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Crohn’s Disease Treatment

Crohn’s is an inflammatory bowel disease typically occurring in the small intestine or colon, although it can affect any area of the GI tract.

While much is known about this disease, it still remains somewhat mysterious to modern science. More information is required as to how exactly it starts and what demographics are most affected by it.

Crohn’s Disease manifests in varying levels of intensity ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms also vary, as well as alter over time.

In some cases, flare-ups can be life-threatening.

Both conventional and holistic medicine are making progress in the diagnosis and treatment of Crohn’s disease, but there is still much work to be done.

What Are The Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?

Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease usually appear gradually, but can sometimes occur very rapidly. Asymptomatic periods are also common.

Symptoms of an active case of Crohn’s Disease include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Reduced appetite
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Bloody stool
  • Pain and/or drainage near or around the anus resulting from inflammation
  • Fistula

Some less common symptoms include:

  • Liver and/or bile duct inflammation
  • Inflammation of the eyes, joints, and skin
  • In children, Crohn’s Disease can delay sexual development and growth

People often mistake the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease for those of other diseases; most commonly: cancer, food poisoning, or severe allergies.

Other Complications

Those who suffer from Crohn’s Disease are more likely to develop intestinal infections as a result of:

  • Viruses
  • Parasites
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi

The immune system can also be negatively affected; infections from foreign invaders are often worse than normal.

Yeast infections are also more common.

Possible Causes

As stated above, the absolute cause or causes of Crohn’s Disease is not entirely clear. Your genes, immune system, and environment are all factors that play a role in whether or not you are vulnerable to developing Crohn’s Disease.

Genetics

Between 5% and 20% of those who suffer from Crohn’s Disease also have a first-degree relative (sibling, parent, or child) who also has it.

Your risk of developing Crohn’s Disease is much higher if both of your parents have IBD (inflammatory bowel disease).

Those of European descent are most at risk.

The Immune System

When the body is under attack from a foreign invader, cells travel from the blood to the intestines and initiate an inflammatory response. Inflammation is one of the ways in which the body fights off foreign invaders. However, the body can sometimes mistake harmless bacteria or the body’s own tissues as a threat; thus, inflammation becomes chronic.

The Environment

One’s environment seems to play a role in one’s chances of developing Crohn’s Disease. People in the following locations are more at risk:

  • Urban cities and towns; it is more rare for those living in rural areas
  • Developed countries
  • Northern climates

Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s is typically diagnosed by process of elimination. It usually requires a number of different tests, from which doctors rule out other diseases.

Crohn’s Disease treatment typically includes the following tests:

Lab Testing

Lab testing for Crohn’s Disease usually involves a combination of the following tests:

  • Liver function testing: Crohn’s affects the liver and bile ducts.
  • Complete blood count (CBC): This test looks for infection and anemia (a deficiency of red blood cells).
  • Electrolyte panels: Being low in potassium and other minerals is an indicator of Crohn’s disease (this is often the result of Crohn’s-related diarrhea).
  • C-reactive protein tests: This protein is a sign of inflammation.
  • Iron & B12 Level Testing: People with Crohn’s Disease absorb less nutrients via the small intestine, which can result in low levels of iron and B12.
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate tests: This test involves recording how long it takes for your blood to settle to the bottom of a medical tube, indicating the level of inflammation present in your system.
  • Antibody tests: Doctors can determine the likelihood of your having Crohn’s Disease through:

Perinuclear anti-neutrophile cytoplasmic antibody tests (pANCA) – Those who have this protein are more likely to have Crohn’s.

Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody tests (ASCA) – People with this protein are also more likely to have Crohn’s.

Other Tests

Doctors will also typically employ:

  • Imaging studies
  • Endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • X-rays
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Conventional Treatments for Crohn’s Disease

Conventional treatment for Crohn’s Disease typically involves the following medications:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Immunomodulators
  • Antibiotics

Natural Treatments for Crohn’s Disease

Acupuncture

Many people believe that acupuncture can stimulate the brain in a way that causes it to release endorphins; these chemicals block pain and can thus relieve symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.

Furthermore, endorphins can also boost the immune system, giving your body a better chance at fighting infection.

