Find out if it’s Crohn’s: symptoms and tests

Crohn’s disease is a chronic disorder of the digestive system that causes chronic inflammation of the lining of the intestines. Thus, one of the most characteristic symptoms is the urgent need to defecate, with severe diarrhea that may contain mucus or blood, and is usually accompanied by headache and fever below 38º C.

If you think you may have this disease, select your symptoms and find out what the chances are:

  • 1. Periods of severe diarrhea with mucus or blood
  • 2. Urgent desire to defecate, especially after eating
  • 3. Frequent abdominal cramps
  • 4. Nausea or vomiting
  • 5. Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • 6. Persistent low fever (between 37.5º and 38º)
  • . Lesions in the anal area, such as hemorrhoids or fissures
  • 8. Frequent tiredness or muscle pain

In addition, this disease can also affect the eyes, leaving them inflamed, red and sensitive to light, and may also increase the risk of colon cancer.

This is a difficult disease to identify that can take months or years to show the first symptoms and, therefore, some people may show only one or two of these symptoms for some time, without suspecting Crohn’s disease. See the possible causes of Crohn’s disease.

How to confirm the diagnosis

When some of these symptoms appear, it is advisable to go to the gastroenterologist to have a colonoscopy, which is an exam that allows you to observe the walls of the intestine, to assess the presence of inflammation. In case it is not possible to observe changes in the intestine, it is common for the doctor, during colonoscopy, to take a small sample from the intestinal wall to perform a biopsy in the laboratory, and confirm the diagnosis.

How the treatment is done

Crohn’s disease has no cure, and therefore changes in eating habits are very important in order to reduce the symptoms experienced, since certain foods can cause or worsen the crises of the disease. Thus, it is recommended to control the amount of fiber ingested, reduce the amount of fat and limit the consumption of milk products. In addition, it is very important to bet on daily hydration in order to avoid dehydration. See how to adapt your diet to relieve symptoms .

During crises, the doctor may also recommend taking some anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as drugs that help control diarrhea.

In the most severe cases of the disease, surgical intervention may be indicated in order to remove affected and damaged portions of the intestine that may be causing the symptoms.

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