About Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s can affect any part of the digestive system, but is more commonly found at the end of the small intestine where it joins the beginning of the large intestine. While the main cause of Crohn’s isn’t known, some studies point to certain reactions of the immune system and genetics as potential causes. Factors of an individual’s lifestyle, such as smoking, a high-fat diet, and stress, may also influence their susceptibility to the disease.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease causes a collection of symptoms that vary patient-to-patient. These can include abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, bloody stool and weight loss. Other general symptoms include fatigue, fever, and night sweats. Some patients experience an urgent need to move their bowels. Constipation can also become a symptom. Additionally, women may experience an interruption in their menstrual cycles.
Treatment of Crohn’s Disease
It’s important that you seek treatment for Crohn’s disease from a specially-trained gastroenterologist. While there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, treatment usually involves a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and in more severe cases, surgery. Medication for Crohn’s includes several different types of prescription anti-inflammatory drugs. Implementing more exercise into your daily routine and eating a healthy diet that’s low in fat will also help mitigate symptoms.
Ultimately, treatment for Crohn’s depends on the location and severity of the disease. Some people have long periods of remission, sometimes years, when they are free of symptoms. However, the disease usually recurs at various times over a person’s lifetime.
Did You Know?
- Crohn’s affects 700,000 men and women in the U.S.
- Symptoms often start in people between the ages of 15 to 35.
- Up to 20% of people with Crohn’s have a blood relative with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The Southeast Gastro team is here to help with your Crohn’s disease diagnosis and treatment. If you think you have Crohn’s disease, please call us today or click here to request an appointment.