So you have been diagnosed with chrons disease, after the initial shock, many people want to know what the outlook is, or the prognosis of chrons disease?
Again as with many questions involving Chrons Disease, there is no straight answer and the outlook tends to be quite variable. It all depends on which part or parts of your gut have been affected with chrons, how frequent and how severe your flare-ups are.
The Stats on a Chrons Disease Prognosis
Around Eight out of every Ten people who have Chrons disease will eventually require some sort of surgery at some stage in their life. About 50% of people with Chrons disease surgery is required within the first 10 years from the emergence of the disease.
Why do most people with chrons disease need surgery?
Is seems that the most common reason is to relieve an abnormal contraction that has formed in your gut.
Some people with chrons disease require more than one operation in their lifetime and if your chrons disease developed as a young adult, the average is to have between 2 and 4 operations in your lifetime. The good news in all this glum is that you CAN expect to have a good quality of life for most of the time, and it is important not to forget that!
Stats on Chrons Disease Flare-ups
Around 15% of people who have crohns disease have frequent and / or severe flare-ups. Again this is not a fixed number as a few people with Chrons disease have just one or two flare-ups in their whole life and spend most of their lives with no symptoms of the disease. The most likely prognosis is that you fall somewhere in between and have flare-ups from now and again and can have long periods of time without any symptoms of Chrons Disease.
It is important to keep in mind that a severe flare-up is and can be life threatening and there are some people who die as a result of a serious complication like a perforated gut, so you should always seek professional medical advice if you suspect that you are having a Chrons disease flare up .
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
So you have been diagnosed with chrons disease, after the initial shock, many people want to know what the outlook is, or the prognosis of chrons disease?
As I don't have a lot of time today I am just going to pass on thre interesting facts on Chrons Disease that I have managed to dig up in my research:
First of the correct spelling is actually Crohn's Disease. The Cisease is named after Dr Crohn, who in the 1930's identified the disease.
You can get crohns disease at any age and it is still not fully understood why you get it although they do know that chrons disease is hereditary.
For every one thousand people living in the UK, about one person has Crohns disease
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
Most complications associated with Chrons Disease end up with abdominal pain to different degrees. The obstruction of the bowl, narrowing and perforation, or ulcers, scarring, abscesses and inflammation, can all result in abdominal pain and sometimes nausea and vomiting.
Because of this, it sometimes means that the intestines cannot absorb enough nutrition from the food that you are eating and this can lead to deficiencies, diarrhea can lead to dehydration and rectal bleeding to anemia.
The narrowing of your intestines with Chrons Disease can be because of swelling and scar tissue which result in blockages. Ulcers can eat into the walls of the intestines and can affect the surrounding tissue of organs like the bladder, vagina or the abdominal cavity. This burrowing causes a tube-like tunnel which is called a fistula, if the fistula becomes infected it causes abscess and recurrent infections.
Sometimes Chrons Disease is also associated with inflammation of the joints, arthritis, skin problems and inflammation of the eyes or mouth.
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
Cause of Chrons Disease
Even though there is loads of research that is ongoing, the exact cause of Chrons disease is still unknown.
There are some researchers that suspect that infection by certain bacteria, probably strains of mycobacterium, may be the cause of Chrons disease. Unfortunately up to now, there has been no hard evidence that the disease is caused by infection.
The good news is that Chrons disease is not contagious, it cannot be passed on by blood or in the air. Even though your diet may affect the symptoms of your Chrons disease it is probably not anything to do with diet that caused you to get the disease.
ChronsDisease and the Immune System
In Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) the activation of the immune system in the intestines seems to have some significance. Your immune system is made up of immune cells and the proteins that these immune cells make. The function of these cells and their proteins is to protect the body against harmful viruses, bacteria, fungi and other foreign bodies. When they are activated it causes inflammation inside the tissues where this activation occurs. This is natural and this is important as part of the defense used by your immune system.
In people who have IBD, the immune system is seems to be activated even though there is no known invader and it is this continued activation which causes the chronic inflammation and ulceration. It seems that this condition and your chances of getting Chrons disease is passed on genetically from your parents. So if your parents have IBD, you are are more likely to develop Crohn's Disease.
Recent research has discovered that a gene called NOD2 has something to do with Chrons disease and it has been found that it is important in determining how the body reacts to some bacterias. The research also showed that people who have mutations of NOD2 are more likely to developing Chrons disease.
Monday, 5 November 2007
Anti-glycan antibodies can help distinguish between Chrons disease and ulcerative colitis in children. This news was released at the United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW) where researchers looked at the diagnostic relevance of serological anti-glycan antibodies in 110 young people less than 18 years old who had inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and 630 people older than 18 years.
There has always been a problem in diagnosing people who either have chrons disease or ulcerative colitis as they are very similar and have many overlapping features, but the correct diagnosis is important for the correct form of treatment. Traditionally paediatric patients often have to endure invasive examination of combined upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, and terminal ileoscopy with biopsies and atthe end of this the exact disease (crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis) in up to 30% of patients is still unknown and they are defined as "indeterminate colitis" or unclassified inflammatory bowel disease.
