If you’ve lost your appetite lately and are looking for the bathroom first everywhere you go, learn more about Crohn’s Disease. It may concern you.
What is Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disorder, non-infectious. Along with ulcerative colitis, it belongs to IBD (Idiopathic Inflammatory Bowel Diseases). The difference with ulcerative colitis is that while ulcerative colitis only causes inflammation in the lining of the large intestine, Crohn’s disease causes inflammation throughout the digestive tract, from the mouth to the terminal ileum, the last point of the small intestine.
It was named after the first doctor who published relevant research on it in 1932, the New Yorker Dr. Burrill. His collaborators in this research were Gordon Oppenheimer and Leon Ginzburg.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease may appear gradually but, in rare cases, they can develop rapidly.
It is difficult to diagnose because it affects the whole part of the digestive system and its symptoms can be “confused” with the symptoms of other disorders or diseases. If e.g. there are symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea, it can be “confused” with Irritable Syndrome, while if it “hits” higher in the small intestine it can look like appendicitis.
Your doctor will rule out anything else by asking you to have tests such as blood tests, stool tests, colonoscopy, gastroscopy and imaging tests. He will judge which of all these tests are necessary for your particular case. He will also most likely prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs at first, and then if indicated, biologics, newer drugs that treat some of the disease by using your immune system.
Surgery is deemed necessary only in the most severe cases, such as when fistulas and abscesses have formed that do not close in the rectum.
Early diagnosis is an important ally in predicting the disease and treating it immediately, in order to prevent the appearance of more serious symptoms of the Disease.
There is still no definitive and specific treatment, since the causes of Crohn’s Disease remain still unknown, despite continuous research and advances in medicine.
Crohn’s disease affects both sexes equally, between the ages of 15-35.
In a much smaller, but real, percentage it can also occur in children and the elderly.
About 50 people in 100,000 suffer from Crohn’s disease. Although its incidence rates are still considered relatively low, it is predicted that its rates will rapidly increase in the coming years in Western societies.
Although it is not an inherited disease, it is estimated that approximately 25% of sufferers have another family member with Crohn’s Disease, especially in the case of twins.
According to research, about 67% of sufferers who have the disease in remission will present at least one period of exacerbation in the next 5 years.
Crohn’s Disease Symptoms
Each person affected by Crohn’s Disease is an individualized case since they may have all or some of the symptoms, and may experience the disease in flare-ups or remissions. Also, it is possible for different symptoms to peak in each flare-up, depending on which part of your digestive system is affected by Crohn’s Disease.
The main symptoms are:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the stools
- High fever
- Anemia, due to malabsorption of nutrients for the body, especially magnesium
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Because Crohn’s disease can affect different parts of the entire length of the digestive system, from the mouth to the ileum, and it is not yet proven whether it affects other parts of the body, it can present symptoms such as:
- Canker sores in the mouth
- Red, irritated eyes
- Fistulas and rectal bleeding
- Skin irritations
- Leg wounds
- Pain in the joints
Crohn’s Disease Causes
As we mentioned above, the causes are still unknown. A possible general cause may be the interaction of genetic and environmental conditions.
Also, it is considered that the Disease can appear suddenly after a gastroenteritis, i.e. start the process of “autoimmune response” that leads to the Disease.
What is an autoimmune response? The body’s immune system gets “confused” and instead of killing the harmful cells, it starts attacking the healthy cells as well, causing inflammation on the inner surface of the digestive system and, in a second time, causing ulcers and bleeding.
Although stress, smoking and poor diet can trigger a flare-up of the disease, they are considered more triggers than causes of Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s Disease Diet
Just as the symptoms for each individual with Crohn’s disease vary, there is no one-size-fits-all diet recommendation for each individual. A food that benefits one person may harm another. Also, different are the foods that can do good in periods of recession and others in periods of upsurge.
Monitor your diet alone or with a dietitian, keeping a diary. See which foods trigger your problem so you can eliminate them, and which ones help reduce symptoms so you can include them in your daily diet.
In general, it would be a good idea to limit:
- fat and sugar intake
- fried foods
- dairy products
- the alcohol
Add foods rich in vitamins (mainly vitamin D and B vitamins), and minerals (mainly iron and magnesium).
It is also recommended to eat small portions of food frequently and drink plenty of water.
The psychology of a person with Crohn’s Disease
If you have Crohn’s Disease, which is a lifelong disease, you understand that you will have to learn to live with it.
Crohn’s Disease creates many negative feelings, such as constant worry, in every aspect of life, as it is unpredictable and “hits” at the most productive age.
For example, if you have Crohn’s disease, it is very likely that you live your daily life with a constant worry about whether you will have immediate access to a toilet, in case of need, even when you are going through a period of remission.
Also, because it is an “invisible” and relatively “unknown” disease, very often there is no corresponding understanding from the environment, e.g. from an employer.
It is normal for the Crohn’s Disease sufferer to need some time from the time of diagnosis, to accept and manage psychologically and practically the new situation in their daily life.
In this effort, it is important to have both the continuous psychological support of your close environment and at least the initial monitoring and guidance of a psychologist.
Crohn’s Disease is a chronic autoimmune condition whose causes are still unknown.
Now, however, it has been scientifically proven also in autoimmune diseases how great is the connection between the health of the body and psychology and the flow of energy within the body.
The first chakra, the Root chakra or Muladhara chakra is located at the base of our spine. It is related to the feeling of security in our life. Its colour is red.
If this chakra is in balance, then you feel grounded, secure and confident. When it is out of balance, you fear, you feel powerless to achieve anything.
One of the diseases that can manifest as a result of its imbalance are digestive disorders, including Crohn’s Disease.
A simple grounding exercise if your Root Chakra is out of balance is to walk barefoot.
Think about what the feeling of security in your life means, how much you feel it, how you will develop it.
Say positive statements such as:
- I always have what I need
- I feel safe, I am safe
- I trust myself and the flow of life
- I am in control of my life
Use healing crystals to boost your sense of security. Meditate with them.
Breathe deeply meditating on the thought of your emotional and physical safety. Feel the bright red energy flowing smoothly into your chakra, empowering it.
Energy Healing – Your Growth Guide
Treating each problem holistically guarantees longer-term results.
Come and choose the energy treatment that suits you. Each service works in addition to your doctor’s instructions and sessions with your psychologist. No medications are provided.
Feel more calm today, releasing all worry and insecurity from your soul. It is certain that your body will receive the message of confidence that you send it.