Crohn's Disease is a disease in which there is chronic inflammation of the intestines. Primarily there are ulcerations of both types of intestines that is the small and large intestines, but the illness can affect any part of the entire digestive tract from the mouth to the anus. Crohn's disease is very similar in its manifestation to another illness of similar type which affects similar body organs in similar way, which is known as Ulcerative Colitis. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease have no medical cure. Once the diseases begin, they tend to fluctuate between periods of inactivity (remission) and activity (relapse). Crohnâ€™s disease commonly begins during adolescence and early adulthood, but it also can begin during childhood and later in life. Crohn's disease tends to be more common in relatives of patients with Crohn's disease. It also is more common among relatives of patients with ulcerative colitis. The cause of Crohn's disease is unknown. Crohn's disease is not contagious. Diet may affect the symptoms in patients with Crohn's disease. Activation of the immune system in the intestines is most likely to be important in Crohn's disease. Normally, the immune system defends the body against harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other foreign invaders. Activation of the immune system causes inflammation within the tissues where the activation occurs. Normally, the immune system is activated only when the body is exposed to harmful invaders. In patients with Crohn's disease the immune system is activated in the absence of any external invader.
The continued abnormal activation of the immune system results in chronic inflammation and ulceration. The susceptibility to abnormal activation of the immune system is genetically inherited. Thus, first degree relatives (brothers, sisters, children, and parents) of patients with Crohn's disease are more likely to develop these diseases. In the early stages, Crohn's disease causes small, scattered, shallow, crater-like areas (erosions) on the inner surface of the bowel. These erosions are called aphthous ulcers. With time, the erosions become deeper and larger, ultimately becoming true ulcers (which are deeper than erosions) and causing scarring and stiffness of the bowel. As the disease progresses, the bowel becomes increasingly narrowed, and ultimately can become obstructed. Deep ulcers can puncture holes in the wall of the bowel, and bacteria from within the bowel can spread to infect adjacent organs and the surrounding abdominal cavity. The different subtypes of Crohn's disease and their symptoms are:
Crohn's terminal ileitis and ileo-colitis are the most common types of Crohn's disease. Up to one third of patients with Crohn's disease may have one or more of the following conditions involving the anal area:
Crohn's disease doesn't just affect you physically only but it takes an emotional toll as well. If signs and symptoms are severe, your life may revolve around a constant need to run to the toilet. In some cases, you may barely be able to leave the house. When you do, you might worry about an accident, and this anxiety only makes your symptoms worse.
Even if your symptoms are mild, gas and abdominal pain can make it difficult to be out in public. You may also feel hampered by dietary restrictions or embarrassed by the nature of your disease. All of these factors â€" isolation, embarrassment and anxiety â€" can severely alter your life. Sometimes they may lead to depression.
You may also find it reassuring to be among people who understand what you're going through.
Some people find it helpful to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist who's familiar with inflammatory bowel disease and the emotional difficulties it can cause. Although living with Crohn's disease can be discouraging, the outlook is brighter than it was even just a few years ago.
Lifestyle and other remedial measures:
Sometimes you may feel helpless when facing Crohn's disease. But changes in your diet and lifestyle may help control your symptoms and lengthen the time between flare-ups.
There's no firm evidence that what you eat actually causes inflammatory bowel disease. But certain foods and beverages can aggravate your signs and symptoms, especially during a flare-up in your condition. It's a good idea to try eliminating from your diet anything that seems to make your signs and symptoms worse. Here are some suggestions that may help:
Eat small meals. You may find you feel better eating five or six small meals rather than two or three larger ones. Drink plenty of liquids. Try to drink plenty of fluids daily.
Water is best. Alcohol and beverages that contain caffeine stimulate your intestines and can make diarrhea worse, while carbonated drinks frequently produce gas.
Consider multivitamins. Because Crohn's disease can interfere with your ability to absorb nutrients and because your diet may be limited, multivitamin and mineral supplements are often helpful.
Talk to a dietitian. If you begin to lose weight or your diet has become very limited, talk to a registered dietitian.
Although stress doesn't cause Crohn's disease, it can make your signs and symptoms much worse and may trigger flare-ups. Stressful events can range from minor annoyances to a major event such as job loss or the death of a loved one.
When you're stressed, your normal digestive process changes. Your stomach empties more slowly and secretes more acids. Stress can also speed or slow the passage of intestinal contents. It may also cause changes in intestinal tissue itself.
Although it's not always possible to avoid stress, you can learn ways to help manage it. Some of these include:
he illness has more close association with emotional disturbance of a person, though not in triggering the illness but definitely in triggering the flair ups and also as one of the major maintaining factor of the illness. Homeopathy as a system of alternative medicine focuses more on achieving emotional balance of a person through homeopathic remedies and through personalized care given by Homeopathic physician in the form of counseling as well as indulging in to one to one interaction with his patients. This is a holistic approach towards cause of chronic and longstanding illness which is not getting better with conventional medicine. Homeopathic constitutional medicine has proved to be effective in decreasing symptom severity, decreasing the duration, frequency and intensity of the flair ups of the disease. Homeopathic treatment also effectively takes care of the emotional disturbance the patient undergoes due to lifestyle changes and social difficulty. Homeopathic physician is well trained in handling these issues in patientâ€™s life as he has studied the patient not only from diagnosing the disease point of view but from understanding the person, the soul behind the illness. Apart from the illness he knows what his patient feels and thinks and how he behaves in a particular situation in his life so he is in a better position to handle him not as a patient of Crohnâ€™s Disease but as a human being who is undergoing a stressful illness which is worsening day by day. Constitutional Homeopathic treatment is the best approach to the treatment of Crohns disease. The flair ups may be controlled by acute remedies or organ remedies or phase remedies or intercurrent remedies.