What is Crohn’s disease?
A health article about Crohns disease fromYour Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
Crohn’s disease is a condition where any part of the digestive tract (from the mouth to the anus) becomes inflamed. Crohn’s disease is believed to be an auto-immune disease, in which the immune system attacks the lining of the affected area. The most common areas of the digestive tract affected by Crohn’s disease are the lower parts of the small bowel and the large bowel.
Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease are:
2. Abdominal pain, often in the lower right area
3. weight loss
4. Fistulas (tunnels from the bowel to skin surfaces)
5. Visual problems (blurred vision, red eyes or painful vision)
6. Joint pain or swelling, arthritis
7. Skin rashes
8. Liver problems
9. Rectal bleeding, such bleeding may be serious and persistent, leading to anemia
10. Fever may also occur.
11. Children with Crohns disease may suffer delayed development and stunted growth.
The range and severity of symptoms varies.
Unfortunately, medical advice is that there is not a cure for Crohns disease and patients must deal with the illness for their entire lifetime. Patients typically will have periods of active symptoms ("flares") followed by symptom-free periods ("remission").
The problem can be addressed with nutritional methods in particularly with the use of Aloe Vera Juice and with solid, broad spectrum nutritional supplementation.
How is it diagnosed?
The diagnosis of Crohn's disease relies on a typical clinical history and examination, as well as investigations to confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor may perform the following investigations to help make a diagnosis of Crohns disease:
• Full blood count- This may reveal anaemia due to malabsorption of vitamin B12, blood loss, or the effect of inflammation on the bone marrow. You may also have an elevated white cell) count if your disease is currently active.
• Serum inflammatory markers- ESR and CRP may be elevated in active disease.
• Liver function tests (LFT)- Can be used to monitor disease activity, and detect systemic involvement of liver if it occurs.
• Blood cultures if sepsis suspected.
• Stool cultures- May be needed if the case of diarrhoea to exclude infective colitis.
• Electrolytes- May be disturbed secondary to diarrhoea but are non-specific changes.
• Sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy- These are the main investigations used. These allow direct visualisation of the colon mucosa which may detect shallow ulcers or more widespread, deep ulcers producing a cobblestone appearance. Colonoscopy also allows the terminal ileum to be inspected which is a common site of Crohns disease. A biopsy (tissue sample) is essential to confirm the diagnosis and exclude other causes of colitis.
• Plain abdominal x-rays and barium studies are useful to detect narrowing of the lumen, ulcers and fistulas.
• Abdominal CT scan is occasionally performed to identify abscesses and other complications.
• You may also be investigated with newer methods such as radionuclide (isotope) scans or wireless capsule enteroscopy which allow examination of areas of the GIT not accessible by endoscopy. These techniques may not be available at all centres.
What Causes Crohn’s disease?
Several theories exist about what causes Crohn’s disease, but none have been proven. The human immune system is made from cells and different proteins that protect people from infection. The most popular theory is that the body’s immune system reacts abnormally in people with Crohn’s disease, mistaking bacteria, foods, and other substances for being foreign. The immune system’s response is to attack these “invaders.” During this process, white blood cells accumulate in the lining of the intestines, producing chronic inflammation, which leads to ulcerations and bowel injury.
Scientists do not know if the abnormality in the functioning of the immune system in people with Crohns disease is a cause, or a result, of the disease. Research shows that the inflammation seen in the GI tract of people with Crohn’s disease involves several factors: the genes the patient has inherited, the immune system itself, and the environment. Foreign substances, also referred to as antigens, are found in the environment. One possible cause for inflammation may be the body’s reaction to these antigens, or that the antigens themselves are the cause for the inflammation. Some scientists think that a protein produced by the immune system, called anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF), may be a possible cause for the inflammation associated with Crohns disease.
Treatment may include drugs, nutrition supplements, surgery, or a combination of these options. The goals of treatment are to control inflammation, correct nutritional deficiencies, and relieve symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. At this time, treatment can help control the disease by lowering the number of times a person experiences a recurrence, but there is no cure. Treatment for Crohn’s disease depends on the location and severity of disease, complications, and the person’s response to previous medical treatments when treated for reoccurring symptoms.
Some people have long periods of remission, sometimes years, when they are free of symptoms. However, the disease usually recurs at various times over a person’s lifetime. This changing pattern of the disease means one cannot always tell when a treatment has helped. Predicting when a remission may occur or when symptoms will return is not possible.
Diet change strategies:
Diet and nutritional factors can have a major impact on Crohn’s disease. Countless stories abound telling how nutrition supplementation has lead to a reduction in symptoms and then onto control and then ongoing remission of the problem.
Vitamin & Nutrient Associations
The most important supplement you can use to assist quickly with Crohn’s Disease is Aloe Vera Juice,
Following that, a good, rounded nutrition program should assist you to reduce the symptoms you experience.
Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your Crohns disease problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out. We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
After looking through the information on Aloe Vera Juice a good article that talks about how the nutrition from our food is assimilated into our bodies is:nutrition
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