Dr Bhavesh Patel

Crohn’s Disease

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease, also known as  Crohn syndrome and Regional enteritis, is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus, especially the colon and ileum, associated with ulcers and fistulae.

Crohn’s disease can be both painful and debilitating, and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications.

Causes of Crohn’s disease

The exact cause of Crohn’s disease remains unknown. Previously, diet and stress were suspected, but now doctors know that these factors may aggravate but don’t cause Crohn’s disease.

A number of factors, such as heredity and a malfunctioning immune system, likely play a role in its development.

Immune system -Usually, cells of the immune system defend the body from harmful microbes — bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other foreign substances — that have entered it. Many microbes are helpful, especially for digestion. And so the immune system leaves them alone.

If there is an invader that needs to be eliminated, your body’s defense reaction begins. This immune system response causes inflammation. Immune system cells, chemicals, and fluids flood to the site to overcome the offending substance. After the substance has been disabled or removed, the immune response ends. Inflammation subsides.

For some reason, though, people with Crohn’s disease have an immune system that reacts inappropriately. The immune system may be defending the body against helpful microbes by mistake. Or, for some other reason, the inflammatory response simply will not stop. Either way, over time, this chronic inflammation in the digestive system can result in ulcers and other injuries to the intestines.

Hereditary: -Crohn’s has a genetic component. Because of this, siblings of known people with Crohn’s are 30 times more likely to develop Crohn’s than the general population.

Environmental factors:-

Environmental factors may contribute to Crohn’s disease in one of these two ways:

  1. They may trigger an immune system response. Once started, the response cannot stop.
  2. They may directly damage the lining of the intestines. This may cause Crohn’s disease to  begin or to speed up.

Crohn’s is associated with an increased intake of animal protein, milk protein and an increased ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.  Those who consume vegetable proteins appear to have a lower incidence of Crohn’s disease.  Stress is sometimes claimed to exacerbate Crohn’s disease

Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

Signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease can range from mild to severe. They usually develop gradually, but sometimes will come on suddenly, without warning. You may also have periods of time when you have no signs or symptoms (remission).

The main symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:

  1. Belly pain. The pain often is described as cramping and intermittent, and the belly may be sore when touched. Belly pain may turn to a dull, constant ache as the condition gets worse.
  2. Diarrhea. Some people may have diarrhea 10 to 20 times a day. They may wake up at night and need to go to the bathroom.
  3. Blood in your stools Crohn’s disease may cause blood in stools, but not always. 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).
  4. Loss of appetite. 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.
  5. Mouth ulcers
  6. Fever. In severe cases, fever or other symptoms that affect the entire body may develop likely due to inflammation or infection. You may also feel tired or have low energy.
  7. Weight loss.
  8. Anaemia Some people with Crohn’s disease develop anemia because of low iron levels caused by bloody stools or the intestinal inflammation itself.
  9. Small tears in the anus (anal fissures)

People with severe Crohn’s disease may also experience:

  • Inflammation of skin, eyes and joints
  • Inflammation of the liver or bile ducts
  • Delayed growth or sexual development, in children

Complications of Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease may lead to one or more of the following complications:

  • Scarring and narrowing (stenosis), or may spread through the bowel wall (fistula).
  • Bowel obstruction.Crohn’s disease affects the thickness of the intestinal wall. Over time, parts of the bowel can thicken and narrow, which may block the flow of digestive contents.
  • Chronic inflammation can lead to open sores (ulcers) anywhere in your digestive tract, including your mouth and anus, and in the genital area (perineum).
  • Sometimes ulcers can extend completely through the intestinal wall, creating a fistula — an abnormal connection between different body parts. Fistulas can develop between your intestine and skin, or between your intestine and another organ. Fistulas near or around the anal area (perianal) are the most common kind.
  • Anal fissure.This is a small tear in the tissue that lines the anus or in the skin around the anus where infections can occur and cause painful bowel movement.
  • 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.
  • Colon cancer.Having Crohn’s disease that affects your colon increases your risk of colon cancer.
  • Other health problems.Among these problems is anemia, osteoporosis, and gallbladder or liver disease.

Homeopathic treatment of Crohn’s disease

Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach.This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering.The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat Crohn’s disease symptoms but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several well-proved medicines are available for Crohn’s disease treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, condition, sensation and modalities of the complaints.For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person.

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