Crohn Disease is a disorder that causes diarrhea, abdominal pain , and other symptoms that affect the digestive tract. Normally the body’s immune system kills the germs and bad cells that could turn into cancer. Sometimes instead of killing the bad cells , something goes wrong and the immune system starts to attack healthy cells and is called “autoimmune response”. This happens in Crohn disease. It is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease which usually affects the last part of the small intestine called the ileum, but it can affect the entire GI tract from your mouth to the anus. If you have Crohn disease , your body is attacking the lining of your digestive tract, which causes inflammation and lead to sores or ulcers and bleeding. Having family members with Crohn disease increases the risk of developing it.
Common symptoms include, abdominal pain, diarrhea, , fatigue, unintentional weight loss and anal pain.
X rays and other imaging studies are done to help diagnose the disease. Colonoscopy is a preferred diagnostic procedure where the physician will be able to directly visualize the colon and biopsy can be done to aid the diagnosis.
Your symptoms might improve if you:
Cut down on foods that make your symptoms worse. Some people have problems that have a lot of fiber , such as fruits and vegetables, some may have trouble tolerating dairy foods due to lactulose intolerance .
Quit smoking, if you smoke. Smoking makes symptoms worse and increases the chances that you will need surgery
Avoid medications such as Ibuprofen and naproxen.
There are many medications that help with the symptoms. Medications work by reducing the inflammation and body’s immune response. Sometimes you might require antibiotics . You might have to try a few different medications before you find the one that works best for you.
Surgery will be an option if medications do not do enough to control your symptoms or you cannot stand the side effect of medications. 2 common types of surgeries are removing the diseased part of colon , and reopening parts of colon that have become blocked.
Crohn disease can lead to cancer. So early and often colonoscopy is recommended .
Do you need treatment for Crohn disease? Call Gastroenterology Institute of Orlando, FL at 407-201-3686 to learn more about treatment!