Crohn’s disease, or regional enteritis , is a chronic inflammation of the intestinal region , which can affect any part of the intestine Depending on the affected area, the symptoms are different and vary in intensity.

Causes of Crohn’s disease

The Crohn ‘s disease is part of the family of autoimmune diseases. Genetic predisposition is one of the most important risk factors. Crohn’s disease disorder can appear at any age, with a higher incidence between the ages of 50 and 70 . Today, there is no therapy capable of solving the disease, however, there is a wide range of treatments capable of alleviating symptoms .

The one who discovered this disease was the American doctor Burrill Bernard Crohn, in 1932 and the name of the disease is attributed to him.

How does this disease develop?

In half of the cases, Crohn’s disease affects the large intestine and the ileum and, for this reason, it is generally classified by doctors as Crohn’s disease of the colonic ileum .

The gastroduodenal variant affects the stomach and part of the small intestine (the duodenum). Crohn’s disease is designated according to the progression of symptoms.

Symptoms of Crohn’s disease

The symptoms that characterize Crohn’s disease usually alternate periods of attack with periods of remission. Among the most common initial symptoms are abdominal pain that often accompanies diarrhea and watery stools (especially in the case of inflammation of the ileum).

Abdominal swelling and diarrhea

Presence of blood and swelling can add to the symptoms of Crohn’s disease . In the case of stricture, diarrhea can add vomiting and nausea, which can suggest the beginning of a dangerous intestinal obstruction. More rarely, painful sores and ulcers appear that affect the mouth and may manifest with some difficulty in swallowing, accompanied by pain in the upper abdomen.

Symptoms in the abdominal region can manifest in many other ways.

Fever and fatigue.

People with Crohn’s disease may experience a low-grade fever, probably due to inflammation or infection. You may also feel tired or lack energy as in the case of fatigue .

Reduced appetite and weight loss

Abdominal pain in conjunction with colic or intestinal cramps and inflammatory reaction in the wall of the intestine can affect both your appetite and your ability to digest and absorb food.

Other symptoms

The uveitis is severe inflammation of insight and can cause severe pain, especially in the presence of light. Inflammation in the muscles and joints can be accompanied by arthritis, swelling, and stiffness . Crohn’s disease often affects the skin and blood. Painful nodules and ulcers can mainly affect the legs. Thrombosis, blood clots, shortness of breath, pale skin, fatigue, osteoporosis, stroke, and depression are other possible effects of the disease.

Symptoms of severe Crohn’s disease

People with severe Crohn’s disease may also experience :

  • Inflammation of the skin, eyes, and joints
  • Inflammation of the bile ducts of the liver
  • Delayed growth or delayed puberty

Crohn’s disease treatments

To date, there is no cure, but each treatment is aimed at alleviating the most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease . Changes in your lifestyle are the main means of maintaining the state of remission of symptoms. Changing your diet and quitting smoking are the main habits to which the Crohn’s patient must adapt.

Eating small meals, engaging in regular physical activity and abolishing the consumption of cheese and dairy products are also part of the recommendations. In addition, the intake of omega-3 probiotic supplements, a diet rich in antioxidants, as well as some types of herbs, can significantly improve the clinical picture.

Almond milk

Many people with Crohn’s disease are lactose intolerant . Luckily, there is a great alternative to dairy. The almond milk , which is made from ground almonds. Almond milk also has vitamin D and E , but it contains no cholesterol or saturated fat and fewer calories than cow’s milk. Many varieties contain added sweetener; You can choose to make homemade almond milk to take full advantage of all the benefits of almonds .

Oatmeal

This food is a great option for Crohn’s disease sufferers. The oatmeal is also highly recommended to lose weight fast.

Insoluble fiber in raw vegetables, fruits, and nuts draws water in the colon and can make diarrhea worse for people with this disease. But oatmeal has soluble fiber, which absorbs water and passes more slowly through the digestive tract , says Dalessandro, who is also a nutritional advisor for the  Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America . . “If you consume very lightly cooked oatmeal, that’s a great breakfast.”

Vegetable Soups

“A lot of people I see actually seem to be afraid of eating vegetables,” says Dalessandro. “Most of the time your diet is made up of a lot of white carbohydrate products, which of course are fine, but they don’t have a lot of nutrients.”

But even during an asthma attack, steamed and pureed vegetables like squash, carrots, and turnips are fine. And it will not lose its nutrients, as is done when vegetables are boiled. And these soups are recommended in the treatment of Crohn’s disease .

Salmon

25% of the calories you eat should come from protein, which is key to healing. Lean protein, such as shellfish, is the best option. ” Fish is very beneficial, especially fish that is high in omega 3 , like salmon, ” says Dalessandro. A healthy way to prepare seafood is steamed, or broiled, and try not to use the deep fryer.

Papaya

People with Crohn’s disease may think they should avoid fruits, but even during an outbreak, tropical fruits like bananas are a nutritious and easy-to-digest option . ” Mangoes and papaya are very rich in nutrients and very easy to digest,” says Dalessandro. Papaya contains an enzyme, papain, that helps the body digest protein ; This soft fruit is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and potassium, and is available year-round. Melon is a good option too.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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