“The inflammation caused by Crohn’s Disease often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissue. Crohn’s disease can be both painful and debilitating, and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications.” ~ Mayo Clinic
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn`s disease is one of the most underrated diseases out there, meaning that we often take it for granted and fail to understand its severity until it affects us or our closed ones.
It is an inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract and it is speculated to be caused by a specific bacteria called mycobacterium.
Crohn`s disease is a serious medical condition and some potential complications include hepatitis, arthritis, jaundice, cirrhosis, rupture of the intestines, painful eye conditions, and even cancer. This condition breaks in the lining of the small and large intestines and affects the digestive system from the mouth all the way to the rectum.
A few facts of Crohn’s disease:
- It is a predominantly Caucasian disease
- It usually starts between adolescence and early adulthood
- Number of cases of this disease is constantly on the rise in the U.S
- A small rise is reported for 2 demographics: those over age 50 and African Americans.
- People of Jewish-European descent are more likely to develop Crohn’s
5 Early Warning Signs of Crohn’s Disease
- Abdominal Pain
According toDr. Ellen J. Scherl, MD, director or the Jill Roberts Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and professor of medicine at Cornell University, “This disease presents in the right lower quadrant, below the belly button,” which is the area that includes the appendix and small intestine, or ileum.
The right lower quadrant of the abdomen is also the part where appendicitis can occur. The difference is the pain felt. The one caused by Crohn’s is intermittent and moderate while the latter is acute and sharp.
Diarrhea which lasts more than a month is a very common symptom of Crohn`s disease. However, this condition is not the only inflammatory condition which triggers diarrhea. Three others are noted by doctors: lactose intolerance, celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Kidney Stones
Inflammation of the small intestine can lead to many different problems. For people dealing with Crohn`s disease, one of the more painful extraintestinal symptoms is kidney stones.
Kidney stones usually form due to an accumulation of minerals and salts within the kidneys. They can affect any part of the urinary tract and can be extremely difficult to pass. According to statistics, people with Crohn`s disease are more likely to develop kidney stones than the rest of the population.
- Skin Problems
As discussed above, inflammation is the hallmark of irritable bowel syndrome, including Crohn`s disease. Inflammation isn’t always limited to one area of the body, and our skin is the most visible target. According to Dr. Scherl, Crohn’s patients often develop “red, raised areas … that are tender.”
- Weight Loss
Around 20% of people suffering from Chron`s report loss of appetite, which is the major reason why people lose weight. Other causes include food aversions, malnutrition, malabsorption, and nutrient losses. Unfortunately, people with Crohn’s may come to associate eating with pain, leading to eliminating foods which carry essential nutrients.