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Crohn’s Disease – All It Takes Is A Lifestyle Change

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Crohn’s Disease – All It Takes Is A Lifestyle Change

Patients that have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease have a good shot at living a normal life. The life expectancy, though, is greatly dependent on the patient’s lifestyle – or the change that he is going to make.

Crohn’s is a type of IBD or inflammatory bowel disease. This is a condition wherein the lining of the patient’s digestive tract becomes swollen. This inflammation can lead to the severe stomach pain, fatigue, diarrhea, malnutrition and uncontrollable weight loss. Different people can have different digestive tract issues which can even spread deeper into the layers of the bowel tissue.

Crohn’s is a debilitating and painful illness; if not treated, the patient can end up with life-threatening complications. There is no known cure for this disease, though, but there are many forms of therapies that can reduce the symptoms. Through proper administration, the therapies can even result into long-term remission.

The Symptoms of a Debilitating Illness

A few people with Crohn’s suffer from an ill small intestine (ileum). Still others suffer from a disease of the colon. The common areas that are affected are parts of the colon and the small intestine.

There are mild to severe symptoms of Crohn’s. These develop gradually but there are also some that come suddenly. There are also periods of remission (when there are no visible signs or symptoms). It is the latter that you should be most careful about. You might go about thinking that nothing is wrong with you only to find out later on that your body is already ailing.

When Crohn’s is active, it can cause different symptoms such as diarrhea (loose stool) and an intensified intestinal cramp. There are even a few patients that suffer from low-grade fever and fatigue. These occur because of the infection or inflammation.

Abdominal pain is one of the most obvious symptoms of Crohn’s. This is because of the ulceration and inflammation that are already inside the patient’s digestive tract. The ulcers do not just occur inside the digestive tract. There are also instances when mouth sores begin to appear. These can be very similar to canker sores.

The pain can be anywhere between a slight discomfort to severe pain. The pain may be accompanied by vomiting and nausea, hence, you will have trouble regaining your appetite or even just to keep the food down.

One of the extreme symptoms of this disease is the appearance of blood in the fecal matter. You could find a bright red spot in your toilet bowl or right on your stool. Occult blood or unseen bleeding may also occur.

Another severe symptom is perianal disease. This occurs when the drainage around or near the anus becomes swollen. This is brought about by an inflammation of the fistula. Other severe symptoms include inflammation of the eyes, skin, joints, bile ducts, or the liver.

There could also be a delay in sexual development among child patients.

Diagnosis

If you are looking for one test that will point out Crohn’s on sight, then your search will be for naught. Crohn’s has a wide array of probable symptoms which are similar to the signs of other illnesses.

For the doctor to diagnose this disease, it is important that he would gather information from many different sources. Patients often undergo combinations of lab tests, exams, even imaging studies.

The tests must be able to point out the specific part of the digestive tract that is diseased. They must also be able to rule out the health problems that have similar symptoms.

Available Treatments

After the diagnosis comes the treatment. Crohn’s treatments often involves drug therapy. There are many anti-inflammatory drugs which your doctor can prescribe to you. These drugs often reduce the swelling and keeps the triggers from affecting the patient any further. There are severe cases that might require surgery. Currently, there is no cure for this illness and there is also no one treatment that fits all.

Many doctors approach Crohn’s disease with a method or two.

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/basics/definition/con-20032061

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/basics/symptoms/con-20032061

http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/crohns-disease/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/basics/treatment/con-20032061

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