Crohn’s disease is referred to as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation of lining of the digestive tract. It is characterized by the symptoms like severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue and malnutrition. It may affect different areas of the digestive tract in different people. In most cases, it may affect lower end of the small intestine and beginning of the large intestine. It may also involve any of the parts of the digestive system from mouth to end of the rectum. Crohn’s disease can be painful and debilitating. In some cases, it may cause life-threatening complications. There is no cure for this disorder; however, various therapies can be given to relieve signs and symptoms.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
Every person may experience different symptoms depending upon which part of the digestive tract is involved. In some cases, the symptoms may be mild; while some may experience severe symptoms. The most common signs and symptoms are cramps and pain in abdomen in the belly area, loss of appetite, fatigue, fever and weight loss. Some may experience watery diarrhea, which may be bloody. Some may experience the symptoms like constipation, rectal bleeding and bloody stools, swelling or sores in the eyes, joint pain and swelling, swollen gums, mouth ulcers and appearance of red, tender bumps under the skin, which may cause skin ulcers.
Causes of Crohn’s Disease
Although exact causes of Crohn’s disease are not clear, the disease is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. The factors that may play a role in this disease are malfunctioning immune system, heredity, family history, environmental factors and smoking. People between the ages 15-35 are more prone to develop Crohn’s disease.
Treatment for Crohn’s Disease
The medicines are prescribed to control the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. The treatment aims at reducing the inflammation that may trigger signs and symptoms. The doctor may prescribe aminosalicylates, corticosteroids, immunosuppressant drugs and antibiotics to treat abscess or fistula. In some cases of Crohn’s disease, surgery may be required to remove damaged part of the intestine. Various surgical options include ileostomy, removal of part of small or large intestine or removal of large intestine to the rectum.
Home Remedies for Crohn’s Disease
Since conventional treatment options cannot be taken for prolonged time, home remedies can be the best option to avoid the side effects. As Crohn’s disease is the disorder related to the digestive system, it is very important to follow adequate diet regime. Proper diet and nutrition is a key to deal with Crohn’s disease. Certain changes in diet and lifestyle can help control the symptoms and extend the duration between flare-ups.
There are no certain foods that may heal or worsen the symptoms. You should have small amounts of food throughout the day. Drinking enough amount of water is also important. Have small amount of water throughout the day. Avoid carbonated drinks. Avoid the foods that contain high fibers such as nuts, seeds, beans and bran, as such foods may cause loose motions. Also avoid fried, greasy or fatty foods. Limit dairy fats, if you are having digestive problems with such products. If needed, you may take nutritional supplements like iron supplements, vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium. A diet loaded with abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables may help lessen the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
People who smoke are at the increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease. Smoking may worsen the symptoms. In people with Crohn’s disease, smoking may cause more flare-ups and they may require more medications and repeated surgeries. Therefore, quitting smoking is advisable to improve the condition of digestive tract and overall health.
Although stress is not directly responsible to cause Crohn’s disease, it may worsen the signs and symptoms of the problem as well as may trigger the flare-ups. When you are under stress, there are certain changes in normal digestion process. As the stomach empties more slowly, acid secretion increases. It may bring out changes in the intestinal tissue. Therefore, try to reduce stress by adopting stress management techniques like exercises, yoga and meditation.
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