Are your skin and joints getting inflamed?
Have you been diagnosed recently with anaemia?
Did you notice ulcers growing in your mouth or anus?
Do you feel like you haven’t emptied your bowels even after a bowel movement?
Our team is ready to help you…
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then there’s a possibility that you might have Crohn’s disease.
But don’t let that scare you. Our team of accredited dietitians and nutritionists have helped many of our clients with the same condition manage their symptoms by dispensing the proper nutrition advice, formulating a personalised dietary plan, and suggesting certain adjustments to their lifestyle. If we can do all these services for them, we can do the same for you!
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic or long-term condition which causes inflammation and irritation of your gastrointestinal tract.
Gastroenterologists classify Crohn’s disease under a group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn’s disease got its name from Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, who, along with his fellow physicians Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer, published a case series about fourteen patients who exhibited its symptoms in 1932.
You can get Crohn’s disease at any age. However, it is more prevalent among young Caucasian adults between 20 and 30 years old. Rates of Crohn’s disease among Hispanics and Asians have also increased in recent years.
What are the different types of Crohn’s disease?
- Ileocolitis: This is the most common type of Crohn’s disease which affects the small and large intestines. Symptoms include diarrhoea, abdominal pain in the lower right region, cramping, and weight loss.
- Ileitis: This type affects the ileum or the end of the small intestine. Ileitis and ileocolitis share the same symptoms. In severe cases of the former, fistulas or inflammatory abscess may appear in the abdomen.
- Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease: This affects the stomach and the first part of the small intestine or the duodenum. Symptoms include weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.
- Jejunoileitis: In this case, the middle section of the small intestine or jejunum has several areas of inflammation. Symptoms include abdominal pain or cramps after eating and diarrhoea. In severe cases, fistulas may form in the jejunum.
- Crohn’s colitis: Also called granulomatous colitis, this type of Crohn’s disease affects only the large intestine or colon. Symptoms include diarrhoea, bleeding in the rectum, ulcers, fistulas, and ulcers around the anus, skin lesions, and joint pain.
What Are the Signs/Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?
The most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are abdominal pain and diarrhoea, which suggest inflammation in the colon and small intestine. Other symptoms include the following:
- Weight loss
- Blood in the stool
- Redness or pain in the eyes
- Joint discomfort or soreness
- Nausea or loss of appetite
Some studies reveal stress—including the stress of managing Crohn’s disease—can make your symptoms worse. Eating high-fibre foods such as nuts, vegetable skins, and popcorn and consuming carbonated or fizzy drinks can also worsen your Crohn’s disease symptoms.
What Are the Causes of Crohn’s Disease?
Unfortunately, the exact causes of Crohn’s disease are unknown. However, experts believe several factors may come into play:
- Autoimmune reaction: This occurs when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body. Experts believe digestive tract bacteria can trigger an immune system response which causes inflammation. This, in turn, may trigger Crohn’s disease symptoms.
- Genes: It’s possible to acquire Crohn’s disease from your family. If you have a first-degree relative (e.g., parent or sibling) who has it, there’s a bigger chance you may have it yourself.
- Smoking: Smoking doubles your chances of getting Crohn’s disease and decreases your body’s responsiveness to medications.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Excessive consumption of painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen, antibiotics and birth-control pills could increase your likelihood of having Crohn’s disease.
- High-fat diet: If your diet is high in fats, you may increase your chances of getting Crohn’s disease.
Is Crohn’s Disease Hereditary?
In some cases, Crohn’s disease is hereditary. According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, between 1.5 percent and 28 percent of people with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a parent, child, or sibling who also has a similar ailment. If both of your parents have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, then you have a substantially higher risk of getting it than other individuals.
Whilst genetics play a factor in Crohn’s disease, it is impossible to predict who may get it based on family history.
How Do I Get Treated for Crohn’s Disease?
There are several treatment options that can help you manage your Crohn’s disease. These include:
- Medication: The medicines that your physician will prescribe you aim to offset the effects of your immune system response, which causes the inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract. These medications also help heal your intestinal tissues and maintain the remission status of your Crohn’s disease.
- Diet and nutrition: Making specific changes to your diet may help ward off the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, replenish the nutrients you’ve lost from malabsorption, and boost healing of the inflamed parts of your gastrointestinal tract. Aside from steering clear of high-fibre foods and carbonated drinks, eating small and frequent meals during the day and drinking plenty of water should help you manage your Crohn’s disease more effectively.
- Surgery: This becomes necessary when medications become ineffective or complications such as a fistula, fissure, or intestinal obstructions arise. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation estimates 70 percent of people with Crohn’s disease will require surgery at some point during their treatment.
It’s important to remember that there is no standard treatment for everyone with Crohn’s disease. Each patient’s situation is unique, therefore you can expect your doctor and our team to formulate a treatment plan which is tailor-fit for you.
Our Experts Are Ready to Help You Manage Your Crohn’s Disease
Our team of gut and bowel health experts are ready to help you enjoy a better quality of life even with Crohn’s disease. We have been helping our Crohn’s disease clients manage their symptoms and prevent them from getting worse through our recommendations of a proper diet, good nutrition habits, and suitable lifestyle changes. We can also help you formulate an easy-to-follow, practical, and personalised treatment program that will help you manage your Crohn’s disease more efficiently.
Enquire with us now to find out more about how we can help you deal with your Crohn’s disease.