Crohn's disease is an ongoing disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, also referred to as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn's disease can affect any area of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus, but it most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum. The swelling extends deep into the lining of the affected organ. The swelling can cause pain and can make the intestines empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea.
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease, the general name for diseases that cause swelling in the intestines. Because the symptoms of Crohn's disease are similar to other intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, it can be difficult to diagnose. Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and ulcers in the top layer of the lining of the large intestine. In Crohn's disease, all layers of the intestine may be involved, and normal healthy bowel can be found between sections of diseased bowel.
Crohn's disease may also be called ileitis or enteritis.
Crohn's disease can affect any area of the GI tract, but it most often affects a part of the small intestine called the ileum.*
In Crohn's disease, portions of the digestive tract become inflamed. The diseased lining of the digestive tract becomes swollen and scarred.
Swelling in the digestive tract makes the passage narrow.
The symptoms of Crohn's disease:
Crohn's disease symptoms can be different for each person.
The most common symptoms of Crohn's disease are abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Some people have bleeding in the rectum, which is the lower end of the GI tract, just before the anus. Rectal bleeding can be serious and may not stop without medical help. Bleeding can lead to anemia, meaning the body has lost too many red blood cells.
Anemia makes a person feel tired. People can also have weight loss, skin problems, and fevers. Children with Crohn's disease may develop and grow slower than most other children or they may not reach their expected full height.
The complications of Crohn's disease:
Intestinal blockage can occur in people with Crohn's disease. Blockage occurs because the intestinal wall thickens or swells from inflammation and scar tissue. Ulcers can also cause tunnels to form through the inflamed areas of the intestine or even the healthy parts. These tunnels are called fistulas. Sometimes pockets of infection, called abscesses, can form in and around the fistulas. Fistulas can be treated with medicine, but sometimes surgery is needed.
People with Crohn's disease often don't get the nutrients they need. If you have Crohn's disease, you may not get enough protein, vitamins, or calories in your diet. If you aren't getting nutrients, it may be because you
• have an upset stomach that keeps you from eating enough
• may be losing protein in the intestine
• may not be able to absorb nutrients from your food
Other problems that some people with Crohn's disease suffer from are arthritis, skin problems, swelling in the eyes or mouth, kidney stones, and gallstones. Some of these problems go away during treatment. But some must be treated with additional medicines. (Refer 1)
Nutritional Issues and Proper Diet (Refer 2)
Compromised nutrition, even malnutrition, is a constant threat to an individual with Crohn's disease. This is because the disease creates a vicious cycle:
Fever and diarrhea cause a loss of appetite.
Fever, by raising the body's metabolic rate, adds to the need for caloric energy.
Diarrhea can lead to dehydration and temporary lactose intolerance (the inability to digest milk sugars).
Lactose intolerance causes milk sugars to ferment in the colon, leading to cramps and more diarrhea.
Lactose intolerance can also indirectly lead to calcium deficiency, which in turn can lead to the loss of bone density called osteoporosis. This side effect can be especially prevalent among those being treated with corticosteroids such as prednisone. Because the inflammation in Crohn's disease affects the entire thickness of the intestinal wall (rather than only the inner mucosal layer, as in ulcerative colitis), particular complications can occur. These include:
Strictures and obstructions
In addition, individuals who live with Crohn's disease are at risk for malnutrition.
Causes for Crohn's disease: (Refer 1)
Scientists have many ideas about what causes Crohn's disease. The immune system in people with Crohn's disease may mistake bacteria and foods as being "invaders." The immune system then attacks these invaders, causing white blood cells to gather in the lining of the intestines. This "gathering" leads to swelling and intestinal damage.
The immune system's response to these invaders may be either a cause or a result of the disease. Many things are associated with inflammation in the GI tract, such as
• a person's genes
• the immune system not being able to recognize harmless GI bacteria
• unknown triggers caused by the environment
Probiotics as Treatment for Crohn's Disease (Refer 3)
In a healthy body, you have many proteins, cells and bacteria helping to fight off infection and disease.
But, a patient that suffers from Crohn's Disease doesn't have the same strength in their immune system because there is a fight between the immune system and the white blood cells.
While the immune system is trying to destroy the healthy bacteria in your stomach, the white blood cells of your intestinal lining are trying to fight back.
The result is usually chronic inflammation - inflammation that leads to ulcerations, bowel injuries, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pains and stomach and intestinal problems.
it's believed that the main cause of Chrons is an imbalance of the bacteria in your stomach.
Our bodies are made up of good and bad bacteria.
People with Crohn's Disease have an insufficient amount of the good bacteria so the bad bacterial takes over, causing chronic inflammation.
Although antibiotics can offer some help, their prolonged use can cause a number of other problems.
Here is where probiotics are said to be beneficial in the treatment of Crohn's Disease.
Probiotics are what we refer to as "friendly" or "good" bacteria. And this good bacteria is something Crohn's Disease patients need more of in their bodies in order to overtake the harmful bacteria that's raising havoc in the intestinal tract.
Studies of patients of Crohn's Disease taking probiotics with their regular medications versus patients not taking the probiotics garnished interesting results. (Refer 3)
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders, doctors believe Crohn's disease is caused by a malfunctioning immune system which attacks healthy bacteria in the intestines. They believe replenishing the healthy bacteria in the intestines helps bring Crohn's disease under control. (Refer 4)
Researchers with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine are studying whether probiotics can restore the balance of friendly bacteria in the intestines. They have found encouraging evidence which supports their theory that probiotics can replenish healthy bacteria.
According to the Mayo Clinic , probiotics are dietary supplements or foods containing healthy bacteria.
Probiotics promote regularity and shorten the amount of time your intestines need to perform their functions. Probiotics are also very useful in the treatment of diarrhea, one of the major symptoms of Crohn's disease.
The consumption of probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, casei gg, rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum and Bifidobacterium bifidum have a positive effect on your digestive system.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that promote the natural balance of bacteria in your digestive tract by replenishing healthy bacteria in your system after a course of antibiotics, and probiotics improve digestive processes by hindering disease-causing bacteria from growing in your stomach and intestines.
Probiotics are an excellent all-natural treatment for diarrhea, constipation, Candida overgrowth, urinary tract conditions, inflammatory bowel Consumption (Refer 5)
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that all side effects reported so far have been mild and affecting the digestive system . Patients who have used probiotics report a few side effects, include gas and bloating.( Refer 4)
Jarrow formulas jarro Dophilus EPS ® (Probiotic Supplement) is enteric-coated to protect against the salvia, stomach acid and other digestive secretions. Because of its coating, jarro Dophilus EPS ®, containing 5 billion live organisms per capsule , bypasses the acid barrier and thereby provides prior results with fewer capsules.
Jarro-Dophilus EPS (Probiotic Supplement) supplies eight strains of bacteria in order to offer a broad range of protection and benefits, including:
Compatibility among the strains.
Ability to survive passage through the digestive tract.
Stable under normal gastric conditions.
Resistant to bile salts.
Adherence to intestinal mucosa.
Colonization of the human intestinal tract.
Safety with regard to human use.
Production of antimicrobial substances.
Antagonism against pathogenic and putrefactive bacteria.
Stability during storage under normal conditions.,
Strains appropriate to the different regions of the intestinal tract (Refer 6)
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2) www.ehealth.com/library/chrons disease/