What is Crohn’s Disease ?

Many that suffer from the bowel disorder sometimes ask the question, what is crohn’s disease? Crohn’s disease is named after Dr. Burrill Crohn, who was the first person to describe the disease in the year 1932. Researchers today still study the disease and different ways to treat the symptoms that come with the disease. Today there are treatments for those that suffer with the disease, but there is no actual cure for it.

The question can only be answered by doctors and a lot of different research articles and books. You will need to do a lot of research to fully know the answer to what is.  To start this research you can look on the web for different reputable sites that will explain what the disease is and the different symptoms that come along with the disease. Most reputable sites will also give different eating habits to help control the symptoms. If you are diagnosed with it you will need to talk with your doctor about treatments and ways to keep symptoms from affecting your day to day life.

Crohn’s disease is considered inflammatory bowel disease and is not the same as ulcerative colitis, which is another type of inflammatory bowel disease. People that suffer from crohn’s, suffer from symptoms like persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, urgent need to have a bowel movement, severe abdominal  cramps and pain, the feeling that they still need to move their bowels, and constipation. Some people even have a fever, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, and women can stop having their menstrual cycle. If you experience any of these symptoms it is imperative that you seek the help of a professional to diagnose you with the disease or treat you for the symptoms that you are having.

It is a disease that affects about 700,000 Americans. Both men and women are equally as likely to suffer from it, but seems to be more prevalent in young adults between the ages of 15 and 35.

All humans have harmless bacteria in their intestines that are protected from the immune system so that out bowels will remain healthy. People with chron’s disease will suffer from painful bowel discomfort because their immune systems see the good bacteria in their intestines as something to attack and get rid of.

Crohn’s Disease – Causes Symptoms

The disease is believed to be caused by a certain type of bacteria which is known in the medical jargon as mycobacterium. However, numerous studies have failed to establish the exact cause. There are contrary arguments as to whether it is an infection at all, let aside bacterial or viral. It is difficult to ascertain the exact causes of that disease since it is not contagious, doesn’t mark any significant beginning phase or an end phase which would otherwise help one to diagnose and understand the causes. This disease can develop abruptly in an individual and it would only switch between active and dormant phases. The two stages are known as relapse and remission.

It is said to be more common among Americans and Europeans and relatively much less common among Asians and Hispanics. People of all ages, men and women can develop the disease. The number of people affected by inflammatory bowel disease in the US is anywhere between 500,000 and 2 million and is one of the most common inflammatory bowel disease which is completely different from irritable bowel syndrome.

There are many symptoms of this disease among which the common ones are colon inflammation, inflammation in the rectum, stomach, mouth and esophagus. One of the earliest signs of the disease is inflammation of the small intestine. The other common symptoms are pain in the abdomen, weight loss and diarrhea while rarer symptoms are fever, rectal bleeding, poor appetite and night sweats.

There are many types of this disease as well which make it extensive enough to be quickly identified without medical help. Ulcers which are a common problem do not distinctly help in concluding that one is suffering from the disease.

It leads to swelling of the anal sphincter tissue, ulcers within the anal sphincter and peri-rectal abscesses that are accumulation of pus in the rectal and anal areas.

Anyone with the disease should seek immediate medical intervention.

Life Expectancy

Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition and it may trouble an individual for his or her entire life. Managing the symptoms is very important because it is in the best interest of the patient to not let the situation worsen. The inflammations and all other symptoms associated with the disease can get very severe and make it difficult to live a normal life. Thus it is always imperative to opt for immediate medical help and to ensure that the symptoms are kept under check.

A lot of research has been done to gauge  life expectancy over the last five decades. It is not a fatal or a life threatening condition. A person will not die because of this disease. However, it can be extremely painful and troubling to live with it and the symptoms can lead to other health problems. While the inflammations or ulcers are not fatal themselves, the impacts on other vital organs and general health can become life threatening.

Crohns disease life expectancy is about the same as that of a person not affected by the condition. Men can easily live about 78 years and women can go up to about 79 years. This has been established after extensive and meticulous observation of people suffering from the disease.

Although is not fatal, there can be quite a few aftermaths and is caused by one or many factors. While all the factors are yet to be established by the medical fraternity, it has been established that genetics play a role. Certain races have a higher possibility of suffering from Crohn’s disease. Certain diet and lifestyle factors also contribute to the condition such as consuming a lot of meat and milk proteins. Since genetics plays a role in the cause of the disease and the immune system is integral to the worsening or bettering of the condition, the life expectancy would also be dependent on genetic factors. If certain genes are prone to a few more conditions then collectively it can be a concerning case.

