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About Crohn's Disease

Crohns Disease in Children

Crohn’s disease in children can come in a form of redness, and (inflammation), and can cause sores in the digestive tract. 

Crohn’s disease is a long-term condition. It may flare up in children at different times in your child’s life. In most cases, it affects the small intestine, but more often the lower part of the colon called the ileum. Both the small and large intestines can get affected by the condition.

Sometimes the inflammation may affect the whole digestive tract. This includes the mouth, (esophagus), the stomach, the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), the appendix, and the anus.

Experts don’t know what causes Crohn’s disease. It may be that a virus or bacteria affects the body’s infection-fighting system (immune system). The immune system may have an abnormal inflammation reaction in the intestinal wall that doesn’t stop.

Most children with Crohn’s disease have an abnormal immune system. But doctors don’t really know if Childs immune system is the problem that causes the disease.

Which children are at risk for Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease may affect children of any age. It most often affects people ages 15 to 35. But Crohn’s may also occur in young children. It affects both males and females equally.

Children or teens may be more at risk for Crohn’s disease if they

Have a family history of Crohn’s disease. In most cases, this is a close relative such as a parent, sister, or brother.

What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease in children?

Each child’s symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:

stomach pain, often in the lower right area.

1.Loose stool (diarrhea), sometimes bloody.

2.Rectal bleeding and sores.

3.Weight loss and poor appetite 

4.Fever and sweets.

6.Joint pain, flu-like symptoms

7.A cut or tear in the anus (anal fissure)

8.Rashes on the skin.

Some children may have no symptoms for years and may stay in remission for years.

The symptoms of Crohn’s disease may look like other health problems. Always see your child’s doctor for a diagnosis.

How is Crohn’s disease diagnosed in a child?

Your child may be checked for signs of Crohn’s disease if he or she has had long-term:

1.stomach pain.

2.Loose stools 

3.Fever

4. A loss of healthy red blood cells, This can make your child feel tired.

Your child’s doctor will take a health history and do a physical exam. Other tests for Crohn’s disease may include blood tests. These are done to see if your child has fewer healthy red blood cells because of blood loss. These tests also check if your child has a higher number of white blood cells. That might mean there is an inflammation problem. Other blood tests can look for abnormal antibodies. The doctor may use this result to help diagnose or clarify the disease.

1.Stool culture. This is done to see if an infection by a parasite or bacteria is causing the symptoms.

2.Endoscopy. This test checks the inside of part of the digestive tract. It uses a small, flexible tube called an endoscope. The tube has a light and a camera lens at the end. Tissue samples or biopsies from inside the digestive tract may also be taken for testing.

3.Colonoscopy. This test looks at the full length of the large intestine. It can help check for abnormal growths, inflamed tissue, sores or ulcers, and bleeding. It uses a long, flexible, lighted tube called a colonoscope. The tube is put into your child’s rectum up into the colon. This tube lets the doctor see the lining of the colon and take out a tissue sample or biopsy to test it. Your child’s doctor may also be able to treat some problems that may be found after seeing the results.

4.Biopsy. A tissue sample is taken from the lining of the colon and checked in a lab. This test looks at the organs of the top part of the digestive system. It checks the food pipe, the stomach, and the first part of the small intestine. Your child swallows a fluid called barium. This is a thick, chalky fluid. It is used to coat the inside of organs so that they will show up on an X-ray. Then X-rays are taken to check the digestive organs.

5. Barium enema. This test checks the large intestine, including the colon and rectum. A thick, chalky fluid called barium is put into a tube. It is inserted into your child’s rectum as an enema. Barium coats the colon, so they can be seen on an X-ray and decide on the outcome of the tests.

6.CT scan These imaging tests look at the small bowel and can show any inflammation or complications.

7.Capsule endoscopy. This is a special capsule that your child swallows. The capsule is a camera that takes pictures of the small bowel again your doctor can make a better and more clear decision on your problem.

How is Crohn’s disease treated in a child?

