Crohn’s disease is a chronic transmural inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract of unknown etiology. Crohn’s disease involves acute and chronic granulomatous bowel disease with a cobblestone effect. Onset is generally between 