Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract and system- comes without warning. Although some items can react and lead to a flare-up, the cause of the inflammation isn’t fully understood.
The inflammation affects the outside of the digestive tract, but the inside too, which causes problems for the patient. The digestive system is closely linked to other body parts, like the immune system. When the digestive system is not working correctly, it can cause further problems. The colon is regularly affected by Chron’s disease.
Crohn’s Disease – Causes
The exact cause of this chronic and painful condition is still unknown, and the research for this topic is still being conducted. However, risks and physical traits can increase your chances of developing Crohn’s disease as you age.
The number one identifiable risk group is age. Studies have shown that most Crohn’s disease sufferers are individuals, young and under 30. The cases arise each year, and the age drops.
Some people believe that Crohn’s disease is inheritable. In other words, if one parent has Chron’s disease, there is a 1/5th chance the child will also have it. No gene has been discovered that controls this condition, though.
When there is a weak immune system, the digestive system is also vulnerable. This is because the immune and digestive systems are linked and affect each other. Viruses and infections can cause ‘flare-ups’ that are hard to manage. Those with a weak immune system have a higher likelihood of dealing with inflammation in their bodies.
Conditions Caused by Crohn’s Disease
If Crohn’s disease is left untreated, this can cause ulcers in your digestive lining. The ulcers burn your digestive lining and leave scars. They can also cause pain when you eat or drink. Anything that touches the ulcer causes discomfort that burns.
Since Crohn’s disease causes large bowel movements, it can also develop into a bowel obstruction due to scarring, which requires surgery to reverse.
It is concerning when someone loses weight frequently when they have Crohn’s disease. Many people with this condition stay away from food out of fear of having another reaction. Unfortunately, with extreme weight loss also comes malnutrition and dehydration.
What are the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
It is common for people with Crohn’s disease to experience symptoms. They are primarily painful and focused on your stomach and digestive system. The most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are:
- Overall stomach pain
- Cramping in the upper and lower abdomen
- Scratchy throat
- Weight loss
Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease
There are not many ways to diagnose Chron’s disease. In addition, since it is a relatively new disease that researchers are studying, we are unsure what the condition looks like and why it occurs.
However, your diagnosis is likely to start with a conversation and a general physical exam. Through discussing with your doctor, you can talk about the severity of the symptoms, family history, and any concerns.
If the doctor shares your concerns and wants to rule out underlying conditions, they may order a colonoscopy. This procedure uses a small thin rod attached to a camera. The camera takes pictures of the colon and digestive system, looking for abnormalities. For example, if there is a recent flare-up of chronic pain, the system will look irritated and inflamed.
Since many conditions also share the same symptoms as Crohn’s disease, your doctor will likely ask for additional blood work to rule out any other possibilities. But, again, this is to keep you safe.
Treatment Options for Crohn’s Disease
Still, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease. If you have the condition, the most you can do is treat the symptoms. Thankfully, Crohn’s disease occurs in bursts of flare-ups. These flare-ups can last days, though, and are uncomfortable. Not everyone with this inflammation disease feels pain every day.
Instead, treating the symptoms is easy to do if you are managing the pain at home. You can also make possible lifestyle changes to avoid flares that cause discomfort and pain.
There are also painkiller options at your local pharmacy. For example, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications for Crohn’s disease can reduce inflammation and swelling, but if they don’t work, your doctor can prescribe you prescription painkillers.
If Crohn’s disease is being attacked and bothered because of an illness like a virus or infection, you can take antibiotics to relieve yourself from the sickness. This will not cure you of Crohn’s disease but decrease the severity of the flare-up.
Managing the condition at home
The best thing about Crohn’s disease is that you can manage the condition at home without additional help. Although this is true, you should be careful to make too many lifestyle changes quickly.
Frequent exercise, though, moves your bowels, decreasing the cramping feelings. Exercise also releases dopamine hormones that act as painkillers. Sometimes, it is worth a shot to change your entire diet for relief. Try eating natural healthy food options and hydrate yourself! Water is soothing and can decrease inflammation over time.
However, the most essential part of managing this condition at home is avoiding flare-ups. You can do this by avoiding the foods that cause you the most discomfort. If you do not know, start writing down your meals and your body’s reactions to them. It helps to eat small light meals and snacks throughout the day for some people.
Living with Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is an IBD condition that affects the bowels system, colon, and immune system. The inflammation is uncomfortable and causes symptoms that are not pleasant. These symptoms include unpleasant bowel movements like diarrhea.
Thankfully, rarely is Chron’s disease a seriously fatal condition. Instead, you can treat the symptoms at home. Sadly, there is no permanent treatment or medication that can completely get rid of Crohn’s disease.
Your energy should be focused on treating the symptoms and reducing the chances of a flare-up. The only way to treat the condition is to document the reactions your body gives to the food you feed it.
- Is Crohn’s Disease Curable? Unfortunately, no. Crohn’s disease will never completely go away! However, treatment options will significantly decrease all signs and give relief!
- Is Crohn’s disease genetics? Unfortunately, Crohn’s disease is genetic and clusters in families!
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. Always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!