Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea and even malnutrition. Inflammation caused by Crohn's disease can involve different areas of the digestive tract in different people. The inflammation caused by Crohn's disease often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissue.
The most common areas affected by Crohn's disease are the last part of the small intestine (ileum) and the colon. Inflammation may be confined to the bowel wall, which can lead to scarring (stenosis), or inflammation may spread through the bowel wall (fistula).
Signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease can range from mild to severe and may develop gradually or come on suddenly, without warning. There may also be periods of time when one has no signs or symptoms (remission). When the disease is active, signs and symptoms may include:
- Diarrhea. The inflammation that occurs in Crohn's disease causes cells in the affected areas of your intestine to secrete large amounts of water and salt. Because the colon can't completely absorb this excess fluid, you develop diarrhea. Intensified intestinal cramping also can contribute to loose stools. Diarrhea is a common problem for people with Crohn's.
- Abdominal pain and cramping. Inflammation and ulceration may cause the walls of portions of your bowel to swell and eventually thicken with scar tissue. This affects the normal movement of contents through your digestive tract and may lead to pain and cramping. Mild Crohn's disease usually causes slight to moderate intestinal discomfort, but in more-serious cases, the pain may be severe and include nausea and vomiting.
- Blood in your stool. Food moving through your digestive tract may cause inflamed tissue to bleed, or your bowel may also bleed on its own. You might notice bright red blood in the toilet bowl or darker blood mixed with your stool. You can also have bleeding you don't see (occult blood).
- Ulcers. Crohn's disease can cause small sores on the surface of the intestine that eventually become large ulcers that penetrate deep into - and sometimes through - the intestinal walls. You may also have ulcers in your mouth similar to canker sores.
- Reduced appetite and weight loss. Abdominal pain and cramping and the inflammatory reaction in the wall of your bowel can affect both your appetite and your ability to digest and absorb food.
Other signs and symptoms
People with severe Crohn's disease may also experience:
- Mouth sores
- Inflammation of the liver or bile ducts
- Eye inflammation
- Skin disorders
- Delayed growth or sexual development, in children
The exact cause of Crohn's disease remains unknown. Previously, diet and stress were suspected, but now doctors know that although these factors may aggravate existing Crohn's disease, they don't cause it. Now, researchers believe that a number of factors, such as heredity and a malfunctioning immune system play a role in the development of Crohn's disease.
- Immune system. It's possible that a virus or bacterium may trigger Crohn's disease. When your immune system tries to fight off the invading microorganism, an abnormal immune response causes the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract, too.
- Heredity. Crohn's is more common in people who have family members with the disease, leading experts to suspect that one or more genes may make people more susceptible to Crohn's disease. However, most people with Crohn's disease don't have a family history of the disease.
Crohn's disease may lead to one or more of the following complications:
- Bowel obstruction.
- Ulcers. Chronic inflammation can lead to open sores (ulcers) anywhere in your digestive tract, including your mouth and anus, and in the genital area (perineum) and anus.
- Anal fissure.
- Malnutrition. Diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping may make it difficult for you to eat or for your intestine to absorb enough nutrients to keep you nourished. Additionally, anemia is common in people with Crohn's disease.
- Colon cancer. Having Crohn's disease that affects your colon increases your risk of colon cancer.
At bodhin, Homoeopathy seeks to aid the body's own defenses and to stimulate a person's own healing abilities, and this more natural approach can be very effective. It can be helpful in relieving the pain and fever associated with the condition, and has more to offer in terms of long-term treatment. In homeopathy we focus on individual symptoms, which vary greatly, rather than a named or diagnosed condition.
Date: 4th Feb, 2014:
World Cancer Day
Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world, according to WHO, which estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention. Read More
Date: 14th March, 2014:
World Kidney Day
World Kidney Day was first celebrated in 2006, and from that date on, the world still celebrates this world day with a different theme and certain massages every year. Read More