Various types of treatments and medications are available and doctors can also make recommendations to change one’s diet and lifestyle to reduce the symptoms and contain the condition. Eating foods rich in fiber such as fruits and vegetables, fish and poultry meat are advisable whereas milk or dairy products, fatty foods, coffee, alcohol and foods like cabbage, carbonated beverages and beans are to be avoided.

Diet

It has been widely believed and propagated that Crohns Disease diet is the best solution to the inflammatory condition and helps in managing the pain and controlling the symptoms. While it is not the sole cure, an assessed diet does help with temporary relief. It eventually allows the intestines more time to heal and be free of inflammations and other infections.

There is no thumb rule that can help in formulating a diet for all and sundry. Two individuals may have different reactions to certain foods. A specific food item may acts as a trigger to several symptoms among people suffering from Crohn’s while the same food may not have any adverse effect on others. The trick is to find out those foods that are acting as trigger points. For this, a person suffering from the condition would have to make observations and note down the foods that aggravate the symptoms and the foods that help in alleviating the pain, even if temporarily.

Once all such observations are made, the desirable foods must be included in diet while the trigger foods should be done away with. Over numerous studies of cases and after observing the pros and cons of most foods, here are some foods that one should not include – alcoholic drinks or beverages including mixed drinks, wine and beer, butter, mayonnaise, margarine, oils, carbonated beverages or drinks with artificial sweeteners and flavors, coffee, tea, chocolate, corn husks, dairy products, fatty foods and any kind of ready to cook or processed foods, fiber rich foods, gas inducing foods which would vary among people but often cover lentils, beans, legumes, cabbage, broccoli and onions, nuts and seeds including their products such as peanut butter, raw fruits, raw vegetables, red meat and pork, spicy foods and whole grains or bran.

Also, some people would be better off with a few large meals  while some would do well with smaller meals but more frequent ones. It would depend on the severity of the symptoms and what the person is doing better with.

The best foods to be included in an effective Crohn’s Disease diet are almond milk, eggs, oatmeal, vegetable soups, salmon, papaya, pureed beans, poultry, avocado, butter lettuce, roasted red peppers and most importantly rice. Carbohydrates are quintessential. Those not getting sufficient nutrients (vitamins and minerals) due to poor digestion and other problems should opt for health supplements as advised by a doctor.

Cure

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease of the intestines. Doctors say that it is caused by an immune deficiency state. The symptoms are quite unpleasant and at first it can be mistaken with a flu or some other stomach infection. In a nutshell this disease causes small ulcers on the intestines’ surface, but they can also appear anywhere on the digestive system – beginning from the mouth, ending at the anus. The symptoms are diarrhea, stomach pains that can be quite severe, vomiting, fever, muscle pains and weight loss. They are not influenced by any analgetic substances or common antibiotics. In case that you have these symptoms and flu is excluded as an option, you should make an appointment with the doctor to examine you.

This is not a very common illness, although there is a substantial percentage of people who have it. Unfortunately there is no Crohn’s disease cure discovered yet. The treatment is conducted with strong antibiotics, inflammation suppressing drugs, and surgery. The disease is chronic and it always stays in the body as a virus. Certain circumstances can inflame it – stress, decreased immune system, certain medicines, spicy food. As there is no final cure for this disease, the medicines that are prescribed can only put the virus in remission. During this period of time the patient doesn’t have any symptoms whatsoever.

It is said that Crohn’s disease is hereditary, so if one of your parents had it, there is more than 30% chance that you will inherit it too. The diagnosis of the disease is by barium enema and colonoscopy. The procedure is not painful but it is unpleasant, because a white liquid is introduced through a catheter via the anus to the large bowel. The colonoscopy is made with a tiny tube which is inserted through the anus and there is a small camera which gives the doctor the opportunity to see whether there are many ulcers on the intestines surface and where exactly they are. Everything is seen on a colored screen. The patients are under anesthesia while the procedure is carried out. Of course it is not obligatory, if the patient wants he can witness the colonoscopy.

The status of the patients can be improved if they follow a diet. It is best to exclude high fiber foods as they are hard to digest, it is better to eat more soups and to take vitamins that improve the immune system.

Crohn’s Disease and Colitis

Crohn’s disease was named after a doctor in the 1930s who first started investigating a disease which was being seen in more and more people. The disease is classified with a group of conditions known as IBD, or inflammatory bowel disorder which mainly effects the gastrointestinal tract.

This is one of the most unpleasant illnesses since the causes, ailments, and symptoms are so frequent and hard to recognize and control. It is a disease which many people may have heard about or know someone that suffers from it, but the actual recognition is not very widespread.

Some of the symptoms of Crohns disease and colitis are persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, urgent need for bowel movements, constipation. There are a plethora of other symptoms which can be associated with general colitis disorders as well. Some of these persistent symptoms include: night sweats, fevers, loss of appetite, painful stools, fatigue and the feeling that a bowel movement is never entirely complete.

