How Crohn's disease, affects the gastrointestinal tract(GI).
This is my first post on stemsocial, after going through the list of amazing created content in this community, I have seen lots of detailed and well-written content here and I am eager to see my own content make the list of published articles here as well. My first post today, I will be writing on Crohn's Disease.
Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory disease that causes the digestive tract to become swollen and get irritated, Crohn's disease is a lifetime condition that cannot be cured. However, there are typical treatments and recovery strategies that would help with the management of the symptoms as well as give room for an active life while having the sickness.
Another name for Crohn's disease, is regional enteritis or regional ileitis, the condition irritates and inflames the digestive tract, particularly the small and large intestines, it could cause stomach cramps and diarrhea, experiencing the flare-ups of periodic diseases is one of the serious symptoms associated with this condition. This condition can actually affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract (GI), from the mouth to the anus, typically, the symptoms of the condition, typically affects the intestinal system, but they can also affect the kidneys, liver, joint, bones, and even the eyes.
There are typically five types of Crohn's disease, they are;
Ileocolitis, which is the most common existing type of disease, by the way, affects the end portion of the small intestine and the large intestine or the colon.
Ileitis, only affecting the ileum or the small intestinal region.
Jejunoileitis, causes patches of inflammation in the jejunum, the upper part of the small intestine.
Crohn's colotis, affects only the colon.
Gastroduodenal Crohn's disease, affects the duodenum and the stomach, which is usually the beginning of the small intestine.
Symptoms of Crohn's Disease.
The symptoms experienced by Crohn's disease are dependent on the part of the gut affected by the condition, the symptoms include;
Pain: The level of pain felt depends greatly on individuality, and where the inflammation is affecting the gut, the most common side of pain felt is at the lower right side of the abdomen.
Mouth ulcers are a common symptom of Crohn's disease.
Ulcers affecting the gut: These are raw areas that may bleed, when this happens, the person with the condition may notice the presence of blood in the stools.
Appetite loss is a common symptom as well for individuals who have Crohn's disease.
Appetite loss is usually accompanied by weight loss.
Diarrhea is another symptom of Crohn's disease, which would range from mild to become severe, there could also be blood, mucus, or pus present there when there is an urge with bowel movement but nothing comes out.
The feeling of intense fatigue is another highly common symptom of those with Crohn's disease.
Loss of blood resulting in anemia.
Anal fissures and rectal bleeding, the point when the anus skin gets cracked and results in bleeding and pain.
During an attack of Crohn's disease, the affected person may develop;
skin rash and inflammation, uveitis, arthritis, delayed growth/sexual development in children, arthritis, and uveitis.
Women with Crohn's disease, usually develop the disease before the age of 35, and specifically, female symptoms include;
Painful sexual experience, affecting regions close to the anus or the vagina.
Discomfort during sex, Crohn's disease has the capacity to affect an infected person's libido and body image, it can also cause pain and other forms of existing discomfort.
Irregular menstruation due to the effect it has on hormonal functional ability.
Women may also experience iron deficiency, and the absorption of nutrients could result in intestinal bleeding.
Crohn's disease has not been discovered to affect fertility, there is however published research on how hard it is for women to conceive when the disease is actively present than after the completion of a successful surgery. Women with the disease, are more likely to;
Require a cesarean section for delivery.
Have preterm delivery.
Give birth to an infant who has a low birth weight.
The treatment of crohn's disease.
The major cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, but experts suggest that the disease may be a result of an abnormal reaction to the immune system. Risk factors that contribute to the inflammation of the disease include;
- The strength of the immune system.
- Genetic factors.
- Environmental factors.
Having established earlier, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, the treatments can, however, reduce the inflammation in the intestines, possibly relieve the symptoms felt well as prevent arising complications. Available treatments are medicines, bowel rest, and even surgery, receiving consultation from a professional, will help in the determination of the most viable treatment plan.
Treating Crohn’s disease with medicines would help decrease inflammation, and some of the medication functions by reducing the activity of the immune system, in a case where Crohn’s disease causes an infection, antibiotics would be prescribed.
Bowel rest is another form of treatment, in this case, the person with the condition does not eat or drink anything, and in most cases, only certain liquids are permitted, this allows the intestine to rest appropriately. This bowel rest can either be done in the hospital or at home.
Surgery is a treatment option for complications and it is usually the last resolve when other treatment plans fail, the surgery would take out the damaged part of the digestive tract and treat it for; fistulas, intestinal obstructions, life-threatening bleeding, intestinal obstructions and treat symptoms that occur when medicines fail to improve the health condition.
In order to aid recovery, a professional may recommend basic diet changes like;
- Consuming smaller food portions.
- Consuming more liquids.
- Completely avoid carbonated drinks.
- Avoid popcorn, nuts, vegetable skin as well as other high-fiber foods.
Smoking would reduce flare-ups and reduce the amount of medicine functionality, it also reduces the chances of surviving surgery, professionals advise that certain lifestyle changes are adhered to like the stop every smoking habit, going through the procedure of managing stress efficiently, limiting the intake of fat, and drink sufficient water.
You need to see a professional when;
- You begin to notice blood in your poo.
- Start to have regular stomach cramps or aches.
- Loose weight for no just reason.
- Your child is not growing as fast as you would like.
- Diarrhoea that lasts beyond 7 days.
Living with Crohn’s disease could be really difficult, with seasonal flare-ups, and going for regular check-ups can distort life and regular activities, but having a controlled and well-maintained treatment option, would help patients live a normal life even with the condition.