Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune, bowel disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract anywhere from the mouth to the anus. It is characterized when the body’s immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract inducing inflammation.
It has a variety of symptoms like abdominal pains, diarrhea (possibly bloody in content), vomiting and/or weight loss. The disease can also manifest itself by seemingly unrelated symptoms like skin rash, inflammation of the eye and arthritis.
Crohn’s disease is believed to be genetic and could affect a number of siblings in a family. Smokers are prone to this condition which affects about half a million Americans. The disease is neither age nor gender specific, though it most commonly appears between the teens and twenties.
Crohn’s disease has no cure, medical or surgical. Treatment is restricted to control of symptoms, avoiding a relapse and sustaining remission. Surgery has sometimes to be resorted to, to correct local problems arising out of the disease. For example, obstructions of the bowels, fistulas and/of abscesses are corrected surgically. With treatment, the mortality rate is low though Crohn's is associated with an increased risk of small bowel and colorectal carcinoma.
Pain with Crohn’s arises from side effects of medications, from muscle strain, from complications, from surgery, from investigations and more. The most common types of pain are that from the swelling caused by the inflammation, and obstructions resulting from scar tissue that builds around the intestine causing narrowing. The pain can be anything from a mild discomfort from bloating, to cramping, sharp stabbing pain, dull achy pain right up to an intense pain that comes in waves and includes nausea and vomiting.
There are various remedies for this pain from diet control, massage and muscle relaxation therapy to pain killing medications and drugs or even corrective surgery.
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