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Crohn's disease: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Complications And Prevention

Jun 13, 2023

Crohn's disease: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Complications And Prevention

Crohn's disease is one of the illnesses that fall under the umbrella of IBD. As a result, your digestive tract's tissues enlarge (inflammation), which can lead to malnutrition, severe diarrhea, tiredness, and stomach pain.

Many areas of the digestive system, most frequently the small intestine, may become inflamed in people with Crohn's disease. A lot of the time, this inflammation reaches the bowel's innermost layers.

Crohn's disease symptoms are often unpleasant and incapacitating, but they can occasionally be life-threatening.

The signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease can be greatly reduced with medication, and it has even been shown to provide long-term remission and anti-inflammatory healing, despite the fact that there is no known cure for the condition. Many Crohn's disease patients are able to lead fulfilling lives with the help of medicine.


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Causes of Crohn's disease

It is still unclear where Crohn's disease originated. Thought to be causative factors for Crohn's disease in the past, the medical community now understands that stress and diet actually worsen the condition. Its growth is probably influenced by a variety of factors.

immune system- Although this has not yet been established by experts, Crohn's disease might be caused by a virus or bacterium. Your immune system may attack digestive tract cells as part of an atypical immune response when it is battling an invading pathogen or environmental stimuli.

Heredity. Genes may play a role in an individual's higher risk of acquiring Crohn's disease because the ailment runs in families more frequently than it does on its own.

Types of Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease can have multiple effects on the digestive tract. There are several types of Crohn's disease, such as:

  • Ileocolitis: Inflammation of the colon and a section of the small intestine. Ileocolitis is the most typical manifestation of Crohn's disease.
  • Ileitis: Inflammation and swelling of the ileum, the small intestine.
  • Gastroduodenal: Inflammation of the top portion of the small intestine.
  • The jejunum, the top part of the small intestine, develops patchy areas of inflammation.

Symptoms of Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease can damage either your small or big intestine in any location. It could run constantly or be divided into many pieces. 

Crohn's disease symptoms can range in severity from mild to severe. Although they typically start off slowly, they can also start up suddenly and without any prior notice. Additionally, you could occasionally go without displaying any symptoms or signs (remission).

When the illness is active, typical symptoms include:

  • Vomiting Fever Fatigue
  • Cramps and diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool, mouth sores, decreased appetite, and weight loss
  • A fistula is a tunnel under the skin that causes pain, swelling, and bleeding.
  • Additional symptoms and signs.

severe Crohn's disease patients may also experience the following symptoms:

  • Inflammation of the eyes, joints, and skin
  • Inflammation of the bile ducts or liver
  • Renal stones
  • Anemia (iron deficiency)
  • Delayed sexual development or growth in kids

Diagnosis of Crohn's disease

  • Testing of the stool and blood
  • Endoscopy, which involves inserting a long, thin, flexible instrument called an endoscope down through the esophagus and into the stomach to examine the upper part of the gut, biopsy sigmoidoscopy, which uses a short, flexible, tube-like instrument called a sigmoidoscope to examine the lower bowel, colonoscopy, and barium enema are other procedures.

Treatment of Crohn's disease

  • Antibiotics have the ability to treat or stop infections. Abscesses, or pus-filled pockets, can form as a result of serious infections. An organ connection between two normally unconnected organs known as a fistula.
  • Antidiarrheal medication: Prescription medications like loperamide (Imodium A-D®) help stop severe diarrhea.
  • Biologics: These medications work by employing monoclonal antibodies to inhibit the immune system.
  • Bowel rest: In order to allow your intestines a chance to heal, your doctor may advise refraining from meals and liquids for a few days or more. To get the nutrients you need, you could be given intravenous (parenteral) feeding. Use a feeding tube or limit your diet to the recommended liquids during this time.
  • The inflammation brought on by an autoimmune disorder is reduced with corticosteroids like prednisone and cortisone.
  • Immunomodulators: These drugs lessen inflammation by calming an overactive immune system. Some of these include cyclosporine and azathioprine.
  • Surgery: While complications from Crohn's disease cannot be treated, they can be controlled. Surgery could be necessary to cure intestinal blockages, bleeding, or perforations (holes).

Complications of Crohn's disease

The following are serious effects of Crohn's disease:

  • Abscesses: In the stomach or gastrointestinal tract, infected, pus-filled pockets form.
  • Anal fissures are small tears in the anus that can itch, pain, and sometimes bleed.
  • Obstructions of the intestines include fistulas, a restricted gut, and scar tissue caused by inflammation. Waste and gases build up over time. For a little or significant intestinal obstruction, surgery is required.
  • Crohn's disease of the large intestine increases the risk of developing colon cancer.
  • Fistulas: IBD can cause fistulas, which are abnormal tunnel-like openings in the gut walls. These fistulas can occasionally become infected.
  • Malnutrition can arise from chronic diarrhea because it might make it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients. One problem that individuals with Crohn's frequently encounter is a lack of iron. When your organs aren't getting enough oxygen, too little iron can lead to anemia (low red blood cell count).
  • Ulcers, which are open sores, can appear in the mouth, stomach, or rectum.

Prevention of Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease has no known treatment. Making the healthy lifestyle changes listed below may reduce flare-ups and ease symptoms:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Eat a healthy, low-fat diet.
  • Constantly moving.
  • Stress reduction.

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