Crohn’s disease is one of the most common inflammatory bowel diseases that people are afflicted by in the United States. This disease causes significant inflammation in a person’s digestive tract. As you can imagine, the inflammation often results in severe pain, as well as fatigue and malnutrition.
All of this being said, Crohn’s disease is extremely complex. Below, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about Chrohn’s.
What is Crohn’s Disease?
We already mentioned that Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disorder. It should be noted that, most often, Crohn’s does spread to other areas of the digestive tract and can be found deep within the layers of the bowel.
With Crohn’s, any part of your bowel or intestines can be impacted. Since it often prevents your body from digesting or absorbing nutrients, many also suffer from malnutrition and subsequent, life-threatening diseases or illnesses.
A frightening component of Crohn’s is that there is no cure. Some therapies have been proven to alleviate stress and reduce inflammation. However, those who live with Crohn’s disease will likely suffer from it for the rest of their lives.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
Now that you know what Crohn’s disease is, you should probably know how to identify the various signs and symptoms that can surface in those afflicted by it.
Remember that these symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe, and not everyone who has Crohn’s disease will suffer from the same symptoms. There will even be times when those living with Crohn’s don’t show any symptoms at all.
Here is a list of the symptoms and complications that people with Crohn’s can experience:
- Bowel Obstruction: Because people who have Crohn’s can experience inflammation of the intestines and bowels, the bowel can develop significant scarring. Once this scarring sets in, the bowel will become more and more narrow over time; thereby, resulting in bowel obstructions.
- Diarrhea: This falls in the same category as bowel obstruction. You can experience diarrhea for several reasons, for example, inflammation, lack of nutrients, pain, fever, etc.
- Anal fissure: Anal fissures are small tears in and around the bowel. This is usually caused by painful bowel movements and often requires a trip to the hospital.
- Fatigue: You can also experience fatigue because of infections, inflammation, and many other illnesses or diseases secondary to Crohn’s. It should also be noted that fatigue can be caused by a lack of nutrients, which we’ve already mentioned to be a result of Crohn’s.
- Weight Loss: Because people with Crohn’s often experience difficulty absorbing nutrients, weight loss is a common complication.
Should you see a doctor?
If you’re experiencing painful bowel movements or overall issues with your digestive tract, you may be thinking of going to the doctor. Of course, you likely don’t want to make unnecessary trips to the hospital, which is why we’ve compiled a list of signs and symptoms of Crohn’s that warrant a trip to the hospital or your doctor.
- Abnormal pain: You know your body best. If you’re having pain that is abnormal for you or if you have abnormally painful bowel movements
- Blood: Generally speaking, blood is rarely a good thing. If you notice blood in your bowel movements, it’s likely a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor.
- Fever when combined with other symptoms: Fevers usually indicate an illness or infection. However, if you notice that you have a fever and aren’t experiencing cold-like symptoms, you might want to do a body audit. If you notice that you’re experiencing symptoms similar to those we’ve already mentioned, it’s best to get checked.
- Long-lasting diarrhea: Most people experience diarrhea now and then. However, if you’re experiencing it for long periods of time with no other explanation, you should see a doctor.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Ongoing bouts of diarrhea that don’t respond to over-the-counter (OTC) medications
- Unexplained fever lasting more than a day or two
- Unexplained weight loss
What causes Crohn’s Disease?
While Crohn’s disease has been studied for a long time, there are no unknown causes of it to date. We know that the disease may be hereditary and that disease could trigger it once the virus invades the immune system; however, these are just theories.
There are also several risk factors including, but not exclusive to:
Crohn’s disease is a painful, incurable, and long-term disease that affects many. Beyond common signs and symptoms, not much is known about Crohn’s. If you’re experiencing inflammation or pain, you may want to consider contacting a doctor to rule out Crohn’s.