What Is Crohn’s Disease? Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Options

Crohn’s disease also known as ileitis is an acute inflammation of the digestive tract that includes intestine and bowel. In this medical condition, the affected parts become ulcerated with marks of sores on them. Crohn’s disease is also an important member of the cluster of diseases known as IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).

Crohn’s disease is a serious affliction and can play havoc with the entire gastrointestinal system. It primarily attacks the lower portion of the small intestine including ileum, esophagus and mouth. The disease can afflict people of all ages but studies show most people between the age group of 15 and 30 tend to develop this faster than others.

Symptoms Of Crohn’s Disease

A person afflicted with Crohn’s disease initially develops abdominal pain accompanied with diarrhea. As the ailment worsens, other symptoms like loss of appetite, stomach cramps, weight loss, rectal bleeding and fever surface. Patients also complain of swelling or tenderness of the abdomen, eye inflammation, joint pain and skin disorders.

Crohn’s disease may not continue persistently as its symptoms tend to die down and surface again at regular intervals. When it happens, there may be severe bleeding. During a bout of the disease, patients may develop anemia due to excess bleeding. This condition leads to weakness and paleness.

Apart from these, Crohn’s disease patients develop several other complications which may be related to their weak immune system and invariable inflammation of the bowel. Some of these complications are partial obstruction of bowel resulting in constipation and vomiting, reduced absorption of food resulting in nutritional deficiency, anal fissures, arthritis and inflammation of the eyes and mouth.

What Are The Causes Crohn’s Disease?

The precise cause of Crohn’s disease is not clear but medical experts agree that autoimmune element plays a role to trigger the disease. It means our immune system which is the body’s natural defense system attacks the tissues of its own body instead of fighting infection.

It usually happens when autoimmune disease like IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Diseases) already runs in the family.

Another theory that runs behind the possible cause of Crohn’s disease is that a bacteria or virus may do the initial harm to the lining of GI tract. However, experts are yet to identify the organism.

Treatment Options For Crohn’s Disease

While treating the disease, doctors primarily try to provide relief from the symptoms involved. Doctors usually administer medicines to reduce inflammation, remove nutritional deficiencies and cure diarrhea, bleeding and pain.

Doctors may resort to medicines, surgery or nutritional supplements or combine all these three while treating the disease. The choice of treatment depends on the location and severity of the disease and the patient’s response to previous treatments.

Proper diet works as effectively as medicine do in curing Crohn’s disease because of the soothing effect of some food on an inflamed intestine. A right choice of food can supplement the body with vital nutrients which the body usually does not get due to inefficient functioning of the gut in this disease. A wrong diet may result in weight loss, adding to the symptoms and making the condition more complicated.

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