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Crohn's Disease - Overview, Causes, Risks, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments & More

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Crohn's Disease - Overview, Causes, Risks, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments & More - 00:00 - Overview 00:34 - Causes 01:02 - Who’s at Risk 01:48 - Symptoms 02:32 - Other Problems Can Crohn's Disease 03:14 - Diagnosis 03:36 - Treatments 04:33 - Reducing Symptoms - Crohn's disease is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in your digestive tract. It can affect any part of your digestive tract, which runs from your mouth to your anus. But it usually affects your small intestine and the beginning of your large intestine. Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Ulcerative colitis and microscopic colitis are other common types of IBD. What causes Crohn's disease? The cause of Crohn's disease is unknown. Researchers think that an autoimmune reaction may be one cause. An autoimmune reaction happens when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body. Genetics may also play a role, since Crohn's disease can run in families. Stress and eating certain foods don't cause the disease, but they can make your symptoms worse. Who is at risk for Crohn's disease? There are certain factors which can raise your risk of Crohn's disease: - Family history of the disease. Having a parent, child, or sibling with the disease puts you at higher risk. - Smoking. This may double your risk of developing Crohn's disease. - Certain medicines, such as antibiotics, birth-control pills, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen. These may slightly increase your chance of developing Crohn's. - A high-fat diet. This may also slightly increase your risk of Crohn's. What are the symptoms of Crohn's disease? The symptoms of Crohn's disease can vary, depending where and how severe your inflammation is. The most common symptoms include: - Diarrhea - Cramping and pain in your abdomen - Weight loss Some other possible symptoms are: - Anemia, a condition in which you have fewer red blood cells than normal - Eye redness or pain - Fatigue - Fever - Joint pain or soreness - Nausea or loss of appetite - Skin changes that involve red, tender bumps under the skin Stress and eating certain foods such as carbonated drinks and high-fiber foods may make some people's symptoms worse. What other problems can Crohn's disease cause? Crohn's disease can cause other problems, including: - Intestinal obstruction, a blockage in the intestine - Fistulas, abnormal connections between two parts inside of the body - Abscesses, pus-filled pockets of infection - Anal fissures, small tears in your anus that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding - Ulcers, open sores in your mouth, intestines, anus, or perineum - Malnutrition, when your body does not get the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs - Inflammation in other areas of your body, such as your joints, eyes, and skin How is Crohn's disease diagnosed? Your health care provider may use many tools to make a diagnosis: - A medical history, which includes asking about your symptoms - A family history - A physical exam Various tests, including: - - Blood and stool tests - - A colonoscopy and other tests There is no cure for Crohn's disease, but treatments can decrease the inflammation in your intestines, relieve symptoms, and prevent complications. Treatments include medicines, bowel rest, and surgery. No single treatment works for everyone. You and your health care provider can work together to figure out which treatment is best for you: - Medicines for Crohn's include various medicines that decrease the inflammation. Some of these medicines do this by reducing the activity of your immune system. - Bowel rest involves drinking only certain liquids or not eating or drinking anything. - Surgery can treat complications and reduce symptoms when other treatments are not helping enough. The surgery will involve removing a damaged part of your digestive tract Changing your diet can help reduce symptoms. Your provider may recommend that you make changes to your diet, such as: - Avoiding carbonated drinks - Avoiding popcorn, vegetable skins, nuts, and other high-fiber foods - Drinking more liquids - Eating smaller meals more often - Keeping a food diary to help identify foods that cause problems Some people also need go on special diet, such as a low-fiber diet. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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