What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition of the digestive tract that dramatically effects a person’s participation in daily activities. It leaves a person in extreme discomfort with abdominal pain, bloody stools, extreme weight loss, and severe diarrhea.
How is Crohn’s Disease Diagnosed?
In order for an individual to be diagnosed with Crohn’s, they must first go through a number of lab tests, and a few other procedures to evaluate the intestines. Some procedures are:
- Sigmoidoscopy: A sigmoidoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor can examine the lining of the rectum and the lower portion of the colon.
- Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor can examine the entire colon from the rectum to the end of the small intestine.
- Barium Enema: A Barium Enema is a procedure in which a barium sulfate liquid (barium sulfate suspension) is injected into the colon through a tube and a series of x-rays are taken.
The laboratory tests that a person must go through in search for a diagnosis must reveal some form of a raised white cell count, a sign of inflammation or infection, low count of red blood cells, low blood proteins, and low body minerals.
What are some symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?
Individuals with Crohn’s Disease can suffer from a variety of symptoms.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease include:
- Abdominal pain
- Persistent or reoccurring diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Rectal bleeding
- Abdominal tenderness or swelling
- Stomach cramps
How Can Crohn’s be Cured?
Although there is no known cure, there are medical options that can help with the symptoms.
There are medications that can be prescribed to help with the symptoms. Here are lists of the few drugs you could take to help deal with Crohn’s which a few can be found at Online Pharmacies Canada
- Corticosteroids(stop symptoms of Crohn’s)
- Budesonide(Entocort CR)
- Aminosalcylates(treat mild to moderate Crohn’s Disease)
- Olsalazine Sodium( Dipentum)
- Sulfasalazine( Azulfidine)
- Antibiotics( if aminosalciylates don’t help symptoms)
- Metronidazole (Flagyl)
- To keep Crohn’s in remission, meds such as
- Azathioprine( Imuran)
- Mercaptopurine ( Purinethol)
Surgery is also another option to help Crohn’s patients, but it does not guarantee complete success. In surgery, doctors remove a portion of the infected segment of the bowel.
What are some complications with Crohn’s Disease?
Individuals with Crohn’s Disease can experience complications such as:
- Malnutrition: Crohn’s disease makes it very difficult for the body to absorb vitamins, and protein.
- Intestinal Blockages: The inflammation resulting from this disease causes scarring that thickens the walls of the intestines. These thickened walls make it extremely difficult for food to pass through.
- Development of ulcers, abscesses (collection of pus in a part of the body), and fistulas (abnormal passages).
- Eye problems: Ulcers on the cornea, inflammation of the iris, blood vessels, and “whites” of the eye.
- Inflammation: Inflammation of the joints, spine, and lower back can occur.
- Liver Problems: Above average risk of developing mild liver problems.
- Kidney Stones and Gallstones: Higher than normal risk of developing kidney stones and gallstones.
- Skin Problems: Crohn’s patients are prone to psoriasisand other skin conditions.
- Anal fissures: A crack or clef in the anus or skin surrounding the anus.