All about Crohns disease

Crohns disease is a condition that causes swelling of the digestive system. It can be any part of the digestive system, but it most commonly affects the intestines. The disease is quite rare, with about 90,000 sufferers in the UK. Here we will look at causes, symptoms and treatment available for people suffering from Crohns disease.

Crohns disease can affect people of all ages but it is most common in people aged 15-30 and 60-80, and it seems that women are at slightly higher risk of developing the disease than men. The disease also appears to be more common in westernised countries.

The cause of Crohns disease is not yet known, but experts believe that there are several factors that can raise your chances of contracting it, including genetics, previous infection and smoking. It is also believed that the immune system is responsible for the digestive system swelling.

The symptoms of Crohns disease can be different in all sufferers because several parts of the digestive system can become inflamed, but the most common symptoms are fatigue, weight loss and recurring diarrhoea. You should talk to your doctor if diarrhoea doesn’t stop with medicine, you notice blood when you go to the toilet or you undergo unexplained weight loss.

There are a variety of medicines available for the treatment of Crohns that will help to fight the symptoms, but a large number of sufferers require surgery at some point. Around 75% of patients undergo surgery. As certain foods can make the symptoms worse, a GP may recommend a liquid diet.

Crohns disease can lead to bowel obstruction or ulcers forming along the digestive system. Bowel obstruction may not require surgery and can be treated with a liquid diet and medication, but sometimes it does call for surgery. Ulcers can cause pain and usually require surgery to remove them from the digestive system.

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