Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the lining of the digestive system. This inflammation can occur from the mouth to the anus, but more often occurs in the small intestine and large intestine (colon).
Crohn's disease or Crohn's disease is a disease that occurs in the long term (chronic). Crohn's disease is one type of inflammatory bowel disease other than ulcerative colitis .
Crohn's disease can cause severe abdominal pain and diarrhea. The inflammation can also spread and cause life-threatening complications.
Causes of Crohn's Disease
The exact cause of Crohn's disease is still unknown. However, a combination of genetic factors, disorders of the immune system, and environmental influences are thought to trigger this condition.
These three factors are thought to increase the risk of Crohn's disease in people with the following conditions:
- Aged less than 30 years
- Have a family member with Crohn's disease
- Consume foods with high fat content
- Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or diclofenac sodium
Symptoms of Crohn's Disease
The symptoms of Crohn's disease depend on the part of the digestive system that is affected, the extent of the inflammation, and the severity. The initial symptoms of this disease usually appear in childhood or early adulthood, then develop over time.
The symptoms of this disease can come and go. The period when the symptoms of Crohn's disease disappear for some time is known as the remission period. After the remission period has passed, the symptoms of Crohn's disease can recur or is also called a flare-up period . Because Crohn's disease is a long-term disease, the two periods can continue to occur repeatedly.
The following are common symptoms that appear as a result of Crohn's disease:
- Diarrhea, usually prolonged
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Bleeding CHAPTER
- The formation of an abnormal channel around the anus ( fistula ani )
In addition to these symptoms, Crohn's disease can also cause inflammation in other parts of the body, such as eyes, skin, joints, liver, and bile ducts.
In children, inflammation in the digestive system, especially if it occurs repeatedly, can inhibit the absorption of nutrients from the food they consume. As a result, the growth process is disrupted.
When should you go to the doctor?
Immediately check with a doctor if you experience the above symptoms, especially if:
- Diarrhea does not get better even after taking diarrhea medicine
- Fever lasts more than 2 days
- Abdominal pain does not improve
- Diarrhea that lasts more than 7 days
In addition to some of the symptoms to watch out for, you are also recommended to check your child's doctor if he or she has any problems with their development and growth.
Diagnosis of Crohn's Disease
As an initial step, the doctor will examine the pattern of symptoms experienced by the patient to find out the cause of the symptoms. The doctor will also examine various factors that can trigger the occurrence of Crohn's disease, such as diet, disease history and drug consumption, as well as family health history.
Physical examination such as pulse, body temperature, blood pressure, and examination of the abdominal area will also be performed by the doctor. In addition to the examination, the doctor will likely perform several supporting examinations to diagnose Crohn's disease, including:
- Blood tests, to detect infection or anemia and determine the severity of inflammation in the body
- Fecal examination , to detect blood in the stool and find out if the symptoms are caused by other conditions, such as worms
- Scanning with CTE ( computerized tomography enterography / enteroclysis ) or MRE ( computerized tomography enterography / enteroclysis ), to see in more detail the condition of the small intestine and surrounding tissue
- Colonoscopy , to find out how severe and extensive the inflammation is in the large intestine
- Biopsy or sampling of digestive tract tissue, to detect cell changes in the wall of the digestive tract.
Treatment of Crohn's Disease
Crohn's disease treatment aims to relieve symptoms, prevent complications, and prolong the period of remission. The following are some treatment methods that can be given by the doctor:
The types of drugs that can be prescribed by doctors include:
- Anti -inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids and sulfasalazine
- Immunosuppressants , such as azathioprine and methotrexate
- Antibiotics , such as metrodinazole or ciprofloxacin
- Biological therapy drugs, such as natalizumab or infliximab
- Antidiarrheal medicine, such as loperamide , to stop diarrhea
Nutritional addition _
Supplementation of nutrition is generally done through feeding intervals or through infusion. The purpose is so that the nutritional intake needed by the body can be met, while reducing the work of the digestive tract so that inflammation can be reduced. The nutrition provided will be tailored to the needs and conditions of each patient.
Surgery is the last resort for Crohn's disease. This procedure is performed when various other treatments have been performed and have not yielded satisfactory results.
The operation is performed by lifting the damaged part of the digestive tract, then connecting the part that is still healthy. In addition, the operation can also be used to close a fistula, or drain pus in the digestive tract that appears due to infection.
Although the damaged part of the digestive tract has been removed, Crohn's disease can still relapse. Recurrence of Crohn's disease generally occurs in the connective tissue created after removal. Therefore, the doctor will continue to give medicine to reduce the possibility of relapse.
Complications of Crohn's Disease
The following are some of the complications that can occur as a result of Crohn's disease:
- Ani fistula
- Ani fissure
- Ulcers in the digestive tract
- Obstruction of the digestive tract
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Anemia a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency
- Bowel cancer
Prevention of Crohn's Disease
Crohn's disease cannot be prevented. However, in people who have suffered from this disease, there are several efforts that can be made to alleviate symptoms and prevent recurrence ( flare-up ), namely:
- Consume healthy, balanced nutritious food
- Stop smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Manage stress well