Crohn's disease symptoms : Adolescence and early adulthood are higher risk periods


Crohn's disease symptoms are triggered by a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract but most commonly occurs in the ileum (the area where the small and large intestine meet). Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system attacks the body's own cells. In Crohn's disease, these rogue immune cells attack the gastrointestinal system. The cause is unknown, but genetic factors seem to play a role.

Inflammation frequently occurs at the end of the small intestine that joins the large intestine, but the condition may affect any area of the digestive tract. As a result of the immune attack, the intestinal wall becomes thick, and deep ulcers may form.

The disease may occur at any age, but adolescence and early adulthood are the periods of highest risk. Other risk factors include a family history of Crohn's disease and Jewish ancestry. About 7 out of every 100,000 people will develop Crohn's disease.

Crohn's disease symptoms

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal mass
  • Abdominal sounds (borborygmus, a gurgling or splashing sound heard over the intestine)
  • Clubbing of the fingers or toes
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Foul-smelling stools
  • Tenesmus

Additional Crohn's disease symptoms that may be associated with this disease include the following:

  • Bloody stools
  • Joint pain
  • Incontinence
  • Swollen gums
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal fullness - gaseous

Prevention and treatment of Crohn's disease symptoms

Your health care provider may prescribe medications such as 5-aminosalicylate to control the inflammatory process. If this is not effective or if the case is severe, treatment may require corticosteroids and immunomodulators such as azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine.

If you have abscesses and/or fistulas, your health care provider may prescribe antibiotics. Infliximab (an antibody to an immune chemical called TNF-alpha, which promotes inflammation) is effective for patients with fistulous disease and those with moderate to severe disease.

If medical therapy is not effective, you may need surgery to remove a diseased or strictured segment of the bowel or to drain an abscess. However, unlike ulcerative colitis, surgical removal of a diseased portion of the intestine does not cure the condition.

Changes in diet may improve Crohn's disease symptoms. An adequate intake of calories, vitamins, and protein is very important. An appropriate supplement, rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also be beneficial.

Foods that worsen diarrhea should be avoided, specific food problems may vary from person to person. People who have blockage of the intestines may need to avoid raw fruits and vegetables. Some people have difficulty digesting lactose (milk sugar) and need to avoid milk products.

Research has indicated that a combination of natural remedies, regular exercise and dietary changes can make a significant difference to the lives of people suffering from digestive disorders and complaints.

How to prevent and treat Crohn's disease symptoms.


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