Crohn’s disease in children is a long-term disease. There is no cure, but there are some things that can help to control the disease

  • Correct nutritional problems
  • Control the swelling and inflammation
  • Ease symptoms such as stomach, pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding
  • Keep complications from occurring. These include tunnels of inflammation to other organs (fistulas) and narrowing of the intestine (stricture) that causes blockages.

Your child’s doctor will create a care plan based on:

  • Your child’s age, overall health, and medical history
  • How serious your child’s case is after many tests have been carried out.
  • How well your child handles certain medicines, treatments, or therapies
  • If your child’s condition is expected to get worse over time.

  Treatment for Crohn’s disease may includng Medicine

Medicines often reduce inflammation in the colon. This may help ease stomach pain and diarrhea. More serious cases may require steroids, antibiotics, or medicines that affect the body’s immune system.

Diet for Crohns disease

Making some changes in your child’s diet may help to ease symptoms. In some cases, symptoms are made worse by milk, hot spices, or fiber. Talk with your child’s doctor In some cases, your child may use a special meal plan called an elemental diet.

Vitamins for Crohns disease

Vitamins may help prevent some problems or help maintain a remission. Because many children with Crohn’s don’t absorb nutrients normally, vitamin deficiencies are common. Your child may need lab tests to assess the nutrient levels. Talk with your child’s provider about any vitamin supplements. These treatments have risks and may cause harmful side effects.

Surgery

Surgery may help Crohn’s disease, but it can’t cure it. Surgery may help to reduce long-term symptoms that don’t get better with medicine. Surgery may also fix some problems. These include a blocked intestine, a hole or perforation, a sore or abscess, or bleeding. Types of surgery may include:

1. Draining abscesses in or near fistulas. An abscess is a collection of pus or infection. Treatment includes antibiotics, but surgery may be needed.

2. Bowel or intestinal resection. The diseased section of the intestine is removed. The 2 healthy pieces of intestine are attached. This surgery shortens your child’s intestines.

3. Ostomy. When part of the intestines is removed, a new way of removing stool from the body is created. The surgery to create the new opening is called an ostomy

What are the complications of Crohn’s disease in a child?

Children with Crohn’s disease may lose weight because they don’t get enough calories. This can happen because a child may try to avoid eating, to prevent the pain that is linked to digestion

  1. May not want to eat if he or she can’t have any favorite foods.
  2. May not absorb nutrients well through the inflamed digestive tract.
  3. Has greater nutritional needs than normal because of the disease.

Nutritional supplements or special high-calorie liquid formulas may be suggested. This is often recommended if a child has delayed growth.

Crohn’s disease may also cause other health problems such as:

  • A blocked intestine
  • A type of tunnel, called a fistula, in nearby tissues. This can get infected.
  • Problems with liver function
  • A lack of some nutrients, such as calories, proteins, and vitamins
  • Too few red blood cells or too little hemoglobin in the blood (anemia)
  • Bone weakness, either because bones are brittle (osteoporosis) or because bones are soft (osteomalacia)
  • A nervous system disorder where legs feel painful called restless leg syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Skin problems
  • Eye or mouth redness or swelling (inflammation)  
  • After bowel resection surgery, a condition called short bowel syndrome can occur. It often happens after a large part of the small intestine is removed. The body then may not be able to digest and absorb some vitamins, foods, and nutrients, including water. This poor absorption of food and nutrients is called malabsorption. It causes diarrhea. It can also lead to poor growth and development. 

How can I help my child live with Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease in children is a long-term condition. It may come and go at different times during your child’s life. Children may have physical, emotional, social, and family problems as a result of the disease. It’s important to work closely with your child’s doctor to manage and treat the condition.

  • Be sure to have the doctor check your child’s health regularly.
  •  This includes checking your child’s: Growth
  • Nutrition levels
  • Bone mineral density
  • Risk for infections
  • Immunization status
  • Any liver, eye, or skin problems

Diet changes 

No special diet has been shown to treat Crohn’s disease. Many children with the disorder can eat a fairly normal diet when their disease is stable. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider. When your child is having symptoms, it may be helpful to follow these suggestions:

1. Eat smaller, frequent meals

2.Limit foods with milk or milk products containing lactose, if there is a history of lactose intolerance.

