Inflammation caused by Chrohn’s disease affects deep layers of the bowel. It’s a debilitating disease that causes pain and even life-threatening complications.
Most people don’t really know much about the severity of the condition. It’s a debilitating inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Experts haven’t determined the real causes of Crohn’s disease, and some believe it’s caused by mycobacterium.
It’s a serious disease that may develop into a life-threatening medical condition. Arthritis, cancer, cirrhosis, hepatitis, jaundice, inflammation of the back and spine, painful eye conditions, and rupture of the intestines are some of the complications caused by Crohn’s disease.
This condition causes breaks in the lining of the small and large intestines also known as ulcerations. Crohn’s disease affects every bit of the digestive tract, including the mouth and the rectum.
Ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease are also common. There’s no medical cure for these conditions, as they are both inactive (remission) and active (relapse).
Known facts of Crohn’s disease
– Predominantly a Caucasian disease
– Starts off in the period between adolescence and early adulthood (15-35)
– A small rise is noted in individuals aged over 50 and African Americans
– The number of new cases in the US is on the rise
– Individuals of Jewish-European descent have higher risk of developing Crohn’s
Top 5 signs of Crohn’s disease
1. Abdominal pain
Dr. Ellen J. Scherl, MD, director or the Jill Roberts Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and professor of medicine at Cornell University explains that the disease causes pain in the right lower quadrant right below the belly button. This area includes the appendix and the small intestine.
Appendicitis also occurs in this area. According to Scherl, the only difference lies in the level of pain. Abdominal pain caused by Crohn’s is moderate and intermittent. Appendicitis causes sharp and acute pain.
The diarrhea caused by Crohn’s last longer than a month. Long-term diarrhea is also caused by celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance.
Celiac disease is a chronic condition that affects the small intestine. That’s what triggered the popularity of gluten-free dieting.
3. Kidney stones
Inflamed small intestine causes different issues. Those dealing with Crohn’s disease also have kidney stones.
Kidney stones are formed as a result of mineral and salt buildups in the kidneys. Stones cause pain and affect every part of the urinary tract.
4. Skin problems
The inflammation isn’t confined to one particular area and your skin is the most vulnerable part of your body. Those dealing with Crohn’s patients have red, raised areas that are also tender. The inflammation causes mouth sores, and puffy/red eyes.
5. Weight loss
Crohn’s disease causes loss of appetite, which leads to weight loss. The condition also causes malnutrition, food aversions, malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies.
Individuals are afraid to eat because of the pain.
Diagnoses and treatment
Consult your doctor if you have the following symptoms:
– abdominal pain
– bloody stool
– long-term diarrhea and/or fever
– unexplained weight loss
Crohn’s disease is diagnosed through blood tests. High white blood cell counts and low red blood cell levels suggest Crohn’s disease. Sufferers are usually given anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drugs, and are recommended to change their diet.