What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease is one of the long-term inflammatory bowel disease where inflammation can occur at all layers of the wall of the digestive system ,from mouth to anus. This condition occurs more often in the final part of the small intestine (ileum) or in the large intestine. Crohn’s Disease can be painful, make the body feel weak and sometimes can lead to complications that threaten the life of sufferers.
Patients with Crohn’s disease have lighter period where they can have mild symptoms or not any symptoms. Lighter period of disease will be followed by a period of relapse and sometimes will be difficult for the sufferer.
Crohn’s Disease Symptoms
Signs and symptoms in patients with crohn’s disease vary from mild to very severe and can be about any part of your digestive system.
Common symptoms that can appear due to crohn’s disease are ;
- Patients feel very fatigue
- Abdominal pain and cramps.
- Stool mixed with mucus and blood.
- Decreased appetite.
- Extreme weight loss.
Inflammation that occurs in the digestive system of the children can inhibit the absorption of nutrients from the food they consume. Therefore, cases of crohn’s disease which occur in children will result in their growth more slowly than healthy children.
Things That Can Increase The Risk of The Emergence of Crohn’s Disease
Actual cause of crohn’s disease is still unknown. Although there is a condition that can be associated with Crohn’s disease is heredity.
Heredity: Crohn’s disease is a hereditary disease in the family which there are some evidences about this. What’s more, Crohn’s disease tends to occur only in some ethnic peoples that proves this is a hereditary condition.
Immune system of the body: In patients with Crohn’s disease, immune system of the body is supposed to protect the intestine from harmful bacteria which enter the digestive system. As a result, the immune system will attack both the harmful bacteria and the “good bacteria” (bacteria that help in the digestive process). This condition is thought to cause the onset of Crohn’s disease.
Age Factor: Although Crohn’s disease can appear anytime, this condition is more often experienced at younger ages. Most Crohn’s diseases are diagnosed under the age of 30 years.
Smoking: The highest risk which causes Crohn’s disease is smoking.In addition to smoking factor , family health history and ethnic background is important. People who smoke have two-fold risk compared to people who do not smoke. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease in people who smoke are usually more severe and likely to require operation.
Infection: Infections that occur in childhood can lead to the emergence of an abnormal reaction of the immune system. This condition is eventually suspected of causing the appearance of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s Disease Diagnosis
Crohn’s disease diagnosis usually are performed in several stages. Because, symptoms that appear in Crohn’s disease can also be caused by other diseases.These are the steps that are performed to find out disease :
In initial examination,your doctor will ask you about the pattern of symptoms that you have. In addition, the doctor will check whether there is a particular cause against such symptoms.Your doctor will ask foods that you consume,medications that you use, family health history and your health history.
Your doctor will check and examine your pulse rate, body temperature, blood pressure, abdomen and will also check your general health as detailed.
Blood tests are need to be done to determine the level of inflammation that occurs in your body. In addition, You will know if there is an infection with this procedure. If it is proven from a blood test You have anemia, then it could be that you are experiencing malnutrition or bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
Stool samples will be checked whether there is content of blood and mucus. From this procedure, doctor can determine whether your symptoms are caused by roundworm parasites or other conditions.
This is a procedure performed to examine the inside of the large intestine. This procedure is performed by inserting a flexible hose which accompanied with camera and it lights into the large intestine through the rectum (the final part of the gastrointestinal tract). Doctors can see the severity and extent of inflammation that occurs in the large intestine. This procedure can also be used for biopsy (sampling of tissue) in parts anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract. Biopsy is useful to see changes in the cells of the walls of the gastrointestinal tract that are characteristic of Crohn’s Disease.
This is a procedure which you swallow the capsule that will go into the small intestine. The capsule will transmit images to a recording device. After a few days, the capsule will be out of the body through the feces. This capsule is disposable.This is a new procedure to diagnose conditions.
Crohn’s Disease Treatment
The treatment is carried out on Crohn’s disease just to relieve the symptoms and alleviate symptoms. Until now, there has been no treatment or medication that can cure Crohn’s disease completely. Treatment of Crohn’s disease are also aimed to improve children’s growth and development.
There are treatments which are done by doctors to reduce symptoms are :
Corticosteroid medications (e.g. prednisolone and hydrocortisone) are used to overcome the inflammation that occurs. To avoid the side effects of this medication,you are advised to reduce the dosage slowly before when symptoms increase.
These drugs serve to reduce inflammatory.This usually will be combined with corticosteroids to provide a better effect. This drug is not suitable for everyone and you should do blood tests regularly to know the side effects of these drugs while taking them. Talk with your doctor before you consume this medication, especially if You are planning a pregnancy or are pregnant.
This procedure involves removal of the part that experienced inflammatory diseases of the intestine and connecting the healthy parts.
The period of alleviation can be done by consuming certain drugs or not. If You choose to continue to consume drugs, a corticosteroid is not recommended to use in the period of alleviation. Some of the suspected food canimprove the symptoms experienced by patients with Crohn’s disease. Although there is no clear evidence on the relationship of food with Crohn’s disease. You can make notes about the food you eat and its impact on your body.
If there are foods that are suspected to aggravate your symptoms, you can avoid these foods. But it is not advised to eliminate completely the type of foods with certain nutrients such as grain or sugar.
For people who smoke, quitting smoking will relieve symptoms and help to keep remain in a period of alleviation.
Complications Due To Crohn’s Disease
Here are some of the complications that may occur due to Crohn’s disease :
A Fistula is a channel that is formed from ulcers on the wall of the gastrointestinal tract which penetrate other parts of the gastrointestinal tract or even penetrate the bladder, vagina, anus, or skin. As a result can cause constant pain, fever, feces that contain blood or pus, even the leakage of feces in the underwear.
Conditions of the quality of the bone density decrease as a result of the intestine that does not absorb the nutrients of food and because of the side effects of steroid medicines.
Iron deficiency Anemia
Bleeding that occurs in the digestive tract due to Crohn’s disease can lead to the occurrence of iron deficiency anemia. Most common symptoms of these complications are shortness of breath, fatigue, and pale.
B12 or folate deficiency
Disruption of the absorption of vitamin B12 or folic acid which occurs due to Crohn’s disease. The most common symptoms due to this condition are fatigue and lack of energy. The failure of absorption of vitamins and minerals by the body will also lead to the occurrence of malnutrition.
Crohn’s disease which attacks the large intestine will increase your risk of having colon cancer. Ask your doctor whether you need a screening test of colon cancer.