3. Avoid greasy foods.

4. Avoid certain high-fiber foods such as popcorn, nuts, and seeds.

5. Avoid any foods that seem to have triggered your symptoms in the past.

6.Drink liquids at room temperature

7.Drink liquids between meals, not with meals

8.stay away from caffeine and fizzy drinks

9.stay away from foods with sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol

10. Avoid sweets such as candy, cakes, and 

Avoid foods that produce more gas, such as

  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage

Add foods that have more soluble fiber. This is a fiber that absorbs water. Foods that are good sources of soluble fiber include:

  • Bananas
  • Rice
  • Applesauce
  • oatmeal

Children who have short bowel syndrome after surgery for Crohn’s often have problems with diarrhea and malabsorption. Talk with your child’s doctor about how to treat this.

Children with short bowel syndrome often need help getting all the nutrition they need with Supplemental liquid feedings are sometimes used, talk to your doctor about using this system for getting the right supplements.

When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?

Call your child’s doctor if your child has symptoms of Crohn’s disease, including:

  • Belly pain
  • Loose stool
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Vomiting that continues
  • Sores (lesions) or leakage at the anus
  • Call your child’s provider right away if your child has Crohn’s disease and regular symptoms change or new symptoms appear.eal

Key points about Crohn’s disease in children

  • Crohn’s disease is when there is redness, swelling (inflammation), and sores along the digestive tract.
  • It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
  • In most cases, it affects the small intestine. But it may also affect the whole digestive tract.
  • It is a long-term (chronic) condition. It may come and go at different times in your child’s life.
  • There is no cure. Making some diet changes may help ease symptoms.
  • Medicine may help. Surgery may be needed. Medicines are usually needed for the long term.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s doctor .Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen. Before your visit, write down the questions you want to be answered.At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also, write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child. Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child. Also, know what the side effects are. Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways. Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure. If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit. Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice regarding any changes in your child.

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About Crohn's Disease

An Invisable Disease

Crohn’s and colitis are considered invisible illnesses because the diseases aren’t visible on the outside. So, while someone may look fine, their intestines may be inflamed and ulcerated, they may be in excruciating pain, and their immune system is essentially attacking itself.

Because Crohn’s and Colitis are invisible disabilities, some passengers may feel that they will be judged by asking a member of staff for help or having to spend time trying to explain their symptoms.

Imagine suffering from debilitating chronic pain. Every step you take causes discomfort, and it’s perpetually at the forefront of your mind. The internal battle you’re fighting takes mental and physical energy and just going through daily tasks can be debilitating. However, those looking at you may have no indication you’re suffering, let alone that you have a chronic disease. You suffer from an invisible illness.

WHAT IS AN INVISIBLE ILLNESS?

An invisible illness is one that does not exhibit externally visible signs or symptoms. Those with invisible illnesses and disabilities may have symptoms such as pain, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, or mental health disorders. Many of these conditions deeply impact the people suffering, but show no obvious signs to an outside observer.

By 2020, the US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 157 million Americans will be afflicted with a chronic illness and the US Census Bureau estimates 96% of chronic illnesses are invisible. Invisible illnesses disproportionately impact women and many are not yet well understood by health care providers or the general public. This lack of understanding inevitably contributes to feelings of isolation and hopelessness for those suffering from such conditions.

CHALLENGES OF LIVING WITH AN INVISIBLE ILLNESS

In addition to the various symptoms of a chronic and invisible illness, people suffering from these illnesses can also experience frustration, guilt, exhaustion, and embarrassment.

For those diagnosed with an illness at a young age, the common stereotype that younger populations are supposed to be healthy makes it especially difficult. For those diagnosed later in life, many feel guilty they are unable to more actively participate in the lives of their families and be active with their children and grandchildren.

Invisible illnesses impact people in all aspects of their lives, personally and professionally. They can severely impact the ability to routinely work and may lead to social isolation and depression.

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS

Nearly all of those experiencing an invisible illness have to deal with common misconceptions regarding their condition. Here are just a few of those most frequently dealt with.

