Crohn's Disease
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Crohn's Disease

Crohn's Disease is a disease of the digestive tract where inflammation occurs. It is a kind of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Crohn’s Disease is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Its effects are seen by inflammation in the digestive track lining leading to severe case of diarrhea & abdominal pain. Even in these areas, the severity of the inflammation or pain can be very severe to moderate. The signs may arise suddenly & go as quickly as they have come. The area of the inflammation is also not at a particular area but may occur at different areas of the body e.g. some may have it in the small intestine while others may have it at the colon. It is estimated at around 500,000 people are affected by Crohn’s Disease in America. As the symptoms of this disease are varied, it is difficult at first to diagnose the Crohn’s Disease. (a) It starts with Diarrhea which occurs frequently in patients. This frequency then leads to pain in the abdominal area. This is due to the fact that colon can’t absorb the excess salt and water in the body due to intestinal inflammation. This may also result in intestinal cramping. (b) There is also the indication of blood in the stools, (c) Frequency of abdominal pain and cramping leads to nausea and vomiting, (d) the small sores caused by the disease on the intestine may cause ulcers, (e) there is also a case for reduction in weight due to loss in appetite. People who have severe chronic Crohn’s Disease may also have other disorders like skin disorders, arthritis, fatigue, liver-bile ducts inflammation and fever.

The causes of Crohn’s Disease may be varied but the exact cause of this is yet not known. One of the causes may be the immune system which fails to response to bacteria. Also this disease can be caused due to hereditary factors. If one has a family history of Crohn’s Disease, the chances of getting affected is more. Cigarette smoking is also a major factor for Crohn’s Disease. If the above symptoms of Crohn’s Disease are observed, it is necessary to take an appointment with a gastroenterologist who specializes in treating digestive disorders. The doctor may then perform a number of tests for confirmation. These tests can evolve blood test, colonoscopy, fecal occult blood test, CT scan, flexible sigmoidoscopy, magnetic resonance imaging, capsule endoscopy, small bowel imaging & Barium enema.

After the confirmation of Crohn’s Disease, starts the procedure for treatment of the disease. The fact is that there is no known cure for Crohn’s Disease, but it can be treated by taking various drugs that reduces the inflammation in the intestine and stops re-occurrence of pains. There are various drugs that are prescribed by the doctors which may include Sulfasalazine, Mesalamine, cortiocosteroids and immune system suppressors, among others. There are also some antibiotics which are to be taken e.g. Metronidazole, ciprofloxacin etc. For not so chronic symptoms of Crohn’s Disease, anti-diarrheals, laxatives, some common pain relievers & iron supplements can be used. Along with these, various therapies & medications of low residue or low-fiber diet can be recommended. Vitamin B-12 shots are also prescribed to prevent anemia and promotion of normal growth.

There are various home remedies too that can be followed to have relief from Crohn’s Disease. The first is to follow a strict diet in which some foods which aggravate the symptoms can be written off. Also the consumption of dairy products can be kept to a minimum. There should be a limit to high-fiber food & consumption of liquids and low-fat foods should be increased. As discussed earlier smoking can cause severe complications and as such smoking should be totally stopped.

The best way for coping with Crohn’s Disease is to educate oneself regarding the disease. Help can be received from Crohn’s Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). Regular checkups from the doctor is a must. Also choose one’s diet carefully as items that trigger the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease can be avoided. Be patient with the disease and medication and try to take off the stress factor from your mind.

 

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