Crohn’s Disease Explained

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. It most commonly affects the small intestine and/or colon but may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus.

The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Crohn’s disease is a relapsing-remitting disorder, which means that there are periods of flares (when symptoms are active) and periods of remission (when symptoms are inactive).

Treatment focuses on reducing the severity and frequency of flares and improving quality of life.

There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but remission is possible.

This article explains everything about Crohn’s disease and how you can live a full, happy productive life even if you have Crohn’s.

 

Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease


The most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

Other symptoms may include: 

  • Mouth sores
  • Skin rashes
  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Eye inflammation

While there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, there are treatments available to help manage the symptoms and minimize the impact on your life.

Should you experience any of the above symptoms, it is important to get in contact with your doctor to discuss the way forward.

 

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

 
The cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, but it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

 There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but it can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes.

 

The Emotional Impact of Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease can have a significant emotional impact. The symptoms can be debilitating, and the disease can be unpredictable.

This can lead to anxiety and depression.

It is important to seek help if you are struggling emotionally. There are also things you can do to cope with the emotional impact of Crohn’s disease.

It can be helpful to talk to others who have Crohn’s disease. This can help you feel less alone and can give you practical tips for dealing with the disease. There are also support groups available.

It is important to take care of yourself emotionally and physically. This includes getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep.

 

crohns_symptoms

Tips for Coping with Crohn’s Disease


If you’re living with Crohn’s disease, you know that it can be a challenge to cope with the symptoms and flare-ups. Here are some tips that may help you manage your condition and feel your best:

Stay on top of your medication
Taking your medication as prescribed can help reduce inflammation and prevent flare-ups.

Eat a healthy diet
Eating a diet that’s high in fiber and low in fat can help reduce symptoms.
Avoiding trigger foods that can worsen symptoms, such as spicy foods.

Get enough rest
Fatigue is a common symptom of Crohn’s disease.  Getting enough sleep can help your body recover from flare-ups and reduce stress.

Exercise regularly
Exercise can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase energy levels. It is important to find an
exercise routine that works for you and to stick with it. 

Stop Smoking
Smokers have a higher risk of flares.  It is advisable for a smoker to quit smoking for better management of this disorder.

Take Supplements
Some people with Crohn’s disease may also benefit from taking supplements.
There are a number of supplements that have been shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. These include omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, vitamin D, and turmeric.

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and can help to reduce the inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease. Probiotics are live bacteria that can help to improve the health of the gut.

Stress Management

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that can be very stressful to deal with. There are a few things that you can do to help cope with the stress of Crohn’s disease.

First, it is important to educate yourself about the disease and its symptoms so that you can be prepared for flare-ups.

Secondly, you should develop a support system of family and friends who can help you through tough times.

Finally, it is important to find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, and healthy eating.

If you can manage the stress of Crohn’s disease, you will be better able to cope with the disease itself.

Exercise
There are many ways to help cope with Crohn’s disease. One way is to exercise regularly. Exercise can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase energy levels.

It is important to find an exercise routine that works for you and to stick with it.

A low impact exercise is advised for IBD patients such as:

  • Rowing
  • Brisk walking
  • Swimming
  • Yoga

Low impact exercises don’t mean they are easy or ineffective so don’t let this discourage you from trying them.

crohns_lifestyle_changes

 

How Is Crohn’s Disease Diagnosed?

A doctor can usually diagnose Crohn’s disease by reviewing your medical history and performing a physical exam, along with some blood tests, x-rays as well as the following diagnostic methods:

Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is an exam of the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract, which is called the colon or large intestine (bowel).

Colonoscopy is a safe procedure that provides information other tests may not be able to give. Patients
who require colonoscopy often have questions and concerns about the procedure.

Colonoscopy is performed by inserting a device called a colonoscope into the anus and advanced through the entire colon (See the figure).

The procedure generally takes between 10 minutes and one hour.

Biopsy
A biopsy is when a small piece of your bowel gets removed during a colonoscopy procedure to check for signs of Crohns disease.

MRI or CT Scan

A scan to show a clear picture of your bowel.  You may have to drink a fluid before the scan to show your bowel clearly.

crohns_diagnosis

Diet and Nutrition

Diet and nutrition are important factors to consider when coping with Crohn’s disease.

While there is no specific diet that is known to cure Crohn’s disease, there are certain foods that can help to ease symptoms and promote healing.

Some helpful tips for coping with Crohn’s disease through diet and nutrition include:

  • Eating small, frequent meals rather than large meals
  • Avoiding trigger foods that worsen symptoms
  • Including plenty of high-fiber foods in the diet
  • Making sure to get enough fluids
  • Taking supplements as needed to ensure adequate nutrient intake

By following these diet and nutrition tips, people with Crohn’s disease can minimize symptoms and heal the intestinal lining and live a healthier life.

Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition that can be effectively managed with a few lifestyle changes and stress management techniques.

 

coping_with_crohns_disease

 

When to See a Doctor

In conclusion, although Crohn’s disease can be challenging to live with, it is important to remember that there are treatments available that can help to manage the symptoms and flares.

People with Crohn’s disease should work with their doctor to create a management plan that helps to keep symptoms under control.


As with any chronic illness, you will require to stay on top of your health, with the assistance of a qualified medical practitioner to guide you, at all times.

Dr George and Dr Deetlefs are clinical investigators at Spoke Research Inc and became involved in Clinical Research in 2017, and now runs the Inflammatory Bowel Disease trials.

If you’d like to take part in a clinical trial, join us here:

Apply for Crohn’s Disease Trial

Apply for Ulcerative Colitis Trial

We are here to provide you with expert medical advice in the field of clinical research with years of experience.

Contact us to find out more on clinical trials and treatment.

 

Medical surveys

Future treatments are now one step closer. 

Contact us

Spoke Research Inc
Mediclinic Milnerton,
Suite 109
Racecourse Rd, Milnerton
Cape Town

0215518678

Mon – Thurs: 08:00-15:00
Fri: 08:00-12:00
Sat: Closed

info@spokeresearch.co.za

Leave a Message

Privacy Agreement

1 + 15 =