In adult patients, anti-glycan antibodies IBDX has been found to help distinguish between Chrons disease and ulcerative colitis, so it is highly likely that IBDX markers may also help in the diagnosis of paediatric IBD patients. The hope is that this will reduce the use of invasive examination in young children.
During the tests, the diagnosis of IBD for each person was based upon standard endoscopic, histologic, and radiographic criteria and serological analysis of antibodies against mannan epitope of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (gASCA), laminaribioside (ALCA), chitobioside (ACCA), and mannobioside (AMCA) were performed using IBDX ELISA panel.
In the results of the tests, children with IBD, who tested positive for at least one of the markers could be identified as Chrons disease patients with a sensitivity of 65% and specificity of 84%; the positive and negative predictive values were 91% and 50%, respectively. Children who tested positive for 2 or more markers could be identified as Chrons disease with higher specificity (94%) but lower sensitivity (22%).
There were also no significant differences in the results between children and adults with IBD.
So in conclusion these tests show for the first time that similar to adults, anti-glycan antibodies can distinguish between chrons disease and ulcerative colitis in children with IBD.
Saturday, 3 November 2007
In a new study that was looking into food and the eating patterns in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which is a condition that includes Chrons disease and ulcerative colitis, it was found that children with IBD and crohn's disease are more likely than other children to show signs of picky eating.
All the children in the study had either Chrons disease or ulcerative colitis and "Picky" eating was defined as not eating during meal time, trying to negotiate with their parents what they will or won't eat and completely refusing to eat certain foods.
Dr. Laura Mackner the author of the study from the Columbus Children's Research Institute and Ohio State University told said the results found that children with chrons disease or ulcerative colitis have a significantly more eating behavioral problems and these also occur more often than in healthy children. She also said that children with IBD often feel pains in their abdomen, which may make them not want to eat food. "If your stomach's hurting, you may not feel like eating," she said.
Chrons Disease and a Childs Diet
Often children who have a form of IBD, weather it be Chrons disease or ulcerative colitis are often smaller than other children their own age this often makes their parents try to force them to eat more, often creating tension and a power struggle over eating. Dr. Laura Mackner said that as a parent who has a child who's eating habits start to interfere with their health you should consider taking your child to a psychologist who has experience in eating behaviors.
Nutrition education and behavior management has helped children overcome eating problems in other diseases, and similar programs might also work for children with chrons disease or ulcerative colitis.
The study looked into the eating behaviors of 82 children all between the ages of 11 and 17. 50 of the children had inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the rest were healthy.
They also found that girls with chrons disease or ulcerative colitis and who were unhappy with their bodies showed a higher risk of eating problems. How much they weighed was not important. But with boys who had crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis weight was important, and those who weighed less than their peers were more likely to develop eating problems than normal weight boys with IBD.
These results of this study were presented during the recent meeting of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in Montreal.
Books on Children and Chrons Disease
Books for sale in the USA:
Books for sale in the UK:
Sunday, 28 October 2007
Dr Richard Gearry who is a senior lecturer at Otago Universitys Christchurch School of Medicine in New Zealand, has been working on a new low carbohydrate diet that could help people who suffer with Chrons disease and those with ulcerative colitis, both of which are forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The low carbohydrate diet meant cutting back on wheat, onions, milk, ice cream, apples, honey and stone fruits. Legumes were also found to cause abdominal pain and diarrhoea. This study was carried out using 100 people from the at Box Hill Hospital in Victoria in Australia, who had a form of IBD (either crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
What happens sometimes is that some of the sugars and carbohydrates are not absorbed into the bowl as they pass though and the get into the colon where they can ferment and produce gas and thus pain. In the study the patients were put onto the diet for six to eight weeks. An important factor with this diet is that the taste is not too bad and it is easy to follow and so many people are able able to go through with it.
The findings from this study were presented to the Australian Gastroenterology Week conference in Perth and it is hope that it will help people who suffer with chrons disease and ulcerative colitis but other factors like exercise and stress may also be important.
Friday, 19 October 2007
One of the top experts in chrons disease is to hold an open meeting in London's East End.
National Association for Colitis and Crohn's Disease will hold the chrons disease meeting, which is scheduled for October 20 and is aimed at people who have crohn's disease and their families and the speaker, Dr Nilukshi Wijesurlya from the Royal London Hospital will talk about what happens to your biopsies and operation specimens
The meeting starts at 2pm at the Wingate Institute in Ashfield Street, Whitechapel, behind the hospital, very close to the Whitechapel Underground station.
There are about 150,000 people with Colitis and Chrons disease in the UK.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Apart from loads of research on the internet, and talking to people who also have chrons disease, one of the best ways I have found in gathering information on Chrons Disease is through books.
The Chrons disease DVD's for sale (see below) are interesting and I must confess I haven't seen them yet, although I have ordered them. I would love to have any comments back from anyone who has watched them.
