Part 1

Who has Crohn's disease

I do.

Someone you know probably has Crohn's disease, too. Crohn's is an inflammatory disease few like to talk about because it strikes the digestive system. In some, like me, it strikes outside the digestive system as well. If you or someone in your family or friends has Crohn's disease and you have difficulty understanding it, I hope you find this an informative guide.  

Crohn's in the mouth

This reaction is rare but having experienced it, I can attest to how uncomfortable it is. Crohn's of the mouth causes ulcers. It can also cause membranes to swell and turn bright red. Even the tongue can be involved with enlarged taste buds and pain.

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Someone with Crohn's quickly learns what foods make mouth ulcers worse. Generally it is highly acidic foods/ fruits, coffees, mouthwashes, toothpaste. 

Crohn's esophagus

Ulcers can also appear in the esophagus. Think drinking a cup of scalding liquid. The sensation is followed by severe pain while swallowing fluids or food. Think strep throat on steroids. While rare, it does happen. So if you suspect it, get to a physician right away.  

Crohn's stomach

Imagine multiple ulcers in the stomach, duodenum and various other places. This can lead to nausea, pain and sometimes a wave like pain that starts in the belly and flows into the jaw. It feels like a heart attack, but it isn't.   

Crohn's small intestine

Malabsorption, diarrhea, and anemia are the norm. Nutritional deficiencies make you sick, tired, and uncomfortable, on top of having issues using the rest room.

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Sleeping can be difficult because Crohn's wakes you in the middle of the night. Normal intestines nap when you do. With Crohn's and its sister Uncerative Colitis they stay up, making the sufferer uncomfortable. You can also develop strictures which are abnormal narrowings that can cause obstruction and more pain.

Crohn's in the colon

Weight loss, cramping, blood, diarrhea, more pain. You can also develop strictures which is an abnormal narrowing causing pain, more inflammation, and obstruction. Fistulas are an inflammatory response that cause a tract to move outside the intestine. These can become abscessed creating more pain. These fistulas can connect with other organs like the kidneys, liver, and spleen.

Crohn's rectum

Ulcers and pain, but you can also get fissures which radiate out from the anus causing severe pain. Here fistulas can also occur and also become abscessed. If abscesses are not caught soon enough they can lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition. 

Crohn's shame

People with Crohn's have a million excuses.

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They are adept at making them and they know that sometimes people get angry. Still, their peeps anger is better than telling them they have an intestinal disease whose minor effects are gas, diarrhea, and upset stomach. And no, it is not like irritable bowel.  

Crohn's outlook

Crohn's disease hits all ages from newborns to those in their 70s. Researchers know it is an over-active immune response. They know it is inherited and they know they can find genes that are turned on. But what is turning the genes on? Processed foods? Some strange key that lives in something we eat that people with Crohn's are susceptible to?

Crohn's disease has many similar attributes to mycobacterial diseases found in cows. One is mycobacterium tuberculosis and every few years someone comes up with a vaccine or a clinical trial they are hoping will work. Some people have found significant relief with the use of long-term antibiotic use, but then again, some haven't.

In the meantime, we wait for a cure. 

Part 2 Medication in the year 2016 and going forward #crohns #ibd #Health