Crohns disease and colitis are some of the worst and most irritating disorders to suffer from. Having the ease and comfort of a regular cycle and system of using the bathroom or painful elimination adds an incredible amount of stress and frustration to a patients life. The fact that treatments are so unknown and the lifestyle is so much more of a prison sentence than a lifestyle change really makes things even worse.

There is much more awareness and research that needs to happen for s sufferers to be more stable and represented. It is truly a ghost in the system of medical disorders and has gone too long without the recognition it deserves. Recently more campaigns have been enacted to show public support using celebrities who suffer from Crohns to show how people everyday have to live with the symptoms. It helps to show people that they are not alone in having to go through this painful and uncomfortable disease.

This  is a chronics illness which means it stay with you for life. That being said it tends to go in waves. There are months, even years, where the illness can flare up and those time periods are followed by other days, months, or years where there can be no symptoms present at all. It really all depends on how much the disease is affecting you either from diet, lifestyle or just some other environmental changes.

Treatment

There are about 700,000 Americans that have been diagnosed with crohns disease and have received medical care to decrease the amount of flare ups and painful symptoms. There are a number of different treatment options, but only a doctor can prescribe a  treatment that is right for you.

If you suspect you are suffering from crohns disease or are having intestinal difficulty you should make an appointment with your doctor right away.  Only a doctor can diagnose and prescribe a treatment. The doctor will assess your level of pain and all of your symptoms. He or she will then decide what level of treatment that you will need to keep you from feeling the pain and discomfort associated. If the lower amount of medication does not help or you are still feeling a lot of discomfort the doctor will give you a higher dose of medication as needed. Doctors will prescribe a combination of aminosalicylates and immune system suppressors to keep this disease in remission.

Eating a well balanced diet will also help with your treatment.  This is an intestinal disease that can be aggravated by spicy foods and greasy foods.  Each person is different, which means that there is no exact diet plan to follow. You will just need to figure out what agitates your intestinal track. There are a few different foods to try and stay away form because they are known to agitate even the healthiest intestinal track. Some of these foods and drinks include alcohol, butter, mayonnaise, margarine, oils, carbonated drinks, coffee, tea, chocolate, fatty or greasy foods, spicy foods, raw fruits, raw vegetables, and foods that are high in fiber.

If you are struggling and are looking for a good diet plan you can always ask your doctor to recommend a healthy diet that might lessen the flare ups. If your doctor feels it is necessary he or she might even send you to a nutrition expert. This expert will be able to help you look at the foods that you eat and if they are associated with any of your flare ups. If there is a connection the nutrition expert will be able to give you a good substitute for the foods that are causing you intestinal discomfort. Seeing a nutritional expert will help support your medications prescribed by your doctor.

Symptoms

Crohn’s disease symptoms largely vary among people who have developed the condition. The severity of the disease, the natural intestinal health and the immune system of the affected person and other factors would also play a decisive role in the types of Crohn’s disease symptoms and their severity that one would experience.

From the medical perspective, the Crohn’s disease symptoms are also subject to the kind of infection it causes. For instance, some people may have inflammations in the small intestine, large intestine and in the bowels. Some people may not be affected in all areas but only have slight inflammations in one of the intestines. All such factors will determine the kind of symptoms one would experience. Furthermore, the symptoms would be at the height of their severity when the inflammations are extremely chronic. During dormant or inactive phases, one may not experience any Crohn’s disease symptoms at all.

The common symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, blood laden stool, ulcers and weight loss due to loss of appetite.

The disease causes inflammation in the intestines and also affects the colon. The former leads to secretion of water and salt in large amounts that the colon is unable to absorb. This causes cramping and diarrhea is an unavoidable aftermath. People suffering from Crohn’s would almost always suffer from diarrhea.

As the inflammations get worse or don’t lessen, the walls of the intestines, bowel and the tissues suffer damage. These areas swell up and cause abdominal pain. Muscle cramping is also very common. While the pain may be felt at the surface of the belly and abdominal region in many cases, intestinal discomfort is also common.

With worsening inflammations and the fact that the intestines would be subjected to their activity every time one eats, the tissues can start bleeding which leads to blood laden stool. It is advisable to consult a doctor in such cases. The pain, discomfort and ulcers would reduce one’s appetite and weight loss can become unavoidable.

Some other symptoms are fever, fatigue, arthritis, inflammation of the eyes, mouth sores, skin disorders, inflammation of the liver or bile ducts and delayed growth or sexual development in children.

It is important to observe and note Crohn’s disease symptoms at their earliest stages to seek medical help.