Crohn’s Disease

December 4, 2017
crohn's and colitis- soma technology inc

This week is Crohn’s Disease and Colitis Week. Around 1.6 million people have an inflammatory bowel disease. Chances are you know someone who has a gastro-intestinal issue. According to the Mayo Clinic, Crohn’s disease, “causes inflammation of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can involve different areas of the digestive tract in different people.”

There are many symptoms of Crohn’s. These symptoms include diarrhea, fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, blood in stool, mouth sores, weight loss and pain near the anus. If you think that you may have any of these symptoms, please go see your primary care physician. There is no know cause of Crohn’s but genetics and an immunal response to a bacterium may trigger it. The Mayo Clinic describes the risk factors:

  • Age. Crohn’s disease can occur at any age, but you’re likely to develop the condition when you’re young. Most people who develop Crohn’s disease are diagnosed before they’re around 30 years old.
  • Ethnicity. Although Crohn’s disease can affect any ethnic group, whites and people of Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish descent have the highest risk. However, the incidence of Crohn’s disease is increasing among blacks who live in North America and the United Kingdom.
  • Family history. You’re at higher risk if you have a close relative, such as a parent, sibling or child, with the disease. As many as 1 in 5 people with Crohn’s has a family member with the disease.
  • Cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking is the most important controllable risk factor for developing Crohn’s disease. Smoking also leads to more-severe disease and a greater risk of having surgery. If you smoke, it’s important to stop.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve), diclofenac sodium (Voltaren) and others. While they do not cause Crohn’s, they can lead to inflammation of the bowel that makes Crohn’s disease worse.
  • Where you live. If you live in an urban area or in an industrialized country, you’re more likely to develop Crohn’s disease. This suggests that environmental factors, including a diet high in fat or refined foods, may play a role in Crohn’s.”

There is no known cure for Crohn’s, but therapies have proven to significantly reduce symptoms. Doctors may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antobiotics, or even recommend surgery. Some ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle with Crohn’s is to limit dairy products, alcohol, spicy foods, eat smaller meals, stop smoking, and reduce stress levels.

Comment below if you have Crohn’s. How does this affect how you live your life?

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