Information About Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)
We Have to know about Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)
- An inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract
- Crohn’s disease can be both painful and debilitating and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications
Could be dangerous, if the answer is YES for any one of the following questions
- Pain in the abdomen region?
Causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)
- Abnormal immune response
Do’s and Don’ts of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)
- Consult the doctor when the symptoms arise
Signs & Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Blood in stool
- Reduced appetite and weight loss
- Other symptoms that may be present: fever and fatigue, arthritis, eye inflammation, and skin disorders
Medical advice for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)
- See your doctor if you experience a persistent change in your bowel habits or if you have any of the signs and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Although inflammatory bowel disease usually isn’t fatal, it’s a serious disease that, in some cases, may cause life-threatening complications.
Risk factors of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)
- Age. Most people who develop IBD are diagnosed before they’re 30 years old. But some people don’t develop the disease until their 50s or 60s.
- Race or ethnicity. Although whites have the highest risk of the disease, it can occur in any race. If you’re of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, your risk is even higher.
- Family history. You’re at higher risk if you have a close relative — such as a parent, sibling or child — with the disease.
- Cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking is the most important controllable risk factor for developing Crohn’s disease. Although smoking may provide some protection against ulcerative colitis, the overall health benefits of not smoking make it important to try to quit.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve), diclofenac sodium (Voltaren) and others. These medications may increase the risk of developing IBD or worsen disease in people who have IBD.
- Where you live. If you live in an industrialized country, you’re more likely to develop IBD. Therefore, it may be that environmental factors, including a diet high in fat or refined foods, play a role. People living in northern climates also seem to be at greater risk.
Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)
- Your doctor will likely diagnose inflammatory bowel disease only after ruling out other possible causes for your signs and symptoms. To help confirm a diagnosis of IBD, you may have one or more of the following tests and procedures:
- Tests for anemia or infection. Your doctor may suggest blood tests to check for anemia — a condition in which there aren’t enough red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues — or to check for signs of infection from bacteria or viruses.
Fecal occult blood test. You may need to provide a stool sample so that your doctor can test for hidden blood in your stool.
- The goal of inflammatory bowel disease treatment is to reduce the inflammation that triggers your signs and symptoms. In the best cases, this may lead not only to symptom relief but also to long-term remission and reduced risks of complications. IBD treatment usually involves either drug therapy or surgery.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs are often the first step in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Anti-inflammatories include corticosteroids and aminosalicylates, such as mesalamine (Asacol HD, Delzicol, others), balsalazide (Colazal) and olsalazine (Dipentum). Which medication you take depends on the area of your colon that’s affected.
Immune system suppressors
- These drugs work in a variety of ways to suppress the immune response that releases inflammation-inducing chemicals in the intestinal lining. For some people, a combination of these drugs works better than one drug alone.
- Some examples of immunosuppressant drugs include azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran), mercaptopurine (Purinethol, Purixan), cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune) and methotrexate (Trexall).
- One class of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha inhibitors, or biologics works by neutralizing a protein produced by your immune system. Examples include infliximab (Remicade), adalimumab (Humira) and golimumab (Simponi). Other biologic therapies that may be used are natalizumab (Tysabri), vedolizumab (Entyvio) and ustekinumab (Stelara).
- Antibiotics may be used in addition to other medications or when infection is a concern — in cases of perianal Crohn’s disease, for example. Frequently prescribed antibiotics include ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and metronidazole (Flagyl).
Other medications and supplements for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)
In addition to controlling inflammation, some medications may help relieve your signs and symptoms but always talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications. Depending on the severity of your IBD, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following:
- Anti-diarrheal medications. A fiber supplement — such as psyllium powder (Metamucil) or methylcellulose (Citrucel) — can help relieve mild to moderate diarrhea by adding bulk to your stool. For more severe diarrhea, loperamide (Imodium A-D) may be effective.
- Pain relievers. For mild pain, your doctor may recommend acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). However, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve) and diclofenac sodium (Voltaren) likely will make your symptoms worse and can make your disease worse as well.
- Iron supplements. If you have chronic intestinal bleeding, you may develop iron deficiency anemia and need to take iron supplements.
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements. Crohn’s disease and steroids used to treat it can increase your risk of osteoporosis, so you may need to take a calcium supplement with added vitamin D.
Nutritional support for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)
- Your doctor may recommend a special diet given via a feeding tube (enteral nutrition) or nutrients injected into a vein (parenteral nutrition) to treat your IBD. This can improve your overall nutrition and allow the bowel to rest. Bowel rest can reduce inflammation in the short term.
- If you have stenosis or stricture in the bowel, your doctor may recommend a low-residue diet. This will help to minimize the chance that undigested food will get stuck in the narrowed part of the bowel and lead to a blockage
Surgery for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)
- If diet and lifestyle changes, drug therapy, or other treatments don’t relieve your IBD signs and symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery.
- Surgery for ulcerative colitis. Surgery can often eliminate ulcerative colitis. But that usually means removing your entire colon and rectum (proctocolectomy).
- In most cases, this involves a procedure called an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. This procedure eliminates the need to wear a bag to collect stool. Your surgeon constructs a pouch from the end of your small intestine. The pouch is then attached directly to your anus, allowing you to expel waste relatively normally.
- In some cases, a pouch is not possible. Instead, surgeons create a permanent opening in your abdomen (ileal stoma) through which stool is passed for collection in an attached bag.
- Surgery for Crohn’s disease. Up to one-half of people with Crohn’s disease will require at least one surgery. However, surgery does not cure Crohn’s disease.
- During surgery, your surgeon removes a damaged portion of your digestive tract and then reconnects the healthy sections. Surgery may also be used to close fistulas and drain abscesses.
- The benefits of surgery for Crohn’s disease are usually temporary. The disease often recurs, frequently near the reconnected tissue. The best approach is to follow surgery with medication to minimize the risk of recurrence.
Self-care for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease)
- Limit dairy products
- Try low-fat foods
- Avoid gassy foods like beans, cabbage, and spicy food, popcorn, alcohol, caffeine
- Eat small meals
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Regular exercise, yoga, massage or meditation
- Deep breathing
- Progressive relaxation exercises: tighten the muscles in your body and then concentrate on slowly letting all the tension go. Continue until every muscle in your body, including those in your eyes and scalp, is completely relaxed.
- Blood Test
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy