021 551 8678

 

Overview


Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the rectum.

It is a chronic condition, which means it can last for months or years, and can come and go in periods of remission (when symptoms are not present) and relapse (when symptoms return).

Crohn’s disease is usually diagnosed based on a combination of symptoms, medical history, physical examination, and tests.

There is no one test that can definitively diagnose Crohn’s disease.

Treatment for Crohn’s disease typically involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Surgery may also be necessary in some cases.

The most common symptoms are abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue.

However, the disease can also cause a wide range of other symptoms, depending on which part of the gastrointestinal tract is affected.

 

Crohn’s Disease Explained

 

Crohn’s disease is a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease that typically affects the ileum, or the end of the small intestine, and the beginning of the large intestine.

The disease is characterized by the formation of ulcers, or sores, in the lining of the intestine. These ulcers can bleed and become infected.

Crohn’s disease is a chronic, progressive disease that can lead to severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue.

The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, but it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, in which the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the intestine.

Treatment for Crohn’s disease typically includes the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, and immunosuppressants. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the diseased portion of the intestine.

 

crohns_disease_types

 

Causes of Crohn’s Disease

 

There is no one known cause of Crohn’s disease, although there are several possible contributing factors.

One theory is that the disease is caused by an abnormal response of the immune system to bacteria in the digestive tract.

Another possibility is that Crohn’s disease is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Some research suggests that a virus or other infectious agent may play a role in the development of Crohn’s disease.

Environmental factors that have been linked to the development of Crohn’s disease include a diet high in fat and sugar, smoking, and stress.

Genetic factors that may contribute to the development of Crohn’s disease include a family history of the condition and certain genetic mutations.

 

Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

 

Symptoms of Crohn’s disease can vary, depending on the location and severity of the inflammation.

They may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Cramping
  • Blood in stool
  • Mouth sores
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss
  • Anal pain

In severe cases, the inflammation can lead to:

Crohn’s disease is a relapsing-remitting condition, meaning that symptoms can flare up and then subside for periods of time.

There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but treatments are available to manage the symptoms.

 

crohns_disease_symptoms

 

How to Get Diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease?

There is no single test to diagnose Crohn’s disease. Your doctor will likely start with a physical exam and a review of your medical history.

They may also order blood tests and imaging tests to look for inflammation in your digestive tract.

If you have symptoms of Crohn’s disease, your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases of the digestive system.

The gastroenterologist may perform a colonoscopy or other tests to confirm the diagnosis.

 

Treatments for Crohn’s Disease

There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but there are treatments that can help to control the symptoms and keep the condition from getting worse. The most common treatments are medication, nutrition therapy, and surgery.

Medication is the first line of treatment for Crohn’s disease. The most common medications used to treat Crohn’s are anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, and antibiotics.

These drugs can help to reduce inflammation, improve symptoms, and prevent further damage to the intestines.

Nutrition therapy is important for people with Crohn’s disease. A healthy diet can help to reduce symptoms, maintain good nutrition, and prevent complications.

Nutrition therapy may include changes in diet, use of supplements, and/or special formulas.

Surgery may be an option for people with Crohn’s disease who do not respond to other treatments, or who have complications from the disease.

Surgery can help to remove part of the diseased intestine, repair damage, and/or relieve blockages.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a medical condition, you may be wondering if there are any clinical trials you could participate in.

A clinical trial is a research study that tests a new medical treatment, drug, or device.

Clinical trials are an important step in developing new treatments, and they offer patients the opportunity to try out new treatments that are not yet available to the general public.

crohns_disease_treatments

Tips for Crohn’s Disease

 

If you have Crohn’s disease, there are a few things you can do to help manage the condition.

First, it’s important to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise.

This will help to keep your symptoms under control. Additionally, it’s important to stay on top of your medications and to see your doctor regularly.

If you have a flare-up, be sure to get treatment right away.
With proper management, you can live a normal, healthy life with Crohn’s disease.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing Crohn’s disease, but there are some general tips that can help. First, it’s important to follow a healthy diet and get enough exercise.

This can help reduce symptoms and improve overall health. It’s also important to stay hydrated and avoid smoking.

In addition, it’s important to work with a healthcare team to create a personalized treatment plan. This may include medication, surgery, or other therapies.

It’s also important to be aware of the potential complications of Crohn’s disease and to seek medical help if symptoms worsen.

 

When Should I See a Doctor

 

Each person’s experience with Crohn’s disease is unique.

However, there are some general guidelines that can help you decide when to see a doctor.

If you are experiencing any persistent gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, or rectal bleeding, it is important to see a doctor.

Additionally, if you are losing weight or are unable to maintain a healthy weight, this is also a reason to seek medical attention.

crohns_disease_infographic

Contact Dr. Deetlefs

 
There is no one definitive answer to the question of whether or not Crohn’s disease can be cured.

While there are certainly treatments available that can help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for those affected by the condition, there is no guarantee that any particular treatment will be effective for every individual.

In some cases, the disease may go into remission for a period of time, only to flare up again later. For others, the symptoms may be managed effectively for many years.

Ultimately, each individual must work with their healthcare team to determine the best course of treatment for their unique situation.

Dr Eduan prides himself on his ability to help his patients to the best of his ability by embracing good listening skills, effective communication, compassion and knowledge and skill honed during years of private gastroenterology practice.

Dr Deetlefs has admitting rights and performs endoscopies at both Mediclinic Milnerton and Life Vincent Pallotti Hospitals.

Services include consultations for gastrointestinal and liver related diseases with a specific interest in inflammatory bowel disease and iron deficiency anemia caused by obscure gastrointestinal bleeding.

If you would like to book an appointment with a gastrointestinal (GI) specialist or would simply like more information on a particular GI topic, don’t hesitate to use our online booking form or call Dr. Deetlefs at 021 551 867.

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.

GIDoc Cape Town

Patient-focused GI treatments and procedures in Cape Town.

Monday-Friday 8AM-4PM.

Connect with Us

© Dr. Eduan Deetlefs, Registered Gastroenterologist, GI Doc Cape Town

Our website information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained physician can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.