What is Crohn's disease: causes and symptoms

What is Crohn's disease: causes and symptoms

It mainly affects young people who live in industrialized countries, especially if they smoke, and causes very strong inflammation of the intestine with even important consequences. And the Crohn's disease, also abbreviated with the initials MdC. Crohn as imaginable is the surname of the American doctor who already in 1932 spoke of it in a scientific article describing it as a pathology of the digestive tract. From that moment on it has obviously been studied a lot and today we know a lot more about both the causes and the risks.

What is Crohn's disease

It is a chronic and inflammatory disease that affects the intestinal mucous membranes and underlying tissues. In some cases it is very localized while in others it is extended to a large part of the gastrointestinal tract so that the intestine is divided into healthy parts and inflamed parts. The ileum, which is the final part of the colon, is certainly one of the areas most often affected by this pathology but there are also some rare cases of contrast medium that cause problems to the oral cavity, stomach, esophagus, duodenum or perianal region.

Those who suffer from this disease experience periods of acute inflammation and others in which they may even seem cured but unfortunately it is a chronic problem from which they never completely recover. Certainly the situation of each individual can significantly improve if the lifestyle is healthy and regulated, both in terms of nutrition and in terms of physical activity and the rhythms of life. Smoking is also a deciding factor.

Crohn's disease: causes

After years and years of research, a precise cause for this disease has not been identified, which most likely can come for several reasons combined. We therefore speak of a multifactorial pathology which originates from a mix of factors of various nature: autoimmune, genetic, infectious, environmental. Recently, the reported cases are increasing, in part his diagnosis has become more and more precise but there are also environmental factors that may have pushed the accelerator.

Let's see the epidemiological factors that put you at risk.

Smoke: Crohn's disease affects smokers more than non-smokers. When you suffer from McC, continuing to smoke puts us in a position to more likely have to undergo a surgical operation.

Environment: in the most industrialized and western countries there is a certainly higher incidence rate of this disease and it is no coincidence.

Age: this disease usually occurs in late adolescence, between the ages of 18 and 30. Nothing prevents it from manifesting itself at other ages but that band is certainly the most sensitive. There is no shortage of diagnoses also on children and cases of contrast medium among over 65s.

White race: Statistics show that white people develop this disease 4 times more frequently than those of any other ethnicity:

FamiliarityDC is not a hereditary disease but if you have relatives who suffer from it, there is a better chance of developing it. 20% more chance. Something similar also happens for autoimmune diseases.

Crohn's disease: symptoms

Symptoms of McD can be gastrointestinal or extraintestinal. The intensity with which they occur varies greatly from person to person and from the part of the intestine that is really inflamed.

Between gastrointestinal symptoms we find nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even the presence of blood in the stool because when the intestinal mucosa are very inflamed it can happen. Severe abdominal pain and cramps can also arise when the inflamed part swells and gases form in the intestine that cause bloating and flatulence. Depending on the parties involved, chronic inflammation can cause ulceration of the walls of the gastrointestinal tract with the formation of canker sores in the oral cavity and ulcerations in the intestine.

There are also symptoms that do not directly affect the inflamed area but are related to the disease. When you have McD, they warn you tiredness and fatigue generalized which can also occur with febrile episodes. Appetite drops and weight is lost, having difficulty digesting and assimilating. If this happens at a young age, the risk is that there will be a delay in growth and sexual development.

In some cases, symptoms may also appear affecting thecirculatory system (arrhythmias, hypotension, anemia), ofrespiratory system (cough, runny nose, difficulty breathing),neurological system (dizziness, vertigo, headache, fainting) or del oropharyngeal cavity (swelling of the lips, dry mouth, hoarse voice).

Crohn's disease: risks

If you do not treat contrast properly, you can run health risks. Intestinal perforation, intestinal obstruction and perianal abscess are the most frequent.

There intestinal perforation there may be in the most acute phases of inflammation in which ulcers are produced that even pierce the bowel wall. L'perianal abscess it forms when perianal fistulas become infected and must be treated with antibiotics and sometimes even surgery.

There complication however, intestinal obstruction is more frequent, when inflammation leads to obstruction of a part of the intestine.

Crohn's disease: good news

In the autumn (2019) a 15-year-old boy suffering from this disease invented a special ice cream for people with Crohn's disease. It is a mango-flavored ice cream that has had the scientific validation ofGaslini Institute.