3 Things To Know About Crohn's Disease

Health & Medical Articles

Crohn's disease is a condition that affects many people, and the common symptoms of this disease include stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, and fatigue. These symptoms can be present with a lot of conditions, though, and this makes it hard for doctors to diagnose Crohn's disease in many cases. If you are suffering from these symptoms, you should visit a primary physician to find out if you have Crohn's disease.

Tests Used To Diagnose Crohn's disease

There is no single test that can tell you if you positively have Crohn's or not; however, doctors can use a variety of different types of tests to make this diagnosis. The initial process will begin with an evaluation of your medical history and current symptoms. The doctor will want to know things about your diet and health, and he or she may want to test your blood, urine, and stool.

In addition, your doctor might suggest getting x-rays to take a look at your gastrointestinal tracts (GIs). This is done because Crohn's disease is inflammation found in the lower and upper GIs. This inflammation is chronic and it can lead to all the symptoms you are describing to your doctor, and it can be located in any of the organs that are part of the digestive system.

If the x-rays do not help the doctor make a correct diagnosis, he or she may then recommend an endoscopy. This test will help the doctor see inside your colon and into your intestines. There are several other types of tests that can also be used to diagnose your condition.

Treatment Options For Crohn's Disease

Doctors are not really sure what causes Crohn's disease, but there are numerous ways to treat it. If you doctor believes that this is what you have, he or she may recommend trying one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications – Medication is almost always needed to treat a person with Crohn's disease, and one of the types your doctor will recommend is an anti-inflammatory medication. Because this disease causes major inflammation in various parts of the body, treating it with medication that reduces inflammation is vital. Corticosteroids are one of the common types of anti-inflammatory medications used for this, but there are others too.
  • Immune system suppressors – The second type of medication used to treat Crohn's is immune system suppressors. The purpose of these medications is to build up the immune system in a way that it can fight against the things that lead to inflammation. If the suppressors you take can successfully stop the inflammation from beginning in the first place, your symptoms of Crohn's will go away.

In addition to these medications, you may also need to take over-the-counter medications for pain or to stop your diarrhea from occurring. If you plan on taking over-the-counter medications, make sure you talk to your doctor to find out if you can take those with the other medications you are taking.

Lifestyle Changes Can Help Too

In addition to taking medication, there are several things you can do that may reduce the symptoms you are having. The first thing is to stop smoking, because smoking can worsen the condition and the symptoms. Secondly, you may want to start exercising more to build up your immune system.

The other thing you can do is become selective with what you eat, because the foods you eat can help or harm your system. You should avoid eating fatty, greasy foods. These will irritate your GI tracts and increase the inflammation you have. You should also avoid eating dairy products. The best things to eat include oatmeal, papaya, salmon, rice, and avocados.

If you would like to find out what is causing your digestive issues, contact a primary physician today at a clinic like Rural Health Services Consortium Inc.


23 September 2016

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