What You Need to Know About Crohn’s Disease: Crohn’s Symptoms in Adults
A guide to what you need to know about Crohn’s disease
Crohn’s disease is more commonly found in developed countries, and in the United States, about 700,000 Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease does not discriminate, it affects both men and women, and is a medical condition which is on the increase. You can have a normal life span with Crohn’s disease, but you need to change your diet.
The disease takes its name from Dr. Crohn who first described the disease in the early 1930’s. Crohn’s belongs to a group of conditions commonly known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases ( IBD) which are all conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Our gut can become inflamed for various reasons such as food poisoning or a food tolerance. Crohn’s disease is caused when the wall and intestine become inflamed. The inflammation causes swelling and severe pain in Crohn’s affected part of the bowel. The rest may stay healthy, and the disease can affect only specific areas. Crohn’s disease would often affect the small intestine and the start of the colon but can strike anywhere throughout the gastrointestinal system in our bodies.
What Causes Crohn’s Disease? Can Crohn’s Disease Be Fatal?
The cause, or causes, behind Crohn’s disease are not entirely clear, but there is a link to diet. The exciting thing is that it started to appear when we began to add artificial ingredients to our food and removed non pasteurized milk from the diet. However, that is not the full story. Some sufferers of Crohn’s disease have a close relative who also suffer the condition, so there could be a genetic link.
Other factors such as a bacteria or a virus may also play a role in the development of this condition. Recently it has also been suggested that the overuse of antibiotics can trigger Crohn’s disease as antibiotics destroy the good bacteria in the bowel as well as any harmful bacteria. Antibiotics can be very damaging to our gastrointestinal tract bowel, and when your doctor prescribes them, it is always advisable to take a good quality probiotic to protect your intestinal health.
Smokers are more likely to develop Crohn’s disease. But so far no clear link between smoking and Crohn’s disease has been found. However, it is well established that many smokers have a higher risk of infections as smoking affects the immune system. Any tobacco product also contains parabens, so that is part of the explanation to the link with cigarettes.
Crohn’s disease is also more common in people that have, or are receiving treatment with anti-inflammatory steroid-based medication for instance treatment for acute inflammation such as arthritis. There is also now another school of thought which seem to go some way towards linking Crohn’s disease with other inflammatory diseases such as Lupus, Rheumatism, and IBS.
The initial flare-up of Crohn’s disease can occur after virus infections such as influenza, and stress is known to affect this painful and distressing condition. Most sufferers of Crohn’s disease have also experienced juvenile arthritis when young, and there is a school of that that it may be a rheumatoid disease. Take the do I have Crohn’s disease quiz.
Crohn’s Disease Symptoms: Can You Die From Crohn’s Disease Symptoms?
How bad is Crohn’s disease is what most recently diagnosed patients ask. It serious, but can be treated, and diet is important. Is it early stages of colitis? Colitis can be confused with Crohn’s.
Diagnosing Crohn’s disease can be a complicated and difficult process which is often why many sufferers wait a long time for their diagnosis. The symptoms can be indications of many other diseases associated with the bowel. Also, Crohn’s and flu like symptoms are associated and makes it harder to diagnose the disease.
Tenesmus and Crohn’s Disease
Diarrhoea – this is the most common symptom. It may vary from mild to extremely severe. It may contain blood, mucus or pus. Most sufferers feel the need to rush to the bathroom. Sometimes a sufferer is not able to pass anything but still feel they need to go to the toilet. The medical term for this is Tenesmus.
Pain a Common Symptom of Crohn’s Disease
Pain– this is another common symptom. The bowel because inflamed and this leads to severe pain. The severity of the illness varies from person to person, but the pain often settles in the lower right side of the abdomen ( the lower part of the small intestine) and can be mistaken for appendicitis.
Weight Loss, Ulcers and Crohn’s Disease
Weight loss – Crohn’s disease causes weight loss as sufferers lose weight after problems with diarrhea and are not able to absorb sufficient nutrition from their food. Ulcers – just as you can get ulcers in your mouth the lining of your gut may become ulcerated which can lead to bleeding when you pass a motion and lead to further inflammation.
Tiredness and Crohn’s Disease
Feeling rundown – symptoms associated with other inflammatory conditions such as fever, tiredness, and loss of a healthy appetite are common. Anaemia often occurs, and many Crohn’s disease sufferers also have a problem with recurring mouth ulcers. It is often confused with rheumatism as joint pain is a common symptom.
Anal Fissures and Crohn’s Disease
Anal fissures are a common symptom. An anal fissure is a painful crack in the skin of the anus which can bleed. They look like small fleshy lumps which can become red when inflamed, and you can see them around the anus.
Crohn’s disease seems to “flare up” so symptoms of the disease may not always be experienced or visible. Most doctors use biopsies or perform colonoscopy for adequate diagnosis, but MRI scans are now also commonly used.
Can you die from Crohn’s disease symptoms? You can die from this disease, and early treatment is the best option.
What triggers Crohn’s disease? Do I have Crohn’s Disease?
There are many triggers associated with Crohn’s disease, and they vary significantly from each person.
Stress – people living in crowded cities and have stressful jobs seem to develop Crohn’s disease more often than people living in smaller communities. There are different kinds of stress, and we usually forget to mention food stress. Food stress is a hugely complicated topic. It can include what you eat, how you eat your food and what is in your diet.
