At the early stage, Crohn patients will feel abdominal pain and cramping. It might be accompanied by diarrhea. They can notice changes in their toilet habits due to abnormal bowel movements. Crohn patients might also notice changes in their appetites and eating habits.
During these times, patients often do not take these symptoms seriously yet. They will just think of it as the usual tummy ache or loss of appetite due to stress and emotional problems. They will even try to self-medicate with over-the-counter medicine.
We can see Crohn’s disease when it is in a visible part of the body. In our case, the mouth. When it is located in the mouth, it is diagnosed as Oral “lichen planus”. Other lesions or abnormalities exist in our intestines with the same “look and feel”.
There will be signs of inflammation like swelling. These affected parts will be darker in appearance because of higher amounts of blood being congested into them.
The inflammation often spreads into the deeper layers of the infected bowel parts. It can spread through the whole thickness of the bowel walls.
In serious cases, the inflammation penetrates the bowel walls and spreads to other organs “touching” the affected areas. This causes ‘adhesions’. The surfaces which touch begin to stick to one another. If this worsens, the inflammation can eventually puncture the affected bowels. This allows the contents of the bowel to leak outside to other parts of the bowel or other organs. An infection can happen and develop into an abscess. This is life-threatening.
Crohn’s disease can be both painful and debilitating, this may lead to dangerous complications. There will be symptoms like diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, pain, irregular toilet habits. The affliction can spread to other parts like sores in the mouth. In children, the illness can stop their growth. In adults, the disease drains their energy and forces them to stay in bed for long hours.
As it worsens, blood will begin to appear in the stool due to ulcers in the bowels. Very painful sores develop near or around the anus. This is because the inflammation tunneled and formed drainage into the skin. All of these complications will result in reduced appetite and weight loss.
It is an illness caused by inflammation that affects a person’s bowels
Many doctors and researchers believe that it is caused by an abnormal immune system. The immune system defends against microbial infections and cancerous tissues. It does this by creating inflammation in the infected area. If the inflammation is too long, a damage will create to the body tissues surrounding it. This causes complications that already threaten the patient’s health and well-being. The immune system is supposed to be “overreacting” causing inflammation in places that should not be protected by it.
As such, the doctors aim their effort to inhibit the immune system operation. Assuming it will reduce the inflammation. It does contain severe “side-effects”.