  • The way a person looks reflects how they’re feeling physically. Someone may look healthy, but that doesn’t mean they are.
  • Invisible illnesses are ‘all in the person’s head.’ Keeping stress at a minimum may reduce symptoms of a chronic illness, but it doesn’t mean the root cause of the disease is psychological.
  • Resting up will make people feel better. Just as people not suffering from chronic or invisible illness are unable to bank sleep (rest for a long period of time in order to recoup or “make-up” sleep or to expend extra energy), neither are those with chronic illnesses. The same amount of rest leading up to different events, on different days, may not yield the same results, as symptoms ebb and flow, often unpredictably.
  • If a person suffering from a chronic illness is enjoying themselves, they must feel ok. Don’t assume a person who’s enjoying themselves, laughing, and participating in activities is symptom-free. Many people have learned to cope with their symptoms to participate in important events and activities, but that does not mean they are feeling well.
  • Stress reduction techniques are a cure for chronic pain and illness. While these techniques may assist with symptom relief, they are not a cure-all.
  • Being home all day is a dream lifestyle. Being home all day, but in constant pain and suffering from an invisible illness does not make for a dream lifestyle, regardless of location. Many people are often couch-bound or bed-bound due to extreme pain. They also experience boredom, as not being able to actively participate in the world around them can be frustrating and disappointing.
  • Those in chronic pain are ‘drug seekers’. People in chronic pain are often misunderstood and mistreated by the medical community. They get labeled as “drug seekers” in emergency rooms and, as a result, are denied much-needed pain medication.

HOW TO SUPPORT OTHERS WITH INVISIBLE ILLNESSES

If you know someone with an invisible illness, there are several things you can do to support them. It’s important to remember everyone wants to enjoy life and no one wants to be a burden; however, people suffering from chronic and invisible illnesses do appreciate your support and understanding.

  • Accept you are powerless to make them better. Your love and understanding are what they need.
  • Take time to talk to them and learn about their illness. Ask questions about symptoms and treatments, and be patient. The more you learn, the better you’ll be able to understand and show empathy.
  • Be with them when they need it and give them space when they want it. Many chronic illnesses become socially isolating, as people are house-bound or lose companions due to the lack of understanding around invisible illnesses. Being around and access may be one of the best support methods available.
  • Try not to get frustrated. One of the biggest challenges associated with invisible illnesses is you get sick and then you continue to get sick, the cycle does not stop. At times, this may get frustrating to caregivers and it’s important for them to realize it’s normal for people suffering this way to be emotionally needy, distant, angry, or sad.
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Crohns Disease and bad weather

We know that Crohn’s disease can equal big gastrointestinal problems, but we don’t fully know what causes this condition. Genetics and the environment are thought to play roles, along with your body’s unique response to bacteria in your intestines. Another theory is a possible link between Crohn’s and the weather or climate where you live.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, who collected information on 175,912 women 15 to 30 years old, found that the incidence of Crohn’s disease increased significantly among those living in more northern latitudes. This was especially true for women in the older age range.

Experts aren’t sure what it is about Crohn’s and weather that could cause more cases up north, but one possible explanation is that there’s less sunlight or UVB radiation exposure in these areas, which in turn means that your body makes less vitamin D and doesn’t get as strong an immunity boost as it does in sunnier climes.

Another theory relates to health issues delineated by geography. “Generally areas farther from the equator are more developed countries, with lower incidences of gastrointestinal infections and parasites,” says Ghassan T. Wahbeh, MD, director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital and an associate professor of pediatrics and gastroenterology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The theory is that in warmer areas closer to the equator, exposure to common GI bugs may mean the immune system is better able to fight off Crohn’s, “ in contrast to the unexposed gut immune system in cleaner environments,” he says.

Crohn’s and Weather: Putting the Forecast in Your Favor

Just as there’s no “one size fits all” nutrition plan for managing Crohn’s, there’s no ideal Crohn’s climate or geographic region that can rule out Crohn’s flares for everyone. Visit the online Crohn’s Forum, for example, and you’ll see that people’s experiences vary wildly, with some describing worse symptoms in winter and others saying summer heat causes them problems.

