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Crohn's disease: Facts you need to know

  • October 08, 2018

Crohn's disease: Facts you need to know

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn’s disease leads to inflammation of the digestive track leading to severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, malnutrition and weight loss. Large and small bowels are most often affected in Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is debilitating, painful and can be life threatening sometimes. Following are some facts you need to know about Crohn’s disease:

  • Causes: Exact causes are unknown. Virus or bacterium may trigger the abnormal response by immune system leading to damage of GI tract.
  • Risk Factors: Family history has shown increased risk. Also smoking, consumption of Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (pain medications) worsens the disease and symptoms.
  • Symptoms: Most common symptoms are fever, diarrhea, fatigue, blood in your stool, abdominal pain, cramping, reduced appetite, mouth sores, fistula in anus, etc.
  • Diagnosis: Diagnostic procedures like endoscopy, blood tests, barium X-ray, CT scans and MRIs with oral contrasts are helpful in diagnosing this disease.
  • Flare and remission phases: Crohn’s disease shows frequent flare-ups and remission cycles. Symptoms will be worst during flare up and patients will be normal during remissions.
  • Treatment: Symptomatic treatment like antidiarrheal, antibiotics and drugs that reduce the immune response like immuno-suppressants and immuno-modulators are useful.
  • Complications: Crohn’s disease can lead to bowel obstruction, ulcers, fistulas, anal fissure, malnutrition, colon cancer, etc.

Crohn’s disease can be controlled and patients can lead a normal, pain-free life with early diagnosis and right treatment.

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