If you have read any really good books that have helped you with your chrons disease symptoms, please leave a comment and I will add it to the slide show below and hopefully others can benefit from your experience.
These books and DVD's on Chrons Disease are available from Amazon.com in the US
In a study at the University of North Carolina people treated with infliximab who have chrons disease experience weight gain which so far can not be explained.
Some chrons disease patients put on as much as 75 pounds. This is far more than any weight gain that had been witnessed in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and treated with infliximab.
Cristal Brown, a clinical research fellow at the University said that chrons disease patients were often malnourished and that this could help if the fight against crohn's disease, the difficult question to ask is that what if they were to push chrons disease sufferers into obesity and all the associated problems that come with that?
Chrons disease patients gained almost five times as much weight as patients with arthritis (4.97 kg versus 1.1 kg) and some Crohn's patients gained as much as 20 to 30 kg. There was no difference in weight gain between patients with luminal versus fistulous disease or by steroid use, baseline body mass index, smoking status, or chrons disease activity. These findings were based on the records on 92 people with Chrons disease and 51 rheumatoid arthritis patients. All of whom were at least 18 years old and who had received three or more infusions of infliximab.
Many Chrons disease patients would probably benefit from a small weight gain as the disease often led to some degree of undernourishment, but there is a need for a larger study to determine the cause of this weight gain and the role of leptin in the weight gain.
Friday, 12 October 2007
Many people often ask if stress can make the symptoms of Chrons disease worse?
To start off with, there is no hard evidence that stress can cause chrons disease in the fist place. It is true to say though that people who suffer with chrons disease do often experience the increased stress in their lives, mainly due to having to cope with a chronic illness.
There are also reports that people with Crohn’s disease have flare ups more often when they are going through a particularly stressful situation in their lives. The best advice if you feel that you feel that is a connection between your stress level and a worsening of your chrons disease symptoms, is to use relaxation techniques like slow breathing and possibly even meditation. Also as always, make sure you eat well, and correctly and get enough sleep.
Some books on chrons disease that I have found useful:
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
A study that was published in May 2007 in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, has shown a link between smoking and Chrons Disease.
The research seems to show that smoking may determine which part of your intestinal tract is affected in people who have Chrons disease. This is very important as where the chrons disease is situated often determines if the patient will need surgical treatment or not.
The research showed that people with chrons disease and who smoke, the crohn's disease seems to appear more often in the small intestine and not the colon. Chrons disease located in the small intestine is often more penetrating causing more damage and thus has to be treated by surgery more often. This research does ask a few important questions like why does smoking effect the different parts of your intestine in different ways.
There is a theory that the physical differences in small and large bowel may explain the differences in location of chrons disease in smokers. Whatever the case this seems to suggest that more research needs to be done on the effects of smoking and Chrons Disease.
Experiments being carried out on mice in the US at the Harvard School of Public Health have identified an immune deficiency as the most likely cause of ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis is a severe inflammatory disease of the colon and is similar to Chrons Disease. For the differences between Chrons Disease and Ulcerative colitis, take a look at my post on Is Chrons disease different to ulcerative colitis?
The research also showed that once mice had the disease, it could then be passed from mother to their offspring and even between adult animals. They also linked ulcerative colitis in mice to a deficiency of a molecule in the immune system, which would normally prevent harmful bacteria in the large intestine from breaking the bowel's protective lining and thus allow the damaging inflammation. A shortage of a protein called T-bet which usually regulates the harmful bacteria. This then allows the bacterial attack on the intestinal wall. This then causes the inflammation we know as ulcerative colitis that's identified by the open sores throughout the colon.
The details of this study is posted online in the journal Cell. www.cell.com
It is hoped that better understanding of Ulcerative Colitis will also lead to a better understanding of Chrons Disease and one day a possible cure.
Monday, 8 October 2007
US researches have said that treatment with new cancer drugs could help regulate body's immune system and thus help fight Chrons disease. The new cancer drugs, known as histone deacetylases inhibitors, or HDACs might work very well at blocking overactive immune systems in people with chrons disease and other autoimmune diseases.
The Chrons disease treatment would improve the immune system’s ability to regulate itself, according to Wayne Hancock of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In one study that has already been conducted on mice, the drug helped reverse and even prevent inflammatory bowel disease. This drug also prevented the rejection of heart transplants in other mice.
So far, the drug has mostly been used in studying cancer, but that could change and more tests could soon be done for diseases like Chrons disease.
Thursday, 4 October 2007
What is a Fistulas?
Fistulas are pretty common is people who have Chrons disease, so what are they? Well basically they are abnormal connections or passageways between organs or vessels that should not normally connect to each other.
What Are Perianal Fistulas?
A perianal fistula is an abnormal connections (fistula) between the anus and rectum with another organ or vessel such as the skin or the vagina. This can be a very debilitating condition, and can lead to a big drop in the quality of life for anyone who has Perianal fistuals and Chrons disease as they can cause anal incontinence and / or infections.
