Understanding Crohn’s Disease.
Crohn’s disease is a long-term inflammatory disease in the intestines, the entire digestive is not affected but a part of it, it can be anywhere from your mouth, stomach, spleen till the anus. It causes ulcers in the small and large intestines. It not only affects internal organs, it has other complications such as skin rashes, inflammation of the eye, and tiredness.
Crohn’s disease was initially thought to be an autoimmune disease, however, it is not so, recent studies have found it to be a cause of immunodeficiency. In this case, the body’s immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract to attack microbial antigens causing inflammation and severe pain.
Crohn’s disease commonly occurs in the teens and twenties, people with crohn’s disease show peak symptoms in the fifties to seventies, although the disease can occur at any age. Both genders are equally affected. Smokers are most likely to develop Crohn’s disease than nonsmokers. Also, it tends to be more common in relatives of people with Crohn’s disease than immediate family.
Signs and symptoms
General symptoms include weight loss, minor fevers and fatigue. The generic symptoms are:
- Diarrhoea – stool may contain blood or pus.
- Pain in the abdomen – Cramps in the right lower part of the abdomen or around the belly button;
- Bloating of belly – Usually after eating, seen in cases of bowel obstruction
- Constipation – common in cases of bowel obstruction
- Pain or bleeding with bowel movement
- Infection of the urinary tract or vagina
People with crohn’s disease show symptoms based on the interaction of factors like environmental, immunological, bacterial factors and genetic predisposition. In Crohn’s disease the immune system attacks foods, bacteria, and other substances that are actually harmless or beneficial. In this process, the accumulation of the white blood cells in the lining of the intestines produces chronic inflammation, which leads to ulcers, or sores, and injury to the intestines.
Crohn’s Treatment and Management
Stress reduction techniques to ease out the pain like massages, acupuncture, bodywork approach and therapies. Controlling your diet to avoid foods that trigger your symptoms or bother you during a flare. Intake of healthy fats like fish oil is also important as it is rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Taking probiotics and supplements also helps in reducing the inflammation. Yoga and meditation are also known to provide relief by reducing stress. Treatment options are maintaining remission i.e temporarily solving the disease, maintaining abeyance of relapse and controlling the symptoms.