Gastroenterology

Crohns Disease

Crohn's disease is IBD/ Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

*Inflammation is a condition that causes symptoms such as pain, swelling, bleeding, difficulty moving, and an increase in temperature.

Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the digestive tract. It leads to the following symptoms:
  • Pain and cramps in the abdomen
  • Severe diarrhea (loose stools)
  • Fever
  • Pain in the anus
  • Blood in the stools
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue/ feeling excessively tired
  • Malnutrition
     
The symptoms of Crohn's disease may be mild to severe. Also, the symptoms usually develop gradually but sometimes can be sudden. Besides, sometimes there may not be symptoms at all.
The area of the digestive tract affected differs in different people. It usually affects the deeper layers of the bowel tissue or ileum/ the last segment of the small intestine. Crohn's disease can be debilitating and may lead to life-threatening complications.
 

Causes of Crohn's disease

  • Hereditary
  • Poor immunity
In addition, poor diet and stress can aggravate the symptoms.
 

Treatment of Crohn's disease

Treatment addresses the symptoms and prevents the condition from getting worse.
 

Medicines to reduce inflammation

Sulfasalazine/ Azulfidine is usually the first medicine that treats Crohn’s disease.
If the affected individual doesn’t respond to it, the following medicines are the choice:
  • Mesalamine/ Asacol, Pentasa, Canasa
  • Olsalazine/ Dipentum
  • Balsalazide/ Colazal, Giazol
 
Corticosteroids such as prednisone are the other drugs that are useful to reduce inflammation.
The doctor gradually tapers the dose of corticosteroids as the symptoms improve.
 
The following medicines help in correcting the altered immunity in Crohn’s disease:
  • 6-mercaptopurine/ 6MP, Purinethol
  • Azathioprine/ Azasan, Imuran
  • Cyclosporine
  • Methotrexate/ MTX, Rheumatrex, Trexall
  • Tacrolimus/ Prograf
Infliximab/ Remicade or infliximab-dyyb/ Inflectra are prescribed if the affected individual doesn’t respond to the above medicines.
 
In addition, the following medicines help tame the symptoms:
  • Fluid replacements help to tackle fluid losses resulted from diarrhea.
  • Antibiotics such as ampicillin, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, metronidazole, sulphonamides, and tetracycline help to treat bacterial infections of the affected organs.
  • Antidiarrheal medicines fight diarrhea.
  • Nutritional supplements help you overcome the nutritional deficiencies caused due to the disease.
 
As Crohn’s disease can be debilitating, the right treatment helps the affected individuals function well.
 

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