According to research about 12 percent of people with chrons disease have Perianal fistulas, this is a huge amount as there are said to be at least half a million people with Crohn's disease in the US alone.
How are Fistulas treated?
Current treatments rely mainly upon surgery, which unfortunatly has a pretty poor success rate and is obviously very invasive. Anti TNF-alpha, is also used which only has a sucess rate (complete absence of fistulae) of only 36%.
So there is a huge need for another more effective and less invasive treatment for people who have chrons disease and fistulas.
Help with Fistulas on the way?
Possibly! A product with the catchy tilte of Cx401, is in development and is to be used for the treatment of perianal fistulas common in people with Chrons disease.
What is Cx401?
Cx401 uses stem-cells not derived from embryo's to treat perianal fistulas in Chrons and also non Chrons Disease patients. There has already been a Phase 2 clinical trial which has shown the effectiveness and the safety of Cx401. The Patent application has been submitted, and fingers crossed for all people with Chrons Disease who have perianal fistulas, if it is granted it could provide protection until the year 2025!
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
A few people have asked me to do a little research on the effects of having Chrons disease whilst pregnant, crohn's disease often affects women of childbearing age so it is a common problem. Here are my findings:
Risk of Preterm Birth
Recent studies have shown that having active chrons disease during your pregnancy raises the risk of having a preterm birth. I guess by "active" they mean that you are having a flare up? This risk was shown to be three times higher in women with active chrons disease.
This research was carried out at the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark by Dr. Bente Norgard and colleagues. They examined the impact of chrons disease in 71 women with low to moderately high active chrons disease during their pregnancy and another 86 women with inactive Chrons disease during pregnancy (I guess this means remission?).
The good news is that the women with the active chrons disease during their pregnancy, were shown the risks of giving birth to a child of low birth weight and congenital abnormalities were not increased, compared to the women with inactive chrons disease.
SOURCE: American Journal of Gastroenterology, September 2007.
Monday, 1 October 2007
So what is a Flare-up in Chrons Disease?
Chrons disease is both a chronic and relapsing condition. The Chronic part means that it is ongoing and Relapsing means that occasionally your symptoms will flare-up (relapse). During the time that you have no or only a few symptoms, chrons disease is said to be in remission. The frequency of flare-ups and the amount of time chrons is in remission, varies from person to person. Often the first flare up is the worst, so atleast ther is some good news!
Tips on getting through a flare up
Flare ups can make you generally very ill especially in severe cases and should not be taken lightly and I would highly recommend that you go to a hospital or at least see your doctor.
If you can't get to either for some reason (If like someone I know was working in a remote location). The first thing you need to do stop what you are doing and get into a bed. In order to recover, your body needs rest, and by that it must be total rest. Dont do the washing, clean the kitchen or anything else. Obviously to do this you will need the total help of your friends or family.
You also need to go onto a clear liquid diet again you have to be strict with this one. Your stomach needs the rest in order to recover from the flare-up and go back into remission.
So what is a clear liquid diet?
Non-carbonated drinks. Carbonated drinks agrivate the intestines. It is VERY important to keep your body hydrated at all times so drink plenty of water, ideally you should sip water all through the day. At least once and preferably twice a day you should drink an energy drinklike Gatorade or Propel as these will help your body replenish electrolytes. Soup Broth, Jelly (Jell-O) and Popsicles (lollies). Dont eat pudding or ice cream.
After you are in bed, resting and fully hydrated you need to get someone to get you help from a doctor as you will need antibiotics and other medication. Chrons disease can be difficult to live with and manage and because you have an autoimmune disease, your life does sometimes have to revolve around the disease but you can help to try and maintain a healthy body and stomach by eating correctly, keep a positive mental attitude and keep chrons disease in remission.
Friday, 28 September 2007
In recent times, it has become clear that Chrons disease affects large numbers of children, this is also true for cases of ulcerative colitis. Most diagnosed cases of Crohn's disease are in children and it is not uncommon to see examples of chrons in children as young a 7. It is also thought that about 20% of all cases of Chrons disease affects children under the age of 15.
Nutritional deficiency can be a serious problem for children with Chrons disease and can lead to stunted growth and the childs doctor may recommend nutritional supplements, this is especially true for children whose growth has already been stunted or slowed.
Chrons disease shows no bias towards boys orgirls are equally affected. Children who are born into a family with a history of Chrons disease are far more likely to develop chrons and possibly at an early age.
Apart from the physical difficulties faced by children with chrons disease, tt is also important to remember that children with chrons disease will have to face self image issues at an important time in their development. Chrons will change their routines and may separate them from normal child activities. Therefore, these children need a strong support base from family, friends, and doctors to help them with their social, as well as their physical, growth.
UK: Get Managing Your Child's Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis from Amazon.co.uk
USA, Australia and Canada: Get Managing Your Child's Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis from
Thursday, 27 September 2007
In one word, yes. Chrons disease is different to ulcerative colitis although they are quite similar and a incorrect diagnosis can often be given.
In what ways is Chrons Disease different to ulcerative colitis?