Individual experiences aside, however, there are some important warm weather Crohn’s tips to keep in mind, whether you live in the sun year-round or are planning a vacation escape.

“Staying in warmer climates mandates proper hydration, more so for patients with active disease and symptoms who are at risk of dehydration,” says Dr. Wahbeh. Kidney stones can also be a concern for people with inflammatory bowel disease and another reason to stay on top of your beverage consumption. On average, you should be drinking 80 or more ounces every day to stay hydrated.

Keep in mind that whether you’re experiencing bouts of diarrhea from Crohn’s disease or excessive sweating because of warm or hot weather, you’ll need to drink more water. Fever and vomiting can also contribute to dehydration. Signs to watch out for include dry mouth or mucous membranes, little or no urine or urine that’s dark yellow in color, a lack of tears, sunken eyes, and lethargy. There’s also the risk for coma in very serious cases.

People with an inflammatory bowel disease also have a greater than normal risk for skin cancer, according to Wahbeh. Experts aren’t certain how much of the risk is due to the disease itself and how much can be attributed to the side effects of the medications used to treat it. However, there’s no doubt that you should religiously apply a broad spectrum sunscreen and double up on sun protection by wearing wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and even clothing that can block UVA and UVB rays.

Living with Crohn’s disease has its challenges, but taking into account Crohn’s and weather factors, as well as following warm weather Crohn’s tips, living and playing in hot weather is certainly possible and perhaps even more pleasurable.

Wrap up stay safe and warm its going to be along 2021

all the best

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About Crohn's Disease

Still Tired liveing with crohns

When my Crohn’s disease is active, my fatigue can be debilitating. Sometimes I’m forced to stop answering phone calls because I literally don’t have the energy to construct sentences. I don’t allow myself to drive because it doesn’t feel safe. I’m basically unable to do anything except the bare minimum, and when I come out on the other side I feel like I’ve been in the deepest fog.

How can I be so tired?

After experiencing fatigue like this on and off for quite a while, I began to wonder how I could possibly be SO tired. I was ‘sleeping’ ten to twelve hours a night and taking a nap during the day. What more could my body possibly want? I wasn’t working. I wasn’t moving much. In fact, I wasn’t using any more strength than necessary, and yet, it still felt like too much.

Anyone with IBD knows that when you’re sick, it often feels like more than just stool emptying from your bowels. It feels like life is emptying out too.

Fatigue and mental health

I found the fatigue contributed to my anxiety and depression, affecting my mental health too. It seemed like I was trapped in this awful cycle and all I could do is come up for air between episodes.

During that time, I took prescription sleep medication, I worked with a sleep doctor, and underwent multiple normal sleep studies. I even followed suggestions on reducing screen time, creating sleep hygiene and more, but no matter what, I felt exhausted all of the time.

Sleep versus rest

This was when I learned the difference between being asleep, and getting rest. Being in bed, tossing and turning, waking up during the night – they all impact our ability to achieve deep sleep cycles characterized by faster breathing, a faster pulse, and rapid eye movements, or REM. There were times that my body may have been unconscious, but it most certainly wasn’t at rest.

It became clear to me that I had to learn how to dedicate time to conscious rest when I was awake. To be honest, this felt awkward and like something I was embarrassed about. Have you ever sat down to do something like this?

Changes I made

There were three changes I made that over time have significantly impacted my levels of fatigue, and I’d really like to offer them as suggestions to anyone who is struggling.

  1. Scrolling through social media, even while laying in bed, doesn’t count as resting. When you brain is actively thinking about things you want, need, or are missing out on, it impacts your body’s ability to rest. Schedule in some breaks to put your phone down.
  2. Guided imagery and meditation are real things that relax your mind AND your body. I rely on the Calm app, but there are others out there as well which offer you these services right from your phone. Quieting your brain quiets your body in a real, lasting way.
  3. Aromatherapy – certain scents are tied to physical relaxation. Whether you purchase a linen spray, light a candle, burn incense or diffuse essential oils, or take a bath with bubbles or salts or bombs, aromatherapy draws upon the healing powers of the leaves, flowers, stems, bark, roots or petals of plants to stimulate the natural healing action of both your body and your mind.
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