Gut Reactions To Crohn’s

The 30-Foot Disease


Many people enjoy going on trips. But your trips to the toilet with Crohn’s disease are not joyful. Focus on the good news for a moment. Under proper treat­ment, you can lead a rela­tively normal life with this heredi­tary, environ­mental, or immune disorder.

Affecting young and old, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) encompasses many ailments, including Crohn’s disease. Inflamma­tion and ulcers can appear any­where along the digestive tract—from the mouth to the anus. This covers an average length of 30 feet (9 meters).

Most often, ulcers or fistulas flare up within the intestines. Lesions can tunnel into nearby organs, causing constriction, bleeding, and infec­tions. Other symptoms include bloating and sometimes bloody diarrhea. You can see why toilet visits are unpleasant.

Internal organ inflamma­tion can manifest in joints, eyes, and the skin. It is as though hidden organs are trying to get your atten­tion any way possible. So multi­farious trea­tment may involve physicians with dif­ferent specialties. An alert doctor may ask questions about bowel habits after hearing your complaints of rashes and joint pain. Contact your personal physician if you experi­ence any of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody stool
  • Nausea with vomiting
  • Ongoing diarrhea
  • Unexplained fever lasting days
  • Unexplained weight loss

Symptoms overlap a very different IBD called ulcerative colitis, which primarily affects the large intestines and rectum. A fever, common in Crohn’s, is indicative of severe ulcerative colitis. Hence, each symptom may suggest different stages and treatment plans based on specific diagnosis.

Easing Symptoms

Steroids and immuno­suppressant medica­tions can slow down the progres­sion of the disease. By stimulating your immune system, biologics target specific proteins in your body that cause inflam­ma­tion. Some patients require surgery.

With the range of treatments available, it is important to work closely with a gastroenterology doctor. Close monitoring can prevent overlooking colorectal cancer, which has overlapping symptoms with Crohn’s Disease.

Tobacco smokers are 200% more likely to develop Crohn’s disease as non­smokers. So avoiding cigars and cigarettes is a preventa­tive measure. A nutri­tionist may recommend anti-inflammatory foods and probiotics.

Anal fissures can make sitting uncom­fort­able. You should use a seat cushion and avoid sitting for long intervals. An adjustable sit-stand desk is most helpful. Under direction of a doctor, exercises that strengthen your glutes may help minimize anal stretching and fissures. Aerobic exercise for weight reduction can relieve the amount of pressure on the sensitive area when sitting.

Crohn’s disease, named after the late gastroenterologist, Burrill B. Crohn, flares up in episodes. Discuss treatment options with your gastro­entero­logist. The goal is to reduce the frequency of episodes or push them into remission. This allows you to focus on your work, family, and take occasional refreshing trips, without sitting too long.

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Updated: May 21, 2022

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