Crohn’s Disease affects any part of the gastrointestinal tract. It is a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestine. It causes ulcers in the small and large intestines, which can also affect the digestive system. Due to the variations of NOD2 gene and its proteins, it can also be hereditary.
Crohn’s Disease is a serious problem, as it leads to weakening of the immunity system and affects the gastro intestinal tract. It is a permanent disease with no cure.
The most common symptoms of Crohn’s Disease, regardless of its type, includes pain in the abdominal area, diarrhoea and weight loss. Less common symptoms of the disease are fever, sweating during the night, pain in the rectal area, poor appetite and occasional rectal bleeding. The symptoms basically are dependent on the severity of the inflammation, the extent and the location.
The different types of Crohn’s Disease and their symptoms are as follows:
Crohn’s colitis: it is an inflammation in the colon. The symptoms of Crohn’s colitis are pain in the abdominal area and diarrhoea with the presence of blood.
Crohn’s enteritis: it is an inflammation which is confined to the small intestine. The first part is known as the jejunum and the second part is called the ileum. If the inflammation is in the ileum itself, then it is referred as Crohn’s ileitis. Along with abdominal pain and diarrhoea, obstruction or blockage of the small intestine is a common symptom.
Crohn’s terminal ileitis: it is an inflammation that severely affects the end of the small intestine (terminal ileum). Small intestine blockage, abdominal pain and diarrhoea are the common symptoms of Crohn’s terminal ileitis.
Crohn’s entero-colitis and ileo colitis: it is the inflammation that includes both the small intestine and the colon. Diarrhoea and abdominal pain are the most common symptoms, along with the obstruction of the small intestine.
One should consult a General Physician or Nephrologist in the case of children and adults.
Crohn’s Disease is not curable as it is genetic in nature; therefore the siblings of the affected persons will also be at high risk of contracting Crohn’s Disease. The severity varies from patient to patient. A person with mild or no symptom does not require any treatment.
Crohn’s Disease is not infectious at all as it has a genetic association; therefore only the siblings of the affected person are at higher risk of contracting the disease.
Crohn’s Disease affects the person permanently. It also affects the organs like the eyes, joints, ileum, skin and the endocrine system. The immune system of the person suffering from the disease gets hit and the bacterial load remains higher in the colon which affects the gastro intestinal system.
There is no possible cure for Crohn’s Disease, but Dietary changes and proper supplementation may help in controlling the disease. A low fiber diet is recommended for the patients with less intestinal inflammation. When the symptoms are severe a liquid diet may be beneficial. Supplements like folate, calcium and vitamin B12 is helpful. Smoking should be avoided and small meals should be frequently taken along with a proper exercise regime. Consuming a balanced diet with sufficient sleep may help reducing fatigue.
A person suffering from this disease should avoid Nuts, Fruits with Skin, Pop Corn, Fried Food, Alcohol and Tomatoes.