Biofeedback

This is a form of therapy that utilizes a machine to help you see how your body is responding to pain. It is believed that biofeedback can help you control your response to blood flow, body temperature, brain waves, and perspiration levels.

Herbal & Botanical Treatments

Many of these substances can help with Crohn’s Disease symptoms, including:

  • Elm bark
  • Peppermint tea
  • Aloe vera juice
  • Chamomile

Probiotics

The body is filled with bacteria. Fortunately, a lot of this bacteria is “good bacteria”; bacteria your body needs to stay healthy.

Probiotics are good bacteria that can be found in various foods, but they can also be taken in large amounts via supplements.

Probiotic intake is a common form of treatment for Crohn’s Disease. This can come in the form of a supplement and/or a modification of one’s diet to include more of the following foods:

  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha

Prebiotics

These are nutrients that probiotics consume, improving how they function in the GI tract. Taking probiotics in combination with prebiotics is a way of boosting the effectiveness of probiotic treatment.

Like probiotics, prebiotics can be taken in supplement form and/or via dietary modifications, including heavier consumption of:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Bananas
  • Whole grains
  • Artichokes
  • Honey

Fish Oil Supplements

Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may have anti-inflammatory qualities. Thus taking fish oil supplements can help reduce the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.

Other Dietary Changes

  • Fiber intake adjustments: High-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables can over-exert the GI tract and intensify symptoms of Crohn’s Disease. Patients can benefit by switching to a low-residue diet.
  • Limiting fat: Crohn’s can weaken the body’s ability to absorb fat, which can intensify Crohn’s-related diarrhea.
  • Limiting dairy: Those with Crohn’s can experience lactose intolerance, so dairy consumption should be limited.
  • Drinking more water: Many people with Crohn’s become dehydrated, as this disease can lower your body’s ability to absorb water. Those with Crohn’s-related diarrhea are particularly vulnerable.
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Healthcare Tips

4 Ways to Soothe a Teething Baby for First Time Moms

Mother is considered living god on earth by most of the traditions and religions in the world. But even god would have got tired, irritated, and exhausted while taking care of a baby. There are several stages in a baby’s growth that demand just more than attention. Teething is one of the stages where the baby appears most disturbed and cranky. If a mother doesn’t know how to soothe a teething baby, then it would certainly become a nightmare for both baby and mother. There are several ways to soothe teething pain of a baby. A few of them have been listed below.

Teething BabyChill baby, Chill

Providing comfort through chilled or sometimes frozen objects is one of the oldest methods to soothe teething pain of a baby. Keeping non-choking and non-hazardous objects or toys in the freezer for some time and then giving them to your baby to chew or gnaw would make sure that your baby gets instant relief. You can also use a frozen washcloth to gently touch your baby’s gums or let the baby chew on it. Some paediatricians suggest giving fruits and hard vegetables, like carrot, kept in the refrigerator for sometimes, to babies to bite.

Let Me Massage

Massage therapy has shown several benefits even in adults for pains and sprains. You can use the same method to soothe a teething baby. The idea is to apply some sort of pressure on the gums to increase the blood circulation and bring much-needed relief for the baby. You can use your own fingers, or you can use a wooden spoon or other wooden toys to massage the gums of your baby. Just make sure that your hands are clean, and the wooden objects are sterilized. This method should be done with a lot of care and love since the baby may not cooperate according to your wishes.

Medication is Meditation

There are some over-the-counter medicines than can be used when the baby starts acting too cranky and irritated. These all basically relieve the pain and help in soothing the baby. Syrups containing Acetaminophen like Tylenol could be a possible remedy. You can also administer medicines like Advil or Motrin, which contain Ibuprofen. These mild medicines provide temporary relief. If your baby continues with cranky behaviour, you should consult your doctor for any other medicines or treatment.

I Love You, My Child

Of all the remedies and methods, the mother’s love is the strongest. Hence, sometimes, showing love to your baby may suffice in soothing its pain. Cuddling your baby for longer than usual would ensure your baby that you are with him in his struggle. Singing a song or lullaby whenever he starts showing signs of crankiness would make him concentrate on your song. This might even put him to sleep for some time. Playing with your baby would make him forget his pain. Distracting him with your activities or weird behaviour would also keep him occupied. These activities also help in strengthening the bond between a mother and baby.