Crohn’s disease is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract in humans. It can affect anyone irrespective of his/her age. Both men and women are prone to being affected by Crohn’s disease especially between the ages of 12-32.
The gastrointestinal tract starts from the mouth and includes oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon), rectum, and anus. Crohn’s disease, however has a greater probability of affecting the last part of the small intestine, the ileum and the beginning of the large intestine.
The signs of this disease start off with belly pain and diarrhoea. The bowel movement may sometimes have traces of blood in it. The diarrhoea continues for a long period of time and can result in losing weight and severe dehydration. Occurrences of mouth ulcers, fistulas between organs etc can be considered as other common signs.
In addition to this, there are some general symptoms that are connected with inflammatory bowel diseases like fever, abdominal cramps and pain, irregular menstrual cycle to name a few. If these symptoms persist, it is best advised to consult an expert in gastroenterology for further treatment.
There are many tests the patient is made to undergo to reconfirm if he or she is suffering from Crohn’s disease or not. One of the most common tests suggested is an endoscopy or a colonoscopy. A CT scan may be performed for having a better view of the bowels. Blood tests are also performed for anaemia testing. Another preliminary test performed to confirm Crohn’s disease is examining the stool sample. There are some problems associated with this disease though. Sometimes, it might take the form of some complications like small bowel obstructions, extra intestinal manifestations, kidney stones, gall bladder issues or even cancers in rare cases.
The dietary requirements for Crohn’s disease are not very rigorous. It must be kept in mind that what is being eaten will not cause the inflammation. However, since the patient may suffer from acute diarrhoea, it is imperative to keep making up for the loss of nutrition by eating healthy foods. Those who are lactose intolerant can substitute milk with almond milk, a healthier alternative. Pumping the body with healthy foods can help stay fit and fight further complications that come with the disease. Salmon, eggs, vegetable soups, papaya, pureed beans, chicken, avocado are some of the foods that people suffering from Crohn’s disease should have in their diets.
The exact reason why Crohn’s disease is caused is unknown.
Similarly, there is no known way to prevent the disease. The only solution is to mitigate its impacts by eating healthy food and raking in the nutrients which are very much essential to the functioning of the body. This can help fight weight loss, anaemia , dehydration etc. As it was mentioned earlier, the disease can lead to cancers like colon cancer. To make sure this is checked, the patient should undertake a colonoscopy examination once in a year.