- What is Crohn’s Disease?
It is an inflammatory bowel disease that may cause inflammation in the digestive tract that initiates abdominal pain with severe diarrhea, weight loss and fatigue and malnutrition. Crohn’s disease is a kind of IBD and inflammation in Crohn’s disease can affect different parts of digestive tract. Areas getting effected from person to person. This inflammation may be penetrated deeper into the bowel layers. This disease can be painful and can cause life threating complications.
Till date, there is no known cure found for Crohn’s disease but suggested therapies by the experts can reduce the sign and symptoms and can bring remission to ease off the symptoms. When treatment is given, people start functioning well but there’s no way of knowing whether it would be permanent. About 780,000 Americans are currently suffering from this condition. Researchers are unable to identify the cause of Crohn’s disease.
Many major advancements are done in the treatment of Crohn’s disease but no specific cure is available. It mostly happens in the colon and small intestine. But it can affect any part of the GIT starting from the mouth to the anus. It may skip some parts of the GIT while effecting some parts of the GIT. Range for the severity may vary from mild to agonizing. Symptoms may vary from time to time in the patients. In severe scenarios, it can lead to life threating complications.
Causes of Crohn’s disease
Exact cause of this disease is not known but there are many factors that are involved in influencing of Crohn’s disease that are:
- Immune system is involved
According to the CROHN’S AND COLITIS FOUNDATION, about 20% of people can develop Crohn’s disease if they have any parent or sibling with this disease. A study conducted in 2012 states that there are many things that can affect the severity of the symptoms and that involves:
- If you smoke
- Your age
- Whether the rectum is involved.
- Time of span you had this disease.
If a person is suffering from Crohn’s disease, they are more likely to have infections from viruses and bacteria. Infections from parasites and fungi can also be developed. Severity of symptoms get affected and cause severe complications.
Treatment of Crohn’s disease enhances the immune system and treats the infections. The most common infection is yeast infection that damages the lungs and intestine. These types of infection are treated with antifungal medicines to secure from further complications.
Sign and Symptoms of Crohn’s disease. (1)
Sign and symptoms develop gradually in case of Crohn’s disease. Some symptoms may worsen with the passage of time. It’s very rare that symptoms develop immediately and dramatically. Some early symptoms Crohn’s disease are:
- Abdominal cramps
- Blood in the stool
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- After a bowel movement you feel as if your bowels is not emptied
- Feeling a frequent need for movement if bowel
Symptoms of this disease are commonly mistaken with other conditions like food poisoning, disturbance in stomach or allergy. If the symptoms remain persistent then you should immediately visit your doctor. As the disease progress the symptoms may become more severe. Some troublesome symptoms are:
- Perianal fistula causes pain in drainage near the anus
- Ulcer can happen anywhere from mouth to anus
- Joints and skin inflammation
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased ability to exercise
When Crohn’s disease is diagnosed at the earlier stage, it helps you to avoid complications and treatment can be started at the early stage.
Diagnosis of Crohn’s disease.
Single test is not enough for the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. Elimination process is made in diagnosing the Crohn’s disease. Doctor might eliminate the possible cause for the symptoms. Doctor uses several tests to diagnose
- Blood Test: anemia and inflammation can be detected in Blood tests.
- Stool Test: it will help the doctor to identify the blood in gastrointestinal tract.
- Colonoscopy: to check the large bowel, doctor will use colonoscopy to identify.
- Imaging Test: tests like CT scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used by the doctors to check the details and they may also perform X-Ray. These tests allow the doctor to check the specific regions of organs and tissues.
- Biopsy: A tissue sample is taken from the infected area and then it is examined under microscope and this is called biopsy. Endoscopy or colonoscopy is done to look deeper in the intestinal tissue tract.
When your doctor completes all the necessary tests and identifies all the symptoms, he will conclude whether you have Crohn’s disease or not.
Your doctor may repeat your tests several times to confirm your diagnosis, so best treatment available can be given to you.
Treatment for Crohn’s disease: (2)
Complete cure for Crohn’s disease is not available currently, but symptoms of this disease can be well managed. Many treatment options are available to reduce the severity of symptoms as well as frequency of symptoms.
Anti-diarrheal and anti-inflammatory medications are available and most commonly used. Some advanced medications include biologics. Which is used when immune system is working properly. Medications can be given in combination or alone it depend upon the symptoms of the person, also on the history of disease, and severity of condition. It also depends on how a person respond to the treatment.
Oral 5-aminosalicylates and corticosteroids are the two main types of anti-inflammatory. They are first lime drugs given for treating Crohn’s disease. You take those when you have mild flares. They are given for short period of time.
When immune system is overactive it can cause inflammation that initiates Crohn’s disease. These drugs will reduce the inflammation by reducing the immune activity.
Some doctors recommend antibiotic because they believe it will reduce the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Antibiotics are used to heal fistulas and drainage. And these are the abnormal links between tissues. Antibiotics are used to kill foreign particles that are present in the gut and cause inflammation with the combination of severe infection.
Biologic therapies are also recommended by the doctors to cure the inflammation that happens in this disease. They work by blocking the proteins that initiates inflammation