Crohn’s disease is basically a chronic inflammation disease that occurs in the digestive tract and affects the lining. It can be extremely painful. This disease is quite rare and does not have a cure as of now. However, the treatment focusses on making the condition more manageable. Crohn’s disease can last for many years, or even your entire life. The treatment centers on the symptoms of the disease including abdominal pain, fatigue, anaemia, vomiting, and any other complications that may develop from having this disease.
There are many treatment options available for Crohn’s disease, which is fortunate because not all the options tend to be effective on everyone. The effectiveness of the treatments largely depends on your medical history and your body type. Your doctor may recommend one or more of these treatment types as time goes on. The first and main type of treatment is medication. You will be prescribed a series of drugs in dosages that are specific to your needs. Nutrition therapy is also commonly suggested for people who have Crohn’s disease. Doctors also often prescribe immune system suppressors to help with the inflammation that comes with this disease. Furthermore, a series of other, random medications can also be prescribed to help you deal with symptoms or other complications that may occur.
If none of the treatment types work, your doctor may also suggest surgery in order to reduce the impact of the disease. While the surgery will not cure the disease itself, it can help gain relief from the symptoms of the disease.
Crohn’s disease is only diagnosed after all other possible diseases and infections are ruled out. This is because there is no specific test designed to diagnose this disease. However, once it is determined that you have this, the treatment options will be laid out in front of you. One of the most commonly used treatment methods is to prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs. Since Crohn’s disease leads to inflammation in the lining of your digestive tract, this is one of the best ways to combat it. Immune suppressants are another line of treatment. These medications target the immune system and dull the effects of the part of the system that causes inflammation to indicate that something is wrong. Often, this line of treatment works very well. Antibiotics are also another option.
As this disease affects the digestive system, nutrition therapy is one of the most important treatment types. Since the bowel is inflamed, it may not be able to absorb nutrition from food correctly. Therefore, a feeding tube is often administered, or nutrition is administered through an IV. This allows your bowel to rest and calm down, which reduces the overall inflammation as well. Furthermore, nutrition therapy is often combined with medications. You will be required to have a low fiber diet in order to allow your body more time to absorb nutrients from food. Depending on the kinds of complications you develop from this disease, you can also be prescribe anti-diarrhoea medication, pain medication, nutritional supplements, pills to help you sleep, multivitamins, and other medications. The idea is to make the disease more manageable.
If none of these work, the doctor will perform a surgery. During the procedure, the damaged parts of the digestive tract will be taken out. However, it is important to note that this only helps you maintain and control the disease, and does not fully cure it. Surgery is quite common in people suffering from Crohn’s disease.
People who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease are eligible for seeking out any of the treatment options. You can seek medical attention the minute you feel any discomfort.
People who have not been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease are not eligible for seeking out the treatment for the condition. People with Crohn’s disease who have not tried other treatments are usually advised not to jump into surgery straight away.
Since there is a wide range of treatment options, there are multiple side effects with each that you need to be vary of. If you are being treated with medications that are anti-inflammatory, you may be prescribed corticosteroids. These should not be used for a prolonged time period and are mostly used when other medicines don’t work as they can lead to weakness in the bones. If you are being treated with immune suppressants, some of the risks that can come with it are an increased vulnerability to infections in general, liver inflammation, brain disease, and weakness. With surgery, the side effects include bruising, swelling, pain, and a dependency on IV feedings if you develop a short gut. It is important to note that the medications that you may be prescribed for other complications can have side effects too. You should not take too many pain killers as they can make the disease worse after a certain point. Antibiotics naturally raise the temperature of the body and you can expect a mild fever to occur while you are taking them.
Since there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, all the post treatment guidelines are applicable for the rest of your life. One of the most common guidelines is to watch your diet and ensure that any inflammatory food is not taken in the system. This can include dairy products, high fiber foods, and acidic foods. Spicy food, alcohol, and caffeine will need to be avoided as well. Other lifestyle changes such as reducing stress and quitting smoking are also ones that will have to be made. Regularizing your fluid intake and eating small meals can help you manage your Crohn’s disease in a better way.
