It is one of the most common diseases in countries such as the United States, Canada and in much of Europe as is the case of Spain. It has been shown that around 200,000 Spaniards suffer from Crohn's disease or some other inflammatory disease of the digestive tract.
Although the specific cause of why this condition occurs has not yet been found, in we bring you the possible causes, symptoms, possible treatments and of course how to prevent Crohn's disease through a series of tips, such as reducing fat consumption and avoiding stress.
What is Crohn's disease
It is known as a chronic inflammatory disease that affects certain parts of the gastrointestinal tract. This condition can affect any area of the digestive system. However, the areas where it usually occurs are the proximal colon, ileocolon, terminal ileum and in 25% of cases in the large intestine and anal canal.
Although it is commonly compared to ulcerative colitis, it is important to differentiate them from each other. Both are inflammatory bowel diseases, however Crohn's disease is characterized by affecting the wall of the intestine, while colitis is specified only in the mucosa.
As we mentioned before, it is not known of an exact cause, however it is known that it is not contagious and that it appears by episodes that vary, depending on the inflammatory aggressiveness. It is said that the first symptoms appear around 15 years of age and that it commonly develops until the age of 35.
Causes of Crohn's disease
The cause is really unknown. However, after many studies, it has been hypothesized that it may be hereditary in nature. Between 20% and 50% of people who suffer from this disease have a family member who suffers from it, in the same way it can be an accumulation of environmental, autoimmune and genetic factors.
Similarly, it has been proven that there are external factors that can make you more prone or worsen the severity of inflammation:
- Diet: many studies claim that the antigens present in some foods can be the cause of this aggressive immune response and in the same way processed, sugary and fried foods.
- Age and sex: commonly this disease affects the female sex between the ages of 15 and 35 years and 60 and 75 years. It is said that this may be due to the hormonal changes that the woman presents at the end of adolescence.
- Race: White people have been found to be more likely than Hispanics and People of African descent to suffer from the disease. They assure that this particular detail can be due to environmental factors and even lifestyle.
- Cigarette: Nicotine is known to directly affect the intestinal mucosa; therefore, Crohn's disease develops mainly in smokers.
Symptoms of Crohn's disease
One of the most common symptoms are diarrhea and spasms caused by abdominal pain that is concentrated, mainly, in the lower right area of it. Although 70% of patients with Crohn's disease have these symptoms, there is a long list of additional ones that depending on the inflammatory severity can affect more or less. Here are other symptoms of Crohn's disease:
- Nutrient malabsorption
- Weight and appetite loss
- Really painful abdominal cramps
- Fat present in the stool
- Lack of energy
- Very unpleasant smell of stool
- Bleeding or bloody stools
- Pain when defecating
- Excess gases
- Kidney stones
- Joint pain
Tips to prevent Crohn's disease
Because an exact cause of its appearance is not known, it cannot be determined exactly what can prevent it. However, it is well known that modifying certain habits and customs can, in greater probability, avoid Crohn's disease and even prevent its development or a relapse, once it has appeared
- Reduce the consumption of fats and carbohydrates.
- Avoid stress.
- Consume non-acidic vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, spinach, etc.
- Avoid as much as possible foods derived from dairy, fish or that are high in yeast content.
- Consume plenty of fiber to maintain a daily bowel movement.
- Reduce the consumption of black drinks such as caffeine, teas and cola.
- Eliminate alcohol and cigarettes.
- Drink plenty of water.