Crohn's disease usually causes inflammation in your rectum, colon, small intestine and sometines even in your stomach, mouth and esophagus.
Ulcerative colitis causes an inflammation only in the colon (which is called the colitis) and or the rectum.
The inflammation in Chrons disease is also different from ulcerative colitis because except in the very worst examples, the inflammation of ulcerative colitis only seems to affect the superficial layers of the inner lining of the bowel.
The inflammation of Chrons disease tends to be concentrated in some areas more than others and affects layers of the bowel that are deeper than the superficial inner layers. Therefore, the affected areas of the bowel in Chrons disease often has deeper ulcers with normal lining between these ulcers.
Find books on Chrons Disease in the UK, USA, Australia and Canada on Abebooks.com
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
A drug called Naltrexone that has been used to treat people who abuse drugs and alcohol could also be helping people with Chrons Disease, research has shown.
In a small study, conducted by Doctors in the USA found that some peoples symptoms of Chrons Disease (crohn,s disease) went into remission when they took the drug (Naltrexone).
Naltrexone is an opioid or narcotic antagonist and what it does is it blocks narcotics. The drug has approval from the FDA to ease drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms, but could also be used to help people with Chrons disease.
Dr. Smith who was working on the study said "We don't understand the mechanism of how it works in Chrons disease, but there are opioid proteins on inflammatory cells, so by using Naltrexone it does reverse the inflammation and it also causes healing of the ulcers in the intestine"
As mentioned before the study was only a small one, with the patients taking one low-dose pill at bedtime and showed minimal side effects. There was about About 89 percent of patients showed some sort of improvement with Naltrexone and 67 percent had total remission of their symptoms. With these positive findings, there are now larger studies taking place, good news for people suffering with Chrons Disease.
Find books on Chrons Disease in the USA, Australia and Canada on Abebooks.com
Sunday, 23 September 2007
When you are first diagnosed with Chrons disease the prospect can be very frightening, especially as there are so many unknowns. Even the doctors cannot be totally sure! So what can you expect? Well here are a few of the facts:
People with Chrons disease often go through periods of improvement which are then followed by deterioration and increased symptoms again sometimes these periods of remission can go on for years. If you have chrons, you have an increased risk of small bowel or colorectal carcinoma.
Complications associated with Chrons Disease
* You can get fistulas in the following areas:
* Bowel obstructions
* Nutritional deficiencies (commonly vitamin B12 deficiency)
* Complications of corticosteroid therapy
* Erythema nodosum
* Pyoderma gangrenosum
* Inflammation of the joints
* Lesions in the eye
* Impaired growth and sexual development in children
Obviously when you reading this list can be very frightening and I don't think anyone has had ALL these complications with Chrons. I feel that it is important to know the facts about Chrons, but it is also important to know that there is also a whole life to live EVEN if you have Chrons Disease.
Find books on Chrons Disease on Abebooks.com
If you have Chrons disease you may be prescribed medications like 5-aminosalicylate to control the inflammatory process.
If this treatment is not effective or if the case is very severe, you may require corticosteroids and immunomodulators such as azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine.
If you have any fistulas or abscesses you may be given antibiotics to fight against it. Infliximab which is an antibody to an immune chemical called TNF-alpha, which promotes inflammation. This treatment can work for people with fistulous disease.
If medical treatment does not work, you may need surgery where your segment of your bowel which has Chrons disease will be removed. Unfortunately though, unlike ulcerative colitis the removal of a diseased portion of the intestine does not cure Chrons disease.
There has been no concrete evidence that a specific diet has been shown to improve or worsen Crohn's disease. But as with everyone and probably more so with people suffering with Chrons disease, an adequate intake of calories, vitamins, and protein is important. The foods that make your diarrhoea worse should be avoided and specific food problems may vary from person to person.
Find books on Chrons Disease in the UK, USA, Australia and Canada on Abebooks.com
Friday, 21 September 2007
Diagnosing Chrons Disease is often very difficult, as the disease canoccur at any age, it does seem though that are the times of the highest risk are adolescence and early adulthood. As there is thought to be a genetic link to Chrons disease, the only known risks seem to be a family history of Chrons disease, people who have Jewish ancestry, and smoking also seems to increase the risk of Chrons.
Chrons disease is fairly common with about 7 people in every 100,000 developing the disease.
These are some of the Symptoms of Chrons Disease?
* Tenesmus (pain with passing stool)
* Loss of appetite
* Unintentional weight loss
* Abdominal mass
* Abdominal sounds (gurgling or splashing sound heard over the intestine)
* Fatigue and tiredness
* Gastrointestinal bleeding
* Stools that are Foul-smelling
* Pain in your Abdomen
There are also some other symptoms that have shown to be associated with Chrons disease:
* Blood in your stools
* Pain in your joints
* Anal Incontinence
* Swollen gums
* Abdominal fullness and gas
Find books on Chrons Disease in the UK, USA, Australia and Canada on Abebooks.com
Today I am going to go over more of the facts, causes and symptoms of Chrons Disease.