Crohn’s disease can last for years, or even an entire lifetime. Therefore, there is no set recovery period for the same. Often, the disease goes into remission with the help of medications and a controlled diet. However, you can always expect it to eventually come back.
Most medications in India cost anywhere between Rs. 50 – Rs 150, depending on the brand you prefer and the dosage you have been prescribed. If you have Crohn’s disease, it is advisable to see a dietician. The cost of seeing a dietician in India can range from Rs. 3000 – Rs. 5000 per month. Finally, surgery can be quite expensive. It can cost anywhere between Rs. 1,50,000 to Rs. 4,00,000, depending on where you are getting the surgery and the city you live in. Hospitalization rates also differ largely from city to city.
The results of any treatment, including surgery, are not permanent when it comes to Crohn’s disease. This is because there is no cure for the disease. You can only hope to suppress the symptoms for as long as possible, or to make the disease a bit more bearable for yourself.
There are certain home remedies and alternative treatments that you can look into to make the disease more manageable. Herbal and nutritional supplements can help, however it is advised to consult with your doctor before adding them to your diet. Some studies have found that adding probiotics to your diet can help with keeping the Crohn’s disease in remission. To manage pain, some people resort to acupuncture.
Life can be tough when living with Crohn’s disease as it is a chronic condition. Especially with the disease is marked by phases of relapse and remission, it requires a long-term management to keep the symptoms in check. Though the flare-ups can be typically contained using medications, some of the patients with severe symptoms or complications arising from the illness would require surgery.
Before we proceed with the surgical management of the disease, it is essential to understand what Crohn’s disease is in case you are not aware of it. It is a chronic illness in which the intestine or the bowel have become inflamed or marked with ulcers and sores and is a part of disorders collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease(IBD).
When does Crohn’s disease require surgery?
Typically, patients who are suffering from complications of Crohn’s Disease may require surgery. This may include the formation of a scar that is causing the bowel to narrow down and leading to obstructions, extensive bleeding from the intestine, perforation in the bowel wall or the formation of fistula or abscess. The fistula may be formed in the connecting area between two body parts that do not meet. Also, a condition known as toxic megacolon where the large intestine or the colon becomes severely stretched out causing the toxins to spread all through the blood requires surgical intervention.
The surgery chosen for Crohn’s disease is dependent on various factors such as where the disease has affected, how severe the disease is and most importantly what complication will be treated by the surgery. Here are some of the types of surgeries done for treating Crohn’s disease:
Since, the surgical intervention aims to manage the disease, your doctor would be able to recommend the most suitable option as per your condition.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Crohn’s disease is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the digestive tract or gut. The inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can lead to severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fatigue, malnutrition and weight loss. It is also known as enteritis or ileitis.
Crohn's disease is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) out of the two main forms. The other form is known as Ulcerative Colitis.
The accurate cause of Crohn's disease remains unknown even today. Formerly, stress and diet were made accountable, but now it is known that these factors aggravate it but are not responsible for causing Crohn's disease. Factors such as heredity and an abnormal reaction in the immune system play a role in the development of this disease.
A bacterium or virus may also play a role in its development. For instance, E. coli bacteria has been associated with Crohn's disease. Smoking can be another risk factor.
Crohn’s Disease is known to be a very individual condition. It can effect any part of the gut, starting from the mouth and down to the anus. In the most common cases, however, the ileum (the lower part of the small intestine) or colon (part of the large intestine) is majorly affected.
Its symptoms may vary from person to person, and depend on the location of the disease in the gut. Crohn’s disease develops gradually, but sometimes it comes suddenly, without any warning. Symptoms exhibited change over time, with intervals of good health when your body shows no symptoms (remission) and periods of bad health when your symptoms are more vigorous (‘flare-ups’ or relapses).
Some of the major symptoms of Crohn’s disease when it is active are:
Patients suffering from severe Crohn's disease also may experience:
There is no specific diagnostic test known for Crohn’s disease. Patients with fever, abdominal pain and tenderness, diarrhoea with blood, and anal diseases such as ulcers are sometimes diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Elevated white blood cell counts and sedimentation rates are mostly demonstrated in laboratory blood tests. Both of which suggest infection or inflammation in the digestive tract. Other blood tests may reveal low blood proteins, low red blood cell counts (anaemia), and low body minerals, reflecting the loss of these minerals due to chronic diarrhoea.
