An inflammatory disorder that causes inflammation in the wall of the gut is known as Crohn’s disease. This disorder can affect any part of the GI tract.
Crohn’s disease can result in inflammation developing in the patches of the gastrointestinal tract, and it can affect any part of this tract. However, it most commonly occurs in the final part of the small intestine, known as the ileum. About half of the cases of Crohn’s disease report inflammation in the ileum. Other parts, such as the mouth, gullet, and stomach, are not much commonly affected.
A patch of inflammation may vary in size. In many cases, there are several patches distributed in the entire gut. About 2 in every 10 cases of Crohn’s disease report inflammation in the colon.
What causes Crohn’s disorder?
The exact reason for Crohn’s disease is not yet known. Doctors can figure out that 3 in 20 people with Crohn’s disease also have at least one relative infected by this disorder. It means that genetics cannot be ruled out when examining risk factors. Some researchers say that this disorder may be due to a bacterial or viral infection. Another most convincing theory suggests that this infection may be due to some conditions that trigger the immune system going for an overdrive, which results in inflammation in the gut.
Crohn’s disease has become more common in recent years, but its reason is not yet known. Statistics suggest that this condition is more common in smokers compared to non-smokers.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease
Symptoms of this disorder may vary depending on which part of the gut is infected. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fatigue. These symptoms occur due to inflammation in the gut. The symptoms of this disorder may include the following.
Diarrhea: It is the most common symptom of Crohn’s disease. It can be mild to severe. Stools that you pass out in this situation may have traces of pus, blood, or mucus. Another more common reason is the urgency to get to the toilet.
Pain: About 7 in 10 cases report pain. The site of pain depends on the affected part of the gut. The most common site is where the small intestine ends. Most people mistake the pain due to Crohn’s disease as appendicitis. The pain severity can vary in different people. Sudden pain or worsening pain may indicate a developing complication.
Weight loss: Crohn’s disease can result in an unintentional and unexplained weight loss.
Ulcer: You can identify the presence of ulcers through the traces of blood in your stools.
Feeling unwell: With Crohn’s disease, you might start feeling unwell. It may include loss of appetite, tiredness, and fever.
Diagnosis and treatment
Your doctor will run a few tests to determine whether or not you have Crohn’s disease. These tests may include blood tests, stool tests, X-rays tests, MRI, and CT scans. The diagnosis helps your doctor understand the severity and location of patches of inflammation.
The treatment of this disorder generally aims at keeping symptoms at bay. The doctor will suggest dietary changes as the first step of treatment. He may also recommend a few medications. Experts generally recommend a lifestyle change to avoid symptoms from flaring up. If nothing works, your doctor may consider surgery to remove or rest the infected parts.