Crohn’s disease is an internal medical condition of the bowels in which the small intestine experiences chronic inflammation. Chron’s disease usually begins in areas of healthy tissue and can spread throughout. The other areas of the body that can be affected by Chron's disease are the esophagus, mouth, anus and stomach. Chron's disease can occur over a person’s lifetime.
Signs and Symptoms
There are different signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease. They include, but are not limited to, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, joint pain, rashes, rectal bleeding, blood in the feces and stomach pain. These symptoms will appear, disappear and reappear over time.
Who Is Affected?
Even though anyone can be afflicted by Crohn's disease, people in the age bracket of 15 to 35 are more prone to the condition. Both genders are affected equally, as well as children. Crohn’s disease is hereditary as well, with 20 percent of sufferers being related to someone in their family who has inflammatory bowel disease.
Ideas as to what actually causes Crohn's disease abound, but none are definitive. One theory purports that the disease is caused by a virus or bacteria that afflict a person’s immune system, thus starting a reaction that consists of an inflamed intestinal tract. Although there is a lot of evidence that patients with this disease have abnormalities of the immune system, it is not known whether the immune problems are a cause or a result of the disease.
Foods to Avoid
Currently, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but certain steps can be taken to alleviate the problem. For example, foods that trigger symptoms should be avoided. These foods are spicy foods, bran, oats, nuts, beans, seeds, fried foods, greasy foods, butter, margarine, mustard, cream, alcohol, caffeine, broccoli, citrus fruits, cabbage, lettuce, red meat and avocados. Also limit dairy products, especially if you are lactose-intolerant.
Vitamins and Water
Sufferers of Crohn's disease should maintain a steady intake of multivitamins and supplements to receive important minerals and nutrients. B-12, vitamin D, iron, calcium and folic acid are advised. Eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day are a must to keep hydrated, especially since fluid is lost in diarrhea.