CROHN’S DISEASE

This page is mainly for educating those who do not know about Crohn’s Disease and it’s effects on the body.  As unpleasant and graphic as this sounds, I’m posting this because this is my life and the cards I’ve been dealt.  I’ll be the first to make poop jokes, and I’m not overly sensitive about anything, but there’s no shame in this disease.  For those of you with Crohn’s Disease visiting my page, there are also support groups if you are interested.

All of the information posted came from here and here, I just downsized a little.

Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It usually affects the intestines, but may occur anywhere from the mouth to the end of the rectum (anus)

Cause:

The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown. It is an autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.

People with Crohn’s disease have ongoing (chronic) inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). Crohn’s disease may involve the small intestine, the large intestine, the rectum, or the mouth. The inflammation causes the intestinal wall to become thick.

Symptoms:

Symptoms depend on what part of the gastrointestinal tract is affected. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and can come and go with periods of flare-ups.

The main symptoms of Crohn’s disease are crampy abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, persistent diarrhea, weight loss, joint pain and swelling, fistulas, vomiting, inability to absorb nutrients, and bleeding.

Treatment:

No specific diet has been shown to make Crohn’s symptoms better or worse. Specific food problems may vary from person to person.
However, certain types of foods can make diarrhea and gas worse.

STRESS

You may feel worried, embarrassed, or even sad and depressed about having a bowel accident. Other stressful events in your life, such as moving, a job loss, or the loss of a loved one can cause digestive problems.

MEDICATIONS

You can take medication to treat very bad diarrhea. Loperamide (Imodium) can be bought without a prescription. Always talk to your doctor or nurse before using these drugs.

Other medicines to help with symptoms include:

  • Fiber supplements may help your symptoms. You can buy psyllium powder (Metamucil) or methylcellulose (Citrucel) without a prescription. Ask your doctor about these products.
  • Always talk to your doctor before using any laxative medicines.
  • You may use acetaminophen (Tylenol) for mild pain.
  • Drugs such as aspirinibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) may make your symptoms worse.

Your doctor may also give you a prescription for stronger pain medicines.

Medicines that may be prescribed include:

  • Aminosalicylates (5-ASAs) are medicines that help control mild to moderate symptoms. Some forms of the drug are taken by mouth; others must be given rectally.
  • Corticosteroids (prednisone and methylprednisolone) are used to treat moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. They may be taken by mouth or inserted into the rectum.
  • Medicines such as azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine quiet the immune system’s reaction.
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed for abscesses or fistulas.
  • Biologic therapy is used to treat patients with severe Crohn’s disease that does not respond to any other types of medication. Medicines in this group include Infliximab (Remicade) and adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab (Cimzia), and natalizumab (Tysabri).

SURGERY

If medicines do not work, a type of surgery called bowel resection may be needed to remove a damaged or diseased part of the intestine or to drain an abscess. However, removing the diseased portion of the intestine does not cure the condition.

Patients who have Crohn’s disease that does not respond to medications may need surgery, especially when there are complications such as:

  • Bleeding (hemorrhage)
  • Failure to grow (in children)
  • Fistulas (abnormal connections between the intestines and another area of the body)
  • Infections (abscesses)
  • Narrowing (strictures) of the intestine

Some patients may need surgery to remove the entire large intestine (colon), with or without the rectum.

Expectations (prognosis)

There is no cure for Crohn’s disease. The condition is marked by periods of improvement followed by flare-ups of symptoms.

It is very important to stay on medications long-term to try to keep the disease symptoms from returning. If you stop or change your medications for any reason, let your doctor know right away.

There is a higher risk for small bowel and colon cancer if you have Crohn’s disease.

2 thoughts on “CROHN’S DISEASE

  1. Can it occur that diarrhea happens for a long while…then after a couple years, it reverses to constipation?
    I am sorry you have to deal with such a crappy situation. I have tons of bowel troubles, but I doubt it compares to chron’s. You are very positive, great way to be.
    I am terrified of invasive tests and am underweight, so doing colonscopy is outta the question for me. But I get a lot of stitches in my gut, air bubbles (like gas trapped that won’t burp out), constipation, (or sometimes just mushy, smelly and dirty bowel movements..like i don’t absorb my food right you know?….there was a period long ago where I did have the diarrhea spurts and all that and nausea for a long time, but that eventually went and now its *this* whatever that is…

    I keep wondering if I can figure it out without invasive investigations because my doctors are so useless anyway 😦 Ugh. I’ve read that FOODMAPS can help , but that kind of eating regime is…well, not mentally appealing…like I hear that low-fat helps with bad IBS, but i love healthy fats (a LOT of them: oils, avocados, nut butters, etc).
    So then I hear that SCD/GAPS helps, but that seems so ….intense..and I worry about doing that when I’m ALREADY underweight and can’t afford to lose…plus, I would think that fibre is needed to clean out the system, you know?

    I probably have food allergies, but too stubborn to do anything about it 🙂
    Lately I’ve been getting pimples on my hand, which is weird and freaking me out a little !

    I’ve also heard “The Maker’s Diet” is a good read, he cured his chrons I believe.

    Take care!

    • I’m sorry you are having such difficulties. I don’t know what your issue is, but it may be worthwhile to go to the doctor. I have had 5 colonoscopies in my life and the worst part is the bowel prep the night before. They knock you out for the colonoscopy itself, but not so much that they have to put you on a ventilator or anything. I’ve thought about doing the Paleo diet to help with things, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of that. I’ve heard good things from people who do the SCD/GAPS, but it is also very intense. It’s just hard to figure out what you want to sacrifice in order to feel good. That’s mainly the question. I hope you figure out what is going on, maybe try the SCD/GAPS diet for a couple of weeks. Just to see if it IS your diet, if not, I’d go to a doctor, one that is a GI specialist.

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