The exact cause of the disease remains unknown and the condition occurs when the body’s immune system destroys healthy body tissue, leading to chronic inflammation of gastrointestinal tract (GI) in the small intestine, large intestine, rectum or mouth. Research suggests causes may include hereditary, genes, smoking or environmental factors. It has also been found that diet and stress can aggravate the case.
The symptoms depend upon the part of the body that is infected. The disease can affect any part of the GI tract and some common symptoms are:
A physical examination by the doctor may result in an abdominal tenderness, swollen joints, skin rash or mouth ulcers. The different tests to identify Crohn’s disease are:
Medications to cure diarrhea are generally prescribed in addition to fiber supplements (Metamucilor Citrucel)and pain killers (Acetaminophen). Medications like aspirin, naproxen or ibuprofen must be avoided as they worsen the symptoms. For aggravated cases, the doctor may prescribe medicines like Aminosalicylates, Corticosteroids, Azathioprine (to settle the immune system) or Antibiotics (to treat fistulas). Doctors may also prescribe iron supplements, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 supplements if required.
A minority of patients require surgery to get rid of a damaged part of the intestine. Crohn’s Disease patients that do not show response to medication, maybe surgically treated for problems like Hemorrhage or extreme bleeding, failure to grow in children, fistulas, abscesses infections or intestinal strictures. Other surgeries include Illeostomy, large bowel resection, small bowel resection and total abdominal colectomy.
So far there is no real cure for the disease. The illness is marked with improvement periods followed by break-outs of symptoms. If you decide to change your medications in between for any reason, it is very important for the doctor to know. Patients suffering with Crohn’s Disease are at a higher risk for colon cancers.
Crohn’s Disease cannot be prevented really as the cause is yet unknown. However, certain steps can be taken to trim down the brutality of the disease.
It is very important to follow a well-balanced and healthy diet. Small and regular meals must be consumed with lots of water intake throughout the day. There is no standard diet to follow but certain foods must be avoided to ease symptoms. These include:
Moreover, smoking must be avoided in all cases and regular exercise must be obtained. Stress is another factor that can aggravate the case and must be avoided. Ask your doctor for tips on how to manage stress levels.
Crohn’s Disease can get difficult on the pockets as chances are it may not spare you throughout your life. Costs include routine medical expert fee, cost of medicines from basic antibiotics to steroids to biologics. Those suffering from Crohn’s Disease must get a colonoscopy done every one to three years and regular blood tests. The treatment cost varies from person to person depending upon the severity of the illness.