Crohn’s Disease

Crohn's Disease

Overview

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It causes inflammation of various organs in the abdomen, but mainly the small intestine. Crohn’s disease can be crippling, causing abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, weight-loss and fatigue. There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, but modern medical therapies have been proven to greatly reduce the symptoms and even cause remission.

Signs and symptoms

Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract, sometimes multiple segments. Crohn’s disease can cause abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhoea, blood in the stools, loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss, fever, fatigue and even anal fistulas. It can also cause inflammation of the skin, the eyes, or the liver and bile duct.

Causes and risk factors

The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown. Diet and stress appear to aggravate the condition. A genetic factor is suspected to contribute to the condition but it is unsubstantiated as of now.

Complications

Crohn’s disease causes severe malnutrition. It can also lead to bowel obstructions, ulcers, fistulas, anal fissures, and colon cancer. Crohn’s patients also tend to have a greater risk of blood clots.

Diagnosis

There is no single test for Crohn’s disease. The doctor will eliminate other causes of the inflammation with a series of blood and stool tests. This may be followed by a colonoscopy, an abdominal CT, an MRI and a capsule endoscopy.

Treatment and Surgical Interventions

There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease and the same therapies do not work for all patients. The main goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation and limit complications. Anti-inflammatory drugs could provide symptomatic relief. Immune suppressors, biologics and antibiotics are prescribed to treat other bacteria in the gut which trigger the inflammation. The doctor may also recommend short term nutrition therapy to help to improve nutrition delivered to the body and also allow the bowel to “reset”. In very severe cases, surgery may be required to remove the damaged portions of the digestive tract.

Prevention

The cause of Crohn’s disease has not been identified but lifestyle and diet factors seem to affect the same. To prevent a flare-up of Crohn’s, maintain a healthy diet, practice stress-relieving activities and avoid smoking.

We are with you in your journey to better health

A consultation with our panel of doctors, specialists and surgeons will help you determine what kind of services you may need to help diagnose and treat your condition. If you or someone in your family or friend’s circle are facing any health issues, please get in touch with us, we are here for you.

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