Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory illness of the gastrointestinal tract. Alongside ulcerative colitis, it is one of two inflammatory bowel diseases. It usually affects the small intestine but can occur anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus. It causes irritation and swelling, which may result in symptoms like rectal bleeding, weight loss, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Unfortunately, Crohn’s disease is a lifelong medical condition with no certainty. Nonetheless, Huntersville Crohn’s Disease care can help you manage your symptoms and avoid the complications that may arise from them. These complications can include the following:
Kidney and Liver Problems
While uncommon, Crohn’s disease can affect your liver and kidneys. This is because they are located close to the small intestine, which, when inflamed, may swell and exert pressure on these organs. When Crohn’s disease affects your kidneys, you may experience complications like uric acid stones, kidney stones, and hydronephrosis. Hydronephrosis is a medical condition characterized by dull pain near the kidney and blood in the urine. In terms of the liver, the problem is usually caused by inflammation of the organ due to Crohn’s disease or its treatment. You may experience prolonged periods of fatigue or more serious medical conditions like pancreatitis, hepatitis, gallstones, or fatty liver disease.
Crohn’s disease and the inflammation it causes can affect your eyes. You may develop episcleritis, which is the inflammation of the area below the conjunctiva and the most common complication of the disease. While it usually affects one eye, it can affect both, causing intense redness, burning, itching, and pain. Episcleritis does not harm your vision, but it can cause constant pain that worsens when you move your eyes. Over time, this pain can become so severe as to affect your sleep.
Bone loss is a common complication associated with Crohn’s disease. It can be caused by the disease itself but can also result from the medications used to treat Crohn’s disease. Whatever the cause, the processes that may lead to bone loss work by stopping your body from absorbing calcium, which is crucial for bone formation. They can also force your body to eliminate calcium when you urinate or promote the production of cells that help disintegrate bones, among other things.
Skin problems associated with Crohn’s disease are rare but can occur. When they do, they can include pyoderma gangrenosum – a condition characterized by pus-filled sores that appear after skin trauma. You may also develop mouth ulcers or canker sores, or Erythema nodosum, which are small red nodules that appear on your ankles, shins, or arms. More commonly, Crohn’s disease can cause skin tags. These are small skin flaps that appear around the anus and can cause irritation.
Delayed Physical Development
This complication is more common in children diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The condition may cause delayed physical development and slow growth, so your child weighs less or is shorter than their age mates. They may also experience delayed puberty.
You Can Manage These Complications
According to medical data, Crohn’s disease affects about 3.1 million adults in the US. The effects on children can be as serious as those on adults. And while there is not much your doctor can do to heal this condition, they can help you manage your symptoms. They can also help you assess and reduce your risk of these complications. To learn more, contact a qualified provider today.