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Mazel Tov
February 17, 2011
Abdominal cramps won’t go away?
It could be
Crohn’s Disease
Issue 1, February 17, 2011
Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease can be
easily mistaken as common ailments of the
body. The following symptoms are
associated with those who have Crohn’s
Abdominal pain and cramping
Blood in stool
Stomach ulcers
Loss of appetite
Involuntary weight loss
What is Crohn’s?
Crohn’s Disease affects both men and women alike and usually occurs
between the ages of 20 to 30. The disease is characterized by swelling in
parts of the digestive tract that causes irritation. The digestive tract is the
pathway that carries food through the body, starting in the mouth and
ending at the anus. The main area affected is the small intestine. In many
cases Crohn’s Disease is found to be genetic so it is important to find out if
this disease is part of your family history. If so, you may be at greater risk of
developing Crohn’s.
The cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown but research has been done to
gather more information about what triggers the disease It is thought that
those with Crohn’s have a faulty immune system that mistakes food and
bacteria that enter the tract as being foreign matter and it results in an
inflammatory reaction.
How do I know if I have it?
If you have any of the above symptoms on a regular basis, it is important to
contact your doctor. Your doctor can do a physical exam such as a
colonoscopy and several other tests to help determine if your symptoms are
due to Crohn’s disease.
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Vegetable Salad
A Crohn’s friendly recipe
I’ve been diagnosed… now
what? If you have Crohn’s disease it
is important to consume a diet that is
rich in nutrients. Due to the symptoms
of the disease, such as loss of appetite
and diarrhea, it is easy to
unintentionally lose weight. So it is
important to eat foods that contain a
healthy amount of calories as ell as
foods that are high in protein and
vitamins. The exact cause of swelling
Certain foods may
worsen diarrhea and
abdominal cramps and
they should be avoided
of the bowel is unknown and is
unrelated to the diet. However certain
foods may worsen diarrhea symptoms
and should be avoided to prevent flareups. These foods include:
High fiber foods
Milk and dairy
Fried foods
It is also possible to suffer from
intestinal blockage with Crohn’s
disease. Blocks are caused by the
intestinal walls swelling or from
thickening from scar tissue. If you
½ head lettuce
¼ head cabbage
4 tomatoes
2 cucumbers
2 carrots
6 radishes
1 green onion
1 hard-boiled egg
2 tbsp parsley
1. Cut vegetables (except carrots) into
small cubes.
2. Grate the carrot and egg.
3. Garnish with parsley.
4. Combine 2 tbsp of lemon juice and 2
tbsp olive oil and pour on top as dressing.
5. Mix well and enjoy!
have blockage it may be helpful to
avoid certain raw fruits and vegetables
due to their high fiber content.
How can Crohn’s Disease be
treated? There are many treatment
options for people living with Crohn’s
disease. Many factors that come into
play when deciding on a treatment
option. The two biggest factors are
which part of the intestinal tract is
inflamed and how severe the swelling
is. Diet, medication, and surgery are all
ways to treat the disease and maintain
a normal life style. Often, antiinflammatory drugs will be given to
not only reduce swelling but also to
reduce pain that can come along with
gas and diarrhea. You can reduce
severity of flare-ups by monitoring the
foods you eat. By keeping track of
what types of foods worsen symptoms
and swelling in a food journal or log,
you will be less likely to experience
discomfort when the disease is active.
Diet and medication are
ways to treat the disease
and to maintain a
normal life style.
For cases that are severe, surgery may
be an option, but only your doctor can
make this determination. During a
common procedure, the damaged
section of the intestine is removed and
the healthy parts are reunited. Surgery
does not always indicate that you will
be disease free. Some patients still
have symptoms after many
procedures, so it is important to talk to
your doctor in order to find the
treatment that will work best for you.
To sum it up…
Assess your risk- if a family member
has the disease, you might be at risk.
If you’re experiencing diarrhea,
stomach pain or cramps, blood in your
stool, loss of appetite and/or
unwanted weight loss- contact your
doctor right away.
If you are diagnosed, eating habits and
patterns, along with medication may
be all you need to maintain a normal
life style.
In severe cases, surgery may be an
effective treatment option.
For more information schedule an
appointment with your family doctor
Mayo Clinic staff. (2009, August 8). Symptoms. Retrieved from
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. (2007,
May). What I need to know about Crohn’s Disease. Retrieved from
PubMed Health. (2009, October 18). Crohn’s Disease. Retrieved