So what is Chrons Disease?
Chrons disease is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract but most commonly occurs in the ileum, this is the area where the large and small intestines meet.
What other names are there for Chrons Disease?
Firstly the correct spelling is Crohn's Disease, I use Chrons every time im not really thinking aboput it, and so do many other people. Other names for chrons are: Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, Regional enteritis, Ileitis and Granulomatous ileocolitis. It is similat to ulcerative colitis but definitly not the same.
How about the causes of Chrons disease?
Fistly Chrons is an autoimmune disease, what does this mean? This is when the immune system attacks your body's own cells. In the Autoimmune disorder in Chrons disease, these 'bad' immune cells attack the gastrointestinal system (your stomach). Unfortunatly the actual cause of this is still not known, but there seems to be a link to genetics.
In Chrons disease this often happens where the end of the small intestine joins the large intestine, the ileum. But it can also affect any other part of your digestive system. Because of this attack by your immune system, the wall in your intestines thickens and deep ulcers often occur. In addition to your digestive system chrons can also affect other organs in your body and may cause, Skin rash, Fistulas which are abnormal connections between bowel and adjacent organs or skin, Liver inflammation, arthritis, your eyes can become inflamed, kidney stones and deep vein thrombosis.
Thursday, 20 September 2007
I have had a few queries from people asking what is Chrons Disease? (correctly spelt Crohn's disease)
Chrons disease is a chronic and debilitating inflammatory disease of the
gastrointestinal tract. The onset of Chrons disease often occurs between the ages of 18-25, but can begin much later in life aswell.
As Chrons disease is a chronic ailment, people go through unpredictable periods in which the disease flares and causes symptoms. These episodes are followed by times
of remission in these periods the symptoms disappear or decrease and good health
Canada has one of the highest incidence and prevalence of Chrons disease in the world and chrons disease is much more common in developed nations.
The cause of Chrons disease is not really known but it is believed to be an autoimmune disease that has links to genetics. The condition occurs when the immune system contributes to damage of the gastrointestinal tract by causing inflammation.
There is no known medical or surgical cure for Chrons disease, unlike the other major type of IBD, ulcerative colitis.
Many people live with Chrons disease for many years and don't realise it. The usual onset of chrons disease is between 15 and 30 years of age, with no difference in numbers or chances of getting the disease between men and women.
Chrons disease, can cause a variety of systemic symptoms. Growth failure is common in children with Chrons disease and many children are first diagnosed with Chrons disease based on inability to maintain growth. Fever may also be present
Older people who have Chrons disease may manifest as weight loss. This is usually related to decreased food intake, since individuals with intestinal symptoms from Chrons disease often feel better when they do not eat and might lose their appetite.
Find books on Chrons Disease in the UK, USA, Australia and Canada on Abebooks.com
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
I found that books about Chron's Disease a great help to me when I was first diagnosed, some really helped and some left me with more questions than answers! That is why I thought it's would be a good Idea to create a post about some of the books that are available and then possibly in the future write a sort of Chrons Disease Book review :-)
Ok, just so I dont have to type it 100 times all the links in this post will open a new window!
Also just to let you know I will try and find links to the books for both UK and US book sites, if any of you are from any other country and know where you can find them online please let me know and I will add them. I have also where possible linked to sites that offer 2nd hand books as this is greener (save the trees!!) and cheaper too :-)
The Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Fact Book
Taken from the back cover: "Crohn's disease nearly took my life and dream of running in the Olympics. This book is helping me control my disease and stay in training." --Rene Felton, Track and Field National Record Holder"
"This text gave me a better insight into my illness. I have found that knowing what to expect makes coping with the disease easier." --Rolf Benirschke, Placekicker, San Diego Chargers
USA: AbeBooks.com Used: $1.00!!
Australia: AbeBooks New A$27.73
Canada: AbeBooks Used C$10.67
France and Germany: The Chron's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Fact Book is also available from any of the AbeBooks links above.
Sunday, 16 September 2007
Hi all, just a short post on some good news for those people in Australia with Chrons disease, an inflammatory bowel condition (IBD):
You will soon be able to access government subsidised treatments \o/
From October 2007 the medication Remicade (infliximab) will be added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The Australian Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott said Chrons disease has a profound impact on the professional, family and social life of sufferers.
Symptoms include fever, anorexia, fatigue and joint pain. (I wonder if they mean symptoms of the drug? Because I had very different symptons to this when I was first diagnosed with chrons disease!?)
"Those with active Chrons disease experience chronic abdominal pain, diarrhoea and bowel movements containing blood," Mr Abbott said in a statement. (ok, I now see! thats more like it!)
An estimates 2,000 people are expected to commence Remicade for the treatment of Crohn's disease in the first year of its listing.
The inclusion of Remicade to chrons disease sufferers to the PBS is estimated to cost $53.9 million over four years. (That is Australian Dollars)
Find books about living with Chrons disease: (in no particular order!)