Although many effective medications are available in the market to control the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, yet there is no cure developed for it. Surgery can extensively improve the quality of life in certain individuals, but the reappearance of this disease after surgery is familiar to many. A better insight into the role of environmental factors and genetics in causing this disease can help in improved treatments and prevention.
Crohn's Disease is a medical condition that falls under the category of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Crohn's disease triggers inflammation of the digestive tract resulting in ulcerations and sores, mostly affecting people between 17-30 years (people of other age groups can also be affected). The inflammatory disease is a chronic illness that gives rise to a host of complications such as frequent and chronic diarrhea, fever, rapid weight loss, abdominal pain, to name a few.
Unfortunately, there is no permanent treatment available for Crohn's Disease. However, effective remedies and treatments are available to reduce and manage the symptoms and complications associated with Crohn's Disease. Many people dealing with Crohn's Disease have benefitted immensely from surgery.
When surgery is recommended for Crohn's Disease?
A surgery becomes essential when the medicines and other nonsurgical treatments fail to control or manage the symptoms and complications triggered by Crohn's Disease, some of which include
The surgery for a Crohn's Disease can be of different types depending on the part of the digestive tract affected.
Risks associated with the surgery
Every surgery comes with their share of side-effects and risks. In the case of Crohn's Disease, the surgeries can give rise to complications such as
There is hardly any individual across the world, who has not experienced abdominal pain. In most instances, these aches are not very serious and can be diagnosed and treated by addressing the underlying condition. It is very crucial to recognize the symptoms which are severe and know when an individual should seek medical assistance.
Most common causes of abdominal pain:
Some of the most common causes of abdominal pain include indigestion, infection, menstrual cramps. It may also be due to food poisoning and allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, gas formation and bloating, lactose intolerance, pelvic inflammatory disease or ulcers and hernia, gallstones and kidney stones, urinary tract infection, Crohn’s Disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Some patients have abdominal pain but the source of pain lies in the spine. These patients are often seen by multiple doctors and have undergone many tests but their diagnosis is never established. These patients should visit a pain specialist to reach a diagnosis and treatment plan. They have conditions like neuropathies or facet joint arthritis which cause abdominal pain due to a condition known as referred pain.
Symptoms of abdominal pain that are cause for concern:
Determining the cause of abdominal pain and treating it.
One of the more severe illnesses included in the larger group of diseases known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's disease is typically a long-lasting, chronic condition. The intestine or bowel, most commonly the colon and the lower part of the small intestine, are either marked by sores or get inflamed and ulcerated. It is a common occurrence in adolescents and in young adults.
Crohn's disease is subdivided into five types, each having its own set of symptoms:
1. Ileocolitis: The most common type, it affects the colon and the ileum and results in considerable weight loss as well as diarrhea and cramps.
2. Gastroduodenal Crohn's disease: People who suffer from this type of disease have their stomach and duodenum affected and many experience symptoms like nausea, loss of appetite and weight loss.
3. Crohn's colitis: This involves only the stomach, and can cause joint pains, rectal bleeding, skin lesions and diarrheas,
4. Ileitis: This type affects the ileum and the symptoms are identical to those of ileocolitis.
Despite the uncertainty as to the nature of the specific causes of Crohn's disease, there have been a few possible causes which have been identified. These include:
1. Immune system problems
2. Genetic disorders
3. Environmental factors
a) Certain edibles
b) Viruses or harmful bacteria
The primary symptoms of Crohn's disease include the following:
1. Diarrhea: This can occur for about 10 to 20 times a day in more severe cases.
2. In rare cases, there may be blood in your stool.
3. In more intense cases, you may even develop a fever.
4. Cramping and intermittent belly pain.
5. Anemia, due to a reduction in iron levels caused by bloody stools.
6. Weight loss.
7. Erratic appearance of small tears in the anus, called anal fissures.