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Crohn's disease: causes, symptoms, treatment and how to control it


 Is Crohn's disease a serious disease?

What is Crohn's disease?

Crohn's disease is a chronic disease that affects the digestive system, where the patient suffers from infections in various parts of the digestive system to include it completely (from the mouth to the anus), and This inflammation often spreads in the deeper layers of the intestine, and is classified as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

Crohn's disease: causes, symptoms, treatment and how to control it
Crohn's disease: causes, symptoms, treatment and how to control it

Crohn's disease often begins gradually, with mild symptoms and then getting more severe over time, most people with this disease experience periods of remission (the time when symptoms disappear) that last from weeks to years and then come back.

Crohn's disease causes

The main cause of Crohn's disease is unknown, but researchers believe that the following factors may play a role:

1- autoimmune reaction

Scientists believe that one cause of Crohn's disease may be an autoimmune reaction, when a person's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the body, Normally, the immune system protects the body from disease by identifying, attacking and destroying bacteria, viruses, or other potentially harmful foreign substances, Therefore, researchers believe that bacteria or viruses can mistakenly stimulate the immune system to attack the inner lining of the intestine, causing many infections.

2- genes

Research has shown that people who have a parent or sibling with Crohn's disease may be more likely to develop the disease.

3- The environment and other factors

Some studies indicate an increase in the incidence of Crohn's disease in industrialized countries, and among other factors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics and birth control pills may increase significantly, A diet that contains a lot of fat may slightly increase the risk of Crohn's disease.

Some people think that eating certain foods or feeling stressed or emotionally upset can cause Crohn's disease, which is wrong, But sometimes the stress of living with this disease may lead to symptoms worse than what they suffer from, But sometimes the stress of living with this disease may lead to symptoms worse than what they suffer from, In addition, some people with the disease may find that certain foods can aggravate their symptoms.

Who are the people most at risk of disease?

Crohn's disease can affect people of all ages, but the chance of its exacerbation increases in certain people, and they are:

  • Those whose ages range from 20-30 years.
  • Those who have infected persons from the same family.
  • Smokers.

What are the symptoms and signs of Crohn's disease?

Symptoms of Crohn's disease vary from person to person, but there are some common symptoms that many sufferers have:

Most common symptoms:

1- Diarrhea.

2- Abdominal pain and cramps.

3- Weight loss.

There are symptoms that often appear on infected people:

General symptoms of the disease

  • Feeling tired.
  • Nausea and loss of appetite.
  • Fever.
  • Anemia.
  • The appearance of ulcers in the mouth.
  • Fistula or hemorrhoid: Pain in the anus area during drainage due to the presence of inflammation surrounding that area.
  • The appearance of blood in the stool.

As mentioned earlier, these symptoms occur in the digestive system, specifically in the intestine, but there are some symptoms that occur outside the intestine, namely:

  • Joint pain.
  • Irritation of the eyes.
  • Skin problems in the form of painful red bumps that appear under the skin.

In particular, we note that there are symptoms that require going to a specialist, which are:

  • The appearance of blood in the stool.
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than 7 days.
  • Frequent stomach pains and cramps.
  • Sudden weight loss.
  • Slow growth in children.

Is Crohn's disease dangerous?

In general, Crohn's disease is not considered a life-threatening disease, but it may result in serious complications that must be dealt with immediately, including:

  • Abscesses: A collection of fluid and dirt inside pockets in the abdomen or digestive system.

  • Anal fissure: Excessive diarrhea can lead to tears in the anus that cause itching, pain, and bleeding.

  • Intestinal obstruction: Scar tissue resulting from fistulas or inflammation may lead to a buildup of waste and gas that partially or completely obstructs the intestines, This makes getting rid of stool and gas difficult and requires surgery.

  • Anemia: Chronic diarrhea may lead to malnutrition, difficulty absorbing nutrients, Consequently, there is a deficiency in many important minerals for the body, in particular, a deficiency in iron stores, and this leads to anemia.

  • Fistulas: Intestinal disease can cause abnormal openings in the intestinal walls, which sometimes may become infected.

  • Colon cancer: Crohn's disease of the large intestine increases the chance of colon cancer.

Crohn's disease, marriage and pregnancy

It is possible for pregnancy to go well in the period of remission in which there are no symptoms, so it is preferable to try to have children during the stagnation of the disease, but if episodes of the disease occur during pregnancy, this can cause some serious problems:

  • Abortion, before fetal development is completed in the first stage.
  • Low birth weight of the fetus.
  • Premature birth before the 37th week of pregnancy.

Crohn's disease treatment

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Crohn's disease, but existing treatments can greatly reduce symptoms and may cure some infections in the long term, In addition to its ability to manage and control it as much as possible, which is:

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics treat and prevent infection or inflammation that leads to abscesses or fistulas to a large extent and for a significant period of time.

  • Anti-diarrheal drugs: The role of these drugs is to stop severe diarrhea, such as (loperamide - imidium ED).

  • corticosteroids: cortisone, prednisone, and others; These medications reduce the incidence of inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases.

  • Immunosuppressive drugs: These drugs suppress the severe immune system, and they are cyclosporine and azathioprine.

  • Bowel rest: Sometimes you may need to stop eating and drinking for several days to give your bowels a chance to heal, during which time you will be given intravenous nutrients to replace fluids.

  • Biologics: These are monoclonal antibodies to suppress the immune response.

  • Surgery: Surgery is difficult to treat Crohn's disease, but it is used to treat complications such as intestinal obstruction.

How can Crohn's disease be controlled?

Crohn's disease is difficult to prevent, but lifestyle changes can relieve symptoms and attacks of this disease, by following these methods:

  • stop smoking.
  • Maintain regular exercise.
  • Avoid stress and nervousness.
  • Follow a healthy diet appropriate for Crohn's disease.

Read: Diet for Crohn's Disease