Crohn's disease: Who gets it? Symptoms, causes, complications, treatment!

Over time, Crohn's can result in other complications such as anemia, skin rashes, arthritis, inflammation of the eye.

Updated: Oct 12, 2016, 13:45 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Crohn's disease is a chronic condition that often strikes people in their early years, causing inflammation in the lining of the digestive tract. It can affect people of all ages, including children. Crohn's disease may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus.

Crohn's disease, which is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), affects about 3.2 per 1,000 people in Europe and North America. However, it is less common in Asia and Africa, as per Wikipedia.

 

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease range from mild to severe, and can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Blood and mucus in your faeces
  • Mouth sores

Complications

Over time, Crohn's can result in other complications such as anemia, skin rashes, arthritis, inflammation of the eye.

What causes Crohn's disease?

The exact causes of Crohn's disease are unknown, however, researchers believe it is caused by a combination of factors involving genetics, the environment, and an overactive immune system, previous infection, smoking.

In a latest, a new study led by researchers at McMaster University found that a common food-poisoning bacteria called adherent-invasive E. coli, or AIEC causes rapid growth in a certain bacterium that’s linked to the development of Crohn’s.

 

Treatment

There are no medications or surgical procedures that can cure Crohn's disease. The main aim of the treatment is to reduce inflammation that triggers your symptoms and maintain remission.

Diet and lifestyle changes

Besides anti-inflammatory drugs that are often used as the first step in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, changes in diet and lifestyle may help manage Crohn's disease.

While there's no proof to suggest that diet plays a key role in Crohn's, certain foods may aggravate your symptoms. For instance, keeping a food diary to find out which foods are good as well as bad for your symptoms. Avoiding foods that cause your symptoms to flare may be helpful in managing the conditions.

Quitting smoking can reduce your symptoms of Crohn's disease and improve the overall health of your digestive tract, besides other health benefits.