Managing Crohn’s Disease: Symptoms and Relapses Tracked by an App
In spite of the fact that Crohn’s Disease is a chronic condition that has no known cure, it is still possible to manage symptoms and relapses thru medication
Crohn’s disease is a sort of fiery entrail contamination (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). It causes the runs and stomach torment and can provoke dangerous entrapments, for instance, a narrowing of the stomach related framework (strictures) and fistulas.
The reality and the symptoms of the contamination vary between patients. With the right medication and diet advised by the physician, it is possible to keep up with this disease. CareClinic plays a major role in this gastrointestinal condition and how a health app can contribute a lot to the improvement of a person’s life.
CareClinic, a medicine update and wellbeing tracker Android application, is intended for those living with endless sicknesses like Crohn’s malady. The application produces medicine updates that let you know precisely how and when to take your prescription.
The different medications, for example, hostile to inflammatory and immunosuppressants on account of Crohn’s infection, can be effectively transferred by filtering the standardized tag of the bundling with the application’s worked in a scanner.
On the other hand, you can also transfer your drug through the application’s work in databases or physically. Over this update work, CareClinic likewise incorporates an integrative well-being diary which is the best app for managing Crohn’s.
With this Crohn’s app, you can screen your side effects, prescription reactions, and some other wellbeing related data critical to you. Besides, any data that you record in the application can be printed out as a monthly health report, which you can impart to your gastroenterologist during consultations.
This implies you can, without much of a stress, screen your condition over an extensive stretch of time and, together with your specialist, discover the medication treatment that best suits your necessities. The well-being diary additionally makes it conceivable to follow your eating regimen and distinguish the nourishment that fuel your side effects.
CareClinic is continually updated through client input, making the application straightforward and easy to utilize. Subsequently, the application can be utilized by patients of all ages living with Crohn’s infection.
Crohn’s Disease Symptoms
In some people, only the last segment of the colon, ileum, is affected. Other patients have the disease confined to the colon, which is located at the large intestine. The symptoms can range from very mild to severe, which actually develops gradually. Sometimes, these come up without warning. There are also instances when there are no signs or symptoms (remission). But if Crohn’s is active, symptoms may include:
Blood in stool
Pain around anus
Inflammation of liver or bile ducts
Inflammation of eyes, skin and joints
Delayed growth or sexual development in children
When severe symptoms occur such as blood in stool, abdominal pain, non-stop diarrhea, unexplained fever and weight loss, it is time to see a doctor.
How do people get this disease?
Since it is unknown as to how Crohn’s came to be, there are numerous factors that play a role in its development. When your immune system is not functioning well, the body can easily contract virus or bacteria in the environment. So when the immune system tries to fight the foreign microorganism, an abnormal response would be to attack the cells found in the digestive tract. This triggers Crohn’s disease.
Some researchers also point out heredity. Crohn’s is commonly found in people who have family members with the disease. Genes, in turn play a big role in making people susceptible to Crohn’s.
There are other risk factors such as age, ethnicity, cigarette smoking and usage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Some experts also say that living in an industrialized country makes a person at higher risk in getting the disease. A diet high in fat or refined foods also makes one likely to acquire Crohn’s disease.
Complications of Crohn’s disease
Just like other gastrointestinal diseases, Crohn’s may eventually lead to other complications. One of which is bowel obstruction. Over time, the inner parts of the bowel can scar and eventually narrow which can block the flow of contents from the digestive tract. This obstruction will eventually need a surgery.
Ulceration of the digestive tract is also bound to happen as well as the genital area. Fistulas are also formed due to these ulcerations. When fistulas form in the abdominal area, food is likely to bypass the areas of the bowel which are necessary for absorption. Fistulas can become life-threatening if infected and form an abscess.
There are also studies that showed an increase risk in acquiring colon cancer. General colon cancer screening may be done every ten years starting the age 50.
Diagnostic tests for Crohn’s disease
There is no one test that confirms the diagnosis of this disease. If your doctor suspects that you suffer from Crohn’s disease, he or she will try to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms. This is done by checking your medical history, diet and physical data which you can easily store in your Crohn’s disease app. That’s why this app is essential as valuable data can be shared with your specialist anytime he or she needs it for your treatment plan. Diagnostic tests would include:
Blood examination to rule out anemia or infection
Fecal occult blood test
Colonoscopy to check the internal part of your colon
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Computerized tomography to view specific tissues and organs
After the specialist has gone through these tests and ruled out any other potential conditions that may cause your symptoms, he or she may already diagnose Crohn’s disease.
Treatment for Crohn’s disease
As there is no single or known cure for this disease, the only thing that specialists can do is to manage the symptoms effectively and maintaining periods of remission. Drug therapy is one of the top options though surgery has opted for severe cases. Drugs that specialists usually prescribe are:
Anti-inflammatory medicines. These are often the first line of treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). They include oral 5-aminosalicylates (Azulfidine, Asacol HD, Delzicol), which are really helpful in treating the disease in the small intestine, and corticosteroids (Entocort EC), which can reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Immune system suppressors. In cases where Crohn’s disease is occurred due to an overactive immune system, immunosuppressants may be prescribed. These weaken the body’s immune system, thereby reducing the symptoms. Popular immunosuppressants include azathioprine and mercaptopurine.
Antibiotics may be prescribed to heal fistulas and abscesses. Some specialists believe that antibiotics help reduce harmful intestinal bacteria, which may be partly responsible for triggering inflammation.
Calcium and vitamin D
When the symptoms are severe, the doctor may consider trying other nutrition and biological therapies. These are usually more powerful immunosuppressant medicines, which are created using naturally occurring antibodies or enzymes to prohibit the growth of proteins.
Aside from medications, if all other treatment options do not work out, the patient might have to undergo surgery. The surgeon ultimately removes a damaged section of the digestive tract and reconnects to healthy portions. With this, fistulas are closed and abscesses are drained successfully. Unfortunately, the benefits are usually temporary as the disease often recurs.
Some people living with Crohn’s disease may have to undergo surgery, which is often referred to as a resection. During this surgery, the doctor removes the damaged part of the intestinal tract and then reconnects the healthy sections.
Alternatively, the doctor may perform an ileostomy where he or she temporarily diverts digestive products away from the inflamed areas of the large intestine to give it time to heal. However, the benefits of surgery may only be temporary and the disease often reoccurs. Therefore, it is important to continue with drug therapy after surgery.
Controlling Crohn’s with CareClinic
Strict compliance to medication as well as monitoring diet and symptoms are crucial in alleviating the symptoms of the disease. CareClinic can be adapted to different and specific needs of patients. The app sends periodic reminders so that the patient takes the medication at the right time.
There is also a built-in journal in this Crohn’s disease app in which the patient inputs his or her symptoms and constantly tracks it every single day. This can easily be compiled and printed so that on your next doctor’s visit, creating a treatment plan would be a breeze.
Aside from that, the app may also track and identify the particular foods that aggravate the symptoms of the disease. Thus, CareClinic is probably the best partner when it comes to managing Crohn’s disease the convenient way. The app is very important in helping you live a normal and healthy life.
Chloe M (RN, BSc) holds a degree in Biology and is a practicing Registered Nurse. She has worked as a clinical and field researcher for various NGO organizations and social enterprises. She likes to share her experience as a nurse to provide insights on managing health and practicing preventative medicine.