Thursday, 25 September 2008

Perianal Fistulas and Chrons Disease

Many people who suffer from chrons, then often go on to get fistulas of some sort, including Perianal fistulas. So what exactly is a Fistula?

The medical definition is that a fistula is an abnormal tunnel that connect two body cavities like the rectum to the vagina or it can connect a body cavity to the skin, so the rectum to the skin.Ok, so we now know what a fistula is, so then what is a Perianal Fistula? Quite simply a Perianal fistula is a fistula that connects the perianal skin with the anus or the rectum.

How are fistulas formed?
When a abscess in your body does not heal, this the eventually breaks through the skin or into another body cavity as described before.

It has been found that fistulas are far more common in people with chrons disease than those with ulcerative colitis and it has been found that about a quarter of people with Crohn's disease go on to develop a fistula.Perianal fistulas with people who have chrons can cause scarring, faecal incontinence, and in about 10 to 18% of people even proctectomy (which is a surgical resection of the rectum. Also called rectectomy.)

The diagnostic and therapeutic options to those with perianal fistulas available were limited, but this has started to change recently over the last ten years or so and the options for the diagnosis and treatment of fistulizing Crohn's disease have changed allot and are still continuing to change and improve even though the exact way to treat them is still controversial.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Research may help painful Symptoms of Chrons Disease

In the USA today, there are more than half a million people with Chrons disease and if you break it down, more than 100 thousand of these are children. As we know so far there is no cure, so until we find a cure for chrons disease, the main angle of attack is to reduce the symptoms. (Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes the intestinal lining to become inflamed, and this causing severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and bleeding.)

The good news is that it now seems that some researchers may just have found a way to help reduce the painful symptoms of chrons disease.

The video below tels of Taralyn Allen, who is 15 years old who has had chrons disease for the last four years. Apparently there are still people out there who do not know that chrons can affect children, this is according to Howard Baron, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at Sunrise Children's Hospital in Las Vegas. "The parents will assume it's the flu and it goes on and on and on."

Taralyn said that she felt sick all day every day and when she was correctly diagnosed with chrons, she was treated like many of us with steroids, this helped to relieve a little of the pain, but caused her to put on a lot of weight, going from 70 pounds to 130 pounds in just a few months.

She now no longer takes steroids and is the first child in the world to take part in a study of a new drug marketed at Humira (adalimumab). This drug has already shown to work with adults with chrons disease.

Humira (adalimumab) is an antibody that fights against a chemical that starts the inflammatory cascade in your body. It prevents white blood cells from migrating to the lining of tissues, which causes the inflammation and the pain.

Humira (adalimumab)does have side effects: It decreases the immune system and children with Chrons disease could be at a slightly higher risk for lymphoma.

Happily for Taralyn the Humira has worked and now for her Chrons disease does not exist anymore

Humira is still undergoing research and children as young as five can enroll in the clinical trial. The youngest patient enrolled so far is 10-years-old.

Video of Taralyn and her fight against Chrons Disease

Sunday, 14 September 2008

The Crohn's Diet, Colitis Diet and Superfoods

Can Superfoods help cure Chrons disease?
Because Chrons disease affects the digestive system and certain types of food play a role in triggering the genes that cause this inflammatory bowel disease, a team of scientists in New Zealand are focusing their research on crones disease whilst looking to see if certain foods are linked to disease prevention in general. So for example they are looking for food that is linked to disease prevention, such as broccoli and colon cancer.

The research project consists of around 700 IBD and Chrons patients, who have all begun by listing the foods that their body cannot tolerate, or that cause them to have a flare up. They then compare the genetic differences in people who have chrons disease with their tolerances and in-tolerances of foods in their diet. The researches are also collecting details on the patients lifestyle as well as their symptoms.

Initial findings have shown that foods like Bananas, starchy vegetables, ginger and couscous have been pointed out as good foods for the Crohn's and Colitis diet, where as carbonated drinks, energy drinks, alcohol, coffee, food like hot curries, salami, grapefruit, cream, fruits that have small seeds and corn have generally shown to be bad foods for the Chrons diet.

Cabbage and the Colitis Diet: Their research has shown that certain chrons disease patients who have a certain gene find that cabbage causes a flare up where as other patients who do not contain the gene not only can eat cabbage in their diet, but have found that it actually is beneficial!

Generally The Good Chrons Diet contains things like:
Starchy Vegetables

Generally The Bad Crohn's Diet contains things like:
Energy Drinks
Carbonated Drinks
Hot Curries
Fruit with small seeds

The New Zealand scientists are basically looking for two things in the Crohn's and Colitis diet: the gene "switch" that makes people prone to inflammation and a nutrient (or food) that turns it off the inflammation.
Ultimately it is hoped that this research will go on to other inflammatory illnesses like colitis and that they will be able to find other nutrients that turn off these harmful gene "switches". They are the fist to say that there is a long way to go, but it has already been shown that in Singapore, there has been an increase in western diseases as their diet changes and becomes more westernised. (In Singapore all babies are genotyped)

It is thought that, in the developed world, Chrons disease affects one in every 10,000 people, In New Zealand research has shown that they have an even higher proportion, with one in 600 people in the Canterbury area alone. Professor Lynn Ferguson of the University’s Nutrigenomics group says that "Chrons disease is on the rise, and it is important that we learn as much as possible about how diet affects symptoms and whether this is genetically linked."