Inflammatory disorders in the intestine area can result to blood in stools. For example, conditions like Crohn’s disease can affect the gastrointestinal tract that can manifest symptoms such as bloody stools, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. If of all these symptoms will be present in the patient, then perhaps going to a physician is a sensible thing that he can do to address these problems and prevent it from becoming worse.
Speaking of bloody stools, a health threat that can cause such, as mentioned, is Crohn’s disease. This particular condition is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the digestive tract. The problem with Crohn’s disease is that it spreads to the different layers of the bowel tissue making the disease unbearable and painful on the part of the person affected. Moreover, the symptoms can progress to other complications that can be life-threatening.
Sad to say, there is no current cure for this disease. The best things that a patient can avail of to ease the pain are the various treatment options available. These therapies can significantly make a Crohn’s disease patient feel better.
What Causes Crohn’s Disease?
The causes of Crohn’s disease remain yet to be discovered. This is precisely why there are no treatment options available because scientists and doctors are not sure of where this disease comes from. There were previous researches and studies claiming that the causes of this disease are poor diet and high stress levels, but these are very vague.
Nowadays, it seems like researchers believe that poor and suppressed immune system and heredity are the factors that cause Crohn’s disease.
- Heredity – Mutations of the NOD2 gene are present among people with Crohn’s disease.
- Immune system – Once the immune system is suppressed, bacteria can get in and attack your body. If the body is working to fight off the bacteria, the digestive tract gets inflamed.
Aside from these two possible causes, here are several risk factors for developing Crohn’s disease: family history, age, cigarette smoking, ethnicity, and use of isotretinoin (Accutane) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Common Signs and Symptoms
Besides blood in stool, abdominal pain, loose bowel movement or diarrhea, some of the common signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease may include any of the following:
- Serious bleeding that can lead to anemia
- Skin problems
- Weight loss
- Eye inflammation
Take note that these symptoms are recurring. And once they happen again, they become more persistent. Malnutrition, fistulas, ulcers, and other health conditions like arthritis are just some of the complications brought about by Crohn’s disease.
Ways on How Crohn’s Disease is Diagnosed
If a patient experienced the mentioned signs and symptoms, visiting your physician is the first thing that should be done. The doctor will have to make the patient undergo several thorough examinations and tests to diagnose or rule out Crohn’s disease.
The patient will have to provide stool sample so that the doctor can send this to the laboratory for further testing. Besides that an upper gastrointestinal series will also be done to monitor and examine the small intestine. Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy will be performed as well.
Treating Crohn’s Disease
As mentioned earlier, there are no cures yet for this disease but there are drugs that can help in controlling the infection, inflammation, and prevent the disease from becoming worse. Some drugs that the patient can take are:
- Cortisone or steroids
- Anti-inflammation drugs
- Anti-diarrhea medications
- Fluid replacements
- Immune system suppressors
Nutritional supplementation is also advised, especially among children with the disease. This will help them fight off malnutrition and growth stunt.
Regarding surgery, about 2/3 of patients with Crohn’s disease will have to undergo surgery at some point. If the doctors see that medicines are not effective anymore in controlling the condition, surgery is the only option left. However, it is important to note that Crohn’s disease may persist again.