USA: Abebooks.com - New and second hand books in the USA
Canada: AbeBooks - Canadian sellers of books on Chrons Disease
Ireland: AbeBooks - Chrons Books for sale in Ireland
Australia: AbeBooks - yip, chrons books in Aus!
UK: AbeBooks.co.uk - Books on Chrons disease in the UK
It sometimes helps when you feel that everything is stacked up against you to realise that there are many people who have chrons disease and not only that they are participating in very physical activities.
An example that I only recently found out was David Garrard, a quarter back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, has Chrons disease.
There are days when I don't feel that I can even get out of bed, and recently I was invited on a camping weekend with friends. I was worried that it would be a problem but when you realise that some people are doing things that even people without chrons disease would find difficult, it can give you that little extra push that you need. I'd like to report that I did go on that camping trip and had an excellent time!
You can live your life to the full with Chrons Disease!
Friday, 14 September 2007
Chrons disease, a chronic inflammation of the bowel and intestines afflicts nearly 1 million people worldwide. People with Chrons disease suffer from diarrhea and abdominal pain. Around 80 percent of Chrons disease patients will also eventually will face surgery to remove damaged portions of bowel. Having said that there is some good news, with the science finally catching up with the disease, and modern treatments like anti-inflammatory medications called TNF blockers have had very good results for many patients.
There are also two new chrons disease drugs are about to hit the market, so things could and should soon improve further for Crohn's disease patients.
The Food and Drug Administration advisory committee in the USA recommended approval of the drug Tysabri as a medication for Chrons disease. Tysabri is already used as a treatment for patients with multiple sclerosis. This recommendation will allow the FDA to move toward approval of Tysabri for Chrons.
The other drug, Cimzia, was effective at treating about one-third of 1,330 patients with moderate to severe Chrons disease in recent studies. In addition, 62 percent of patients who responded to Cimzia continued to benefit from the treatment after six months. The Belgian company is planning to receive approval from the FDA soon.
So possibly some good news on the horizon for Chrons Disease patients.
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
A man says by following ancient scriptures it helped him cure serious Chrons Disease.
Jordan Rubin believes that of the thousands of diet books published every year, the oldest is the best. The author who lives in Florida says that by eating "whole, living and nutrient-rich foods" described in the Bible, he beat Chrons disease.
The question must be asked, has Rubin rediscovered a secret overlooked by modern Western medicine? Or is he just using conventional wisdom by staying away from pork, red meat and eating natural foods
About 10 years ago, Rubin was told by doctors that his chrons disease was incurable. But he said that he successfully battled his disease after studying the Bible's "4,000-year-old health plan." He has used those ideas to found Garden of Life Inc., a health compan.
On Sept. 13, he will be giving a lecture titled titled "God Wants You to Be Healthy," at Harbor Light Church, 4760 Thornton Ave., Fremont. For more information, call 510-713-1140 and you can buy tickets online, visit http://www.KFAX.com.
You can also buy his book "The Maker's Diet" online:
This is all the information I could find but it will be interesting to see how this news pans out in the future and if it does indeed help Chrons disease sufferers
Monday, 10 September 2007
Some researchers in Melbourne have found that infant milk formula containing added fruit sugars could be causing gut disorders like Chrons disease, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis in children.
Some of the new milk formula's for children, including Nutricia and Aptamil contain prebiotics such as fructose which are supposed to improve the digestion could be doing more harm that good, especially for children who already have a tendency towards diseases like Chrons disease.
Prof Peter Gibson who is a Gastroenterology expert is concerned about the trend towards adding rebiotics to infant formula. "Excessive intake of sugars that escape digestion and absorption in the small intestine contribute to susceptibility and symptom generation inChrons disease, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis," he said.
The excessive intake of these sugars is common in the Western diet (This could be one of the reasons why Chrons disease is so uncommon in places like Africa?)
What is more is that the people with Chrons disease or IBS who take these foods out of their diet seem to get allot better.
His team has measured the prebiotic contents of food in the Australian diet in order to generate a nutritional database.
The study found more than half of the 52 patients with Chrons disease who took out prebiotics from their food improved their symptoms. So it seems that prebiotics which provide good bacteria to maintain good digestive health but are likely to make Chrons disease and IBS symptoms worse.
Sunday, 9 September 2007
My First post today and I just want to start off stating that I know Chrons Disease Should be spelt Crohns Disease! I also know that many people like me spelt it wrong when first diagnosed and so are probably not finding all the information on Chrons disease / Crohn's Disease! So please forgive me :-)
Right on to the first Chron's Disease news post:
Early exposure to farm animals lowers IBD (Chrons Disease or ulcerative colitis) risk
A study has been done that seems to suggest that if you are regularly exposed to farm animals as a child or infant you are less likely than others to develop Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis in childhood. This is according to the findings of a German study published in the journal Pediatrics.
There are about 12,000 children and adolescents in Germany who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to Dr. Katja Radon and colleagues at Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich. With the recent increase in Crohn's disease (a type of inflammatory bowel disease) especially in industrialized countries like the UK, Germany and the USA, its pronounced geographical variation, suggests that environmental factors contribute this condition.