Infection – Crohn’s disease can often show itself for the first time after virus infection or even a vacation abroad where the sufferer may have suffered from a virus which caused vomiting and diarrhea.
Foods – certain foods seems to be a trigger however this is very difficult as there is no hard and fast rule. Food sensitivity in Crohn’s disease is highly individual, but many sufferers report problems with milk-based products and foods which are high gluten.
Antibiotics – a lot of research is going on to find out if there is a link between antibiotics and Crohn’s disease. Many individuals with the disease have received treatment with antibiotics, long term or short term, before an initial flare up.
How to Manage Crohn’s Disease Naturally: Can You Live With Crohn’s Without Medication?
The most critical factor in managing Crohn’s disease naturally is to get to know what works for you. Crohn’s is such an individual disease, and most people have their individual coping strategy. One thing which is a problem for all sufferers is malnutrition which increases the severity of flare-ups and affects the sufferer’s general wellbeing.
Tips on How to Manage Crohn’s Disease Naturally
Almond milk – this is an excellent alternative to dairy milk and is very nutritious. It is high in vitamin E, and it helps to reduce inflammation. Non pasteurized milk, or other dairy products, will help as well.
Ground Flaxseeds – allowing ground flax seed to mix with water overnight creates a paste which can also be described as “ground flaxseed gel paste.” Eaten first thing in the morning it can help to reduce inflammation in the bowel wall.
Vitamin B Complex– all Crohn’s disease have low levels of vitamin B. Remember that vitamin B is water soluble and constant attacks of diarrhea will lead to a lack of vitamin B.
Iron – if you experience bleeding it is important to take a very gentle iron supplement which is not constipating.
Focus on reducing inflammation –a flax oil supplement and chamomile tea are both fantastic when it comes to reducing inflammation.
Buckwheat – buckwheat is full of nutrition, and there are some great products available. A buckwheat breakfast cereal is an excellent alternative to Cornflakes which so many doctors recommend as a breakfast food to Crohn’s disease sufferers. Cornflakes contain lectins, and they are known to affect the downside of all inflammatory bowel diseases.
Alfalfa sprouts– sprouts are highly nutritious and contain a lot of protein. Most sufferers prefer eating small meals, and a few sprouts go along way.
Chlorophyll – this is full of vital micronutrients which are stripped from your body when you suffer from Crohn’s disease. Some describe chlorophyll as sunshine – a powerhouse of essential health nutrients.
If you have been diagnosed keep a diary of what is going on with your body as getting to know how your body is coping with Crohn’s disease is the best way to know how you can manage your Crohn’s condition and reduce flare-ups.
Can a Plant Based Diet Help to Reduce Crohn’s Flare-Ups? Does Food restriction for Crohn’s Disease Patient Work?
Plant based diet can help us to control many diseases including diabetes. If you are suffering from Crohn’s disease, it is essential to stay away from all fruits which can cause inflammation. But that is not the only plant based foods which you should stay away from when you suffer Crohn’s. Legumes, lentils, and potatoes can cause flare-ups, and you should try to limit them in your diet. Soya can also cause problems, and GM corn should not be part of a plant based diet for Crohn’s disease.
Grains are excellent when it comes to managing Crohn’s disease naturally. Try to stick to local grains as imported grains such as quinoa can contain a lot of molds which can cause problems for the entire gastrointestinal tract. If you are planning to switch to a plant based diet for Crohn’s, it is important that you do it slowly, and make sure you tolerate the food you are adding to your diet.
What Are Prebiotics? Probiotics vs. Prebiotics
Taking a probiotic supplement is one of the best things you can do as part of a treatment plan for the disease. Probiotics are live yeasts and bacteria and need to to be kept alive by the right diet Probiotics do not stay alive without the presence of prebiotics. They are what feed the probiotics and plant based foods contain prebiotics which your body can put to good use quickly. In fact, they are a kind of fiber and when you suffer from any type of inflammatory bowel disease, gentle fibers which do not bind carbohydrates is what the body needs.
Prebiotics are available in leeks, onions, and garlic which can be added to your cooking to give it more flavor. However, if you are looking for an excellent natural source, you should add sweet potatoes to your diet. Most sufferers of IBD claim they feel better when eating sweet potatoes. The gentle fibers they contain, in other words, prebiotics, are what make you feel better. But that is not all; sweet potatoes also help you to support your liver. Along with a supplement of milk thistle, both can improve the digestive process to help you to manage Crohn’s disease naturally. In fact, prebiotics should always be part of even a mild Crohn’s disease diet.
Dark leafy greens are an excellent source, and the leaves of Pak choi which are often discarded, are packed with gentle prebiotics. Sometimes we waste the food which we should be eating. It costs us both money and is health may even suffer as a result. We have for far too long ignored the important how a plant based diet when it comes to many illnesses, but it is about time we started to treat our diseases with food. Maybe then we would live longer and enjoy fuller lives.
What you need to know about Crohn’s disease can be a lifelong journey. The most important thing is to what triggers Crohn’s disease in your case, and you need to learn how to manage Crohn’s disease naturally. It is better than any drug, and most doctors are even unsure which drugs trigger the disease or flare-ups of the disease. Maybe it is not the doctors who have to go the best answers; it could be that you, and healing plants, have got all of the RIGHT answers.