Crohn’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment Strategies For Better Understanding And Management

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Crohn’s disease is one among the group of diseases known as inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBD). The condition involves inflammation, swelling of digestive tracts, frequent diarrhea, and abdominal pain.  Further, the inflammation due to Crohn’s disease is spreadable and can reach various parts of the digestive tract at different levels. Apart from this, the disease also has a high chance of spreading to deeper levels of the bowel. Thus, let us explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment for this disease through this article.

Causes Of Crohn’s Disease:

Certain Medications Like Oral Contraceptives

Studies and research suggest that there can be a potential link between the use of oral contraceptives and the onset of Crohn’s disease. However, the exact mechanism is not fully understood; hormonal changes induced by this medication can cause changes in the immune system and gut function.

Causes For Crohn’s Disease

Inheriting The Disease From Genes

You might be wondering how genes can cause Crohn’s disease, but it can pass on in the family with genes. Individuals who have a family history of the condition have higher chances of developing it. There are specific genetic markers linked with this disease have been identified to show the hereditary component of the disease.

Dysfunctionality of the Immune System

Another reason for Crohn’s disease can be the dysfunction of the immune system. If the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the gastrointestinal tract, it can lead to chronic inflammation. Also, the dysfunctionality can be triggered by various factors, including environmental influences.

Signs Of Crohn’s Disease:

Ulcers In The Gut And Mouth Can Be Painful

One of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease is the development of ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract. These ulcers can spread from the anus to the mouth, which can be painful, causing discomfort and impaired nutrient absorption.

Rectal Bleeding And Anal Fissures

Another symptom of Crohn’s disease is rectal bleeding and anal fissure. This symptom is commonly found in patients with This disease. Moreover, the inflammation in the rectal area can lead to bleeding during bowel movements, along with the formation of painful fissures.

Unexpected Change In Mass

Unexpected changes in mass can be a significant sign of Crohn’s disease. It causes chronic inflammation, which leads to malabsorption of nutrients that can be a contributing reason to changes in body mass. Besides, a change in weight mass can also cause fatigue and weakness, which can also be a sign of this disease.

Colon Cancer Can Be Serious

People suffering from Crohn’s disease have a risk of developing colon cancer. This can be more particular if the condition involves the colon. Thus, it is another important symptom that you should not ignore. Besides, it is recommended that action be taken as soon as possible to prevent the condition from getting worse.

Skin Health Issues Might Appear

Some patients with Crohn’s disease may also suffer from skin disorders such as hidradenitis suppurativa. This disorder involves abscesses and tunnels in the armpits, groin, and, in the case of females, under the breasts and perennials or genital areas. Apart from this, the patient might also suffer from deep nodules on the skin. Hence, skin disorders can also be a sign of This disease.

Treatments That Can Help Manage Crohn’s Disease?

Medications Can Be Simple Way

For the treatment of any disease, medications are the first choice that should be given priority. Thus, taking medications can be a way to treat Crohn’s disease. The drugs that are often recommended by doctors in such cases are anti-inflammatory drugs such as olsalazine, mesalamine, and sulfasalazine. Apart from this, some more powerful anti-inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids, can be budesonide, prednisone, or methylprednisolone.

Give Rest To Your Bowel

When suffering from Crohn’s disease, which is from a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel syndrome, thus, another way to treat the disease is by giving rest to the bowel. One can be sure of this by shifting to a liquid and eternal nutritional diet. Moreover, giving the bowel rest can reduce inflammation and help the gut heal.

Pay Attention To What You Eat

Diet is another important aspect that has a major role in managing Crohn’s disease symptoms. It is recommended to avoid foods that trigger inflammation, which can worsen the conditions. Besides,  for an individual suffering from the disease, it would be better to include a residue diet or adopt a specific nutritional plan tailored to individual needs.

Surgery Is The Last Option

Surgery is an option when the condition gets out of hand. This can involve removing the damaged section of the intestine, which is called resection. In this, the surgeon removes the affected part of the bowel and joins the two healthy parts together.

Another surgery option is ileostomy; this procedure is required if the patient’s rectum is affected by the disease. The surgery connects the intestine to the skin of the torso. This leaves a hole in the skin where a pouch is attached to collect the waste.

Various Other Types Of Crohn’s Disease?

Though we explored Crohn’s disease symptoms, causes, and treatment, the disease can affect different sections of the digestive system. Thus, on this basis, the disease is categorized into four types, which are as follows:

  • Ileitis: In this type, the disease affects the small intestine (ileum), causing swelling and inflammation.
  • Jejunoileitis: In these conditions, there are patchy areas of inflammation that occur in the upper half of the small intestine (Jejunum).
  • Ileocolitis: This is the most common type of Crohn’s disease that occurs in the small intestine and a part of the large intestine.
  • Gastroduodenal: This type of Crohn’s disease affects the stomach and the top of the small intestine. It causes inflammation and irritation.

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Conclusion

To understand Crohn’s disease, it is necessary to go through its causes, treatment, and symptoms. Thus, through this article, we came across all the such points of the disease. Keeping all the symptoms in mind, make sure to prevent the disease. However, if you are in doubt and find most of the symptoms with you, it is better to seek consultation from the doctor.

References

  1. Law NM, Lim CC, Chong R, Ng HS. Crohn’s disease in the Singapore Chinese population.J. Clin Gastroenterol 1998;26:27–29. Article
  2. Desai HG, Guptae PA. Increasing incidence of Crohn’s disease in India; Is it related to improved sanitation?Indian J Gastroenterol 2005;24:23–24. PubMed 

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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