The researchers examined the association between contact with farm animals in infancy and the development of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis in childhood. Data were analyzed for 748 IBD cases (444 with Crohn's disease and 304 with ulcerative colitis) and 1,481 healthy "control" children.
The children with IBD were more likely than the control children to live in urban areas. Regular contact with farm animals during the first year of life was inversely associated with IBD, the investigators report.
Specifically, the children with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis were about 50 percent less likely to have regular contact with farm animals in infancy compared with the healthy children.
"The results of this study indicate that farm animal contact during infancy, one of the major factors protecting individuals against childhood allergies, might also decrease the risk of juvenile IBD, (Chrons Disease or ulcerative colitis)" Radon's team concludes. The findings also support the hypothesis that allergic diseases and IBD might have similar paths of development.
Chrons Disease news source: Pediatrics, August 2007.
Tip: Some great Chron's disease self help books can be found on the internet: Abebooks.com has a large selection (link opens a new window)
For people with Chrons Disease from the UK
Just as a last note, If you are into cooking (and eating!) this book I got on Amazon really helped me and I really think it is excellent:
How to Cook for Chrons / Crohn's and Colitis (Amazon.co.uk)
Friday, 7 September 2007
Jessica Leach who is now 19 was only 12 when she started having frequent attacks of painful abdominal cramps and was only later to find out that it was Chrons disease.
At first, she didn't tell anyone about the pain and diarrhea, and would often respond to her parents questions by implying that it was somethiong in the food that didnt agree with her. But soon she began to loose alot of weight and that was when her parents realised that there must be something really worng and so decided to take her to the doctors.
The doctor first thought that she might have anorexia, which frustrated mother and daughter alike. After blood work and a visit to a gastroenterologist, the family finally got the right diagnosis: Chrons disease.
Jessica's chrons is in remission for the second time, the first time lasted for three years
She is adiment that Chrons disease is not going to get her down and want to live her life to the full. She has been working two jobs this summer and she is looking forward to college.
For thirty years Alan Cresswell, a barber in Tewkesbury (UK) has been raising money for the research into Chrons Disease after his son aged just three was diagnosed with it and now it turns out that he has Chrons disease aswell.
When he is not at work in his barber shop, Alan works with 13 other people, all nicknamed the Chronies, organising fundraising events and all in the aid of Chrons Research. This all began way back in 1976 when his son Mark, who still suffers from the painful condition, was diagnosed with Chrons disease. Now he too must face this illness as he has now also been diagnosed with Chrons and said that he was awaiting results from a local hospital to determine whether he would need an operation or not.
Alan has been officialy recognised for his fundraising efforts with town council awarded him the Tewkesbury Town Community Service Award for his services to Chrons disease research where he has raised over £200,000 specifically for Chrons disease in children, because they have their whole lives ahead of them."
Three are about one in 1,500 people have Chrons Disease, which affects slightly more women than men and usually strikes between the ages of 15 and 40.
Pediatric researchers in a children's hospital in Philadelphia have identified a gene variant that raises the risk of Chrons disease in Children.
This research backs up some other results from some German researchers who also found the same gene variant in the adult form of Chrons disease.
"Because Chrons disease is complex, with multiple genes interacting with each other and with environmental factors, it's important to sort out specific genes and to replicate previous findings," said the study's first author, Robert N. Baldassano, M.D., director of the Center for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Children's Hospital. "There are different types of Chrons disease, so classifying types by genetic profiles may help us select the most appropriate treatments for each patient."
This study was pretty comprehensive as they compared the genomes of 143 children with Chrons disease to genomes of 282 children who did not have the disease. In the results, they discovered that 64 percent of children with Chrons disease had a specific variant form of the gene ATG16L1, compared with 52 percent of the healthy children. The odds ratio for children with the gene variant was 1.62 compared to control children, all this means that children who have the variant are 62 percent more likely to have Chrons disease than children with the more common form.
I guess the more studies done like this will all lead to more understanding of Chrons disease and hopefully lead to better treatments and possibly a cure one day.
Allan and Neil Farimond, a father and son team who aim to tackle the Pyrenees on a gruelling 13-day bike trek and all in aid of the National Association for Colitis and Chrons Disease. This is a charity that is close to their hearts as Neil's son Matthew has Chrons disease as well as many other member sof their extended family.
Allan who is 68 years young has completed the challenge before and is the more experienced of the two. They hope to raise at least £1000 (about US$1900) for the National Association for Colitis and Chrons Disease. (When I looked at their site today they were on £804) Allan goes on to say that "Evidently the more money we can raise, the more worthwhile the venture. A number of our family members are affected by Crohn's and it is a very distressing condition which can go into remission but then suddenly flare up and be very uncomfortable."
Chrons Disease is not that uncommon, yet receives far less publicity than say cancer or heart disease.
For more information and to see how they are getting on with raising funds for Chrons Disease go to their website: www.justgiving.com/allanfarrimond.