitis:

refers to inflammation in the small intestine and a section of the large intestine or colon. it is the most common type.

  • Ileitis:

affects the small intestine and presents with swelling and inflammation.

  • Gastroduodenal:

affects the stomach, mainly the small intestine, causing inflammation and irritation.

  • Jejunoileitis:

causes inflammation in the areas of the upper half of the small intestine (called the jejunum).

How Is Crohn’s Disease Diagnosed?

Mostly, the healthcare provider prescribes the following tests:

  • Blood test:

A blood test looks for an abundance of white blood cells, which could signify infection or inflammation. Anemia, or decreased red blood cell count, is also examined by the test. Anemia affects almost one in three patients with Crohn’s disease.

  • Stool examination:

In this examination, a sample of your stool is examined to look for bacteria or parasites. It can eliminate diseases that lead to persistent diarrhea.

  • Colonoscopy:

During a colonoscopy, your doctor looks into your colon using an endoscope, a narrow tube with a light and camera attached. To check for indications, your doctor could remove a tissue sample (biopsy) from the colon to look for inflammation.

  • CT Scan:

A CT scan produces images of the gastrointestinal tract. It conveys to your doctor the level of intestinal inflammation.

  • Upper GI Endoscopy:

Your doctor inserts an endoscope, a lengthy, thin tube, into your throat through your mouth. Your doctor can view the inside because of the attached camera. Additionally, your doctor could obtain tissue samples throughout the upper endoscopy.

  • Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Exam:

Using X-ray images, your doctor can observe how a barium liquid you’ve swallowed travels through your digestive system.

How Can We Manage Crohn’s Disease?

  • Avoid NSAIDs:

NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, might hinder the GI tract’s capacity to defend and heal itself and can even cause an attack to break out. Instead of taking NSAIDs when you are in pain, try acetaminophen.

  • Give Up Smoking:

Smoking augments the likelihood of getting Crohn’s disease and can cause a flare-up of the condition. Reducing one’s need for medications, having fewer flares, and having a lower risk of surgery are all substantially correlated with quitting smoking.

  • Practice Lessening Stress:

Stress has a substantial impact on IBD symptoms even if it does not directly cause Crohns disease. The regular application of stress management and stress reduction techniques is helpful to many persons with Crohn’s disease. These comprise things like yoga, meditation, biofeedback, deep breathing, and CBT.

  • Make Your Diet Simpler:

Crohn’s disease cannot be averted or cured by a particular diet, but you can learn which foods tend to make your symptoms aggravate. Making these links can be enabled by keeping a food journal.

Moreover, there are a few general guidelines that make most people feel better when they are going through a flare-up:

  • Cut out dairy
  • Avoid fried and oily foods
  • Limit foods rich in fiber, such as whole grains and raw vegetables
  • Avoid meals that tend to give you gas, such as beans and cruciferous

Treatment Options For Crohn’s Disease

Depending on what’s causing your symptoms and how severe they are for you, there are different treatments for Crohn’s disease. The aim of treatment for Crohns disease in children is to establish remission (the interval between symptom flare-ups), maintain remission, and gradually control any consequences.

For Crohn’s disease, your doctor might advise one or more of the following therapies:

  • Antibiotics:

They can either treat or prevent infections. Abscesses may result from severe infections. A fistula is an aperture or tunnel that connects two organs that ordinarily aren’t connected.

  • Antidiarrheal medication:

Strong diarrhea can be stopped with prescription antidiarrheal drugs.

  • Biologics:

These drugs contain monoclonal antibodies that block the immune system.

  • Bowel rest:

Your doctor may advise abstaining from meals and liquids for a few days or more in order to give your intestines a chance to heal. You might be given intravenous (parenteral) nourishment to gain the nutrition you require. During this period, only consume the prescribed liquids or use a feeding tube. Prednisone, cortisone, and other corticosteroids reduce the inflammation that an autoimmune illness causes.

  • Immunomodulators:

By reducing an overactive immune system, these medications reduce inflammation. Azathioprine and cyclosporine are a couple of them.

  • Surgery:

    Crohn’s disease cannot be cured by surgery, however, it can address its complications. Intestinal obstructions, bleeding, or perforations may require surgery to treat.

    Life Expectancy and Crohn’s Diseases

    According to research, the life expectancy of Crohn’s disease is around 78.4 years for women and 75.5 years for men. People who have Crohns disease have a shorter lifespan than those who do not have it.

    Takeaway

    Crohn’s disease is a debilitating condition, that causes severe mental and physical stress on the affected individual. It is crucial to keep a track of your symptoms and the frequency of flare-ups that can help your doctor plan the right treatment for you. Lifestyle changes play a major role in subsiding the long-term fatal effects of Crohns disease.

    To learn more about the management and treatment of Crohns disease, you may contact Clinical Research Organizations conducting Crohn’s disease Clinical Trials.

    ALSO READ: Natural Methods For Reducing Blood Pressure And Cleaning Arteries

    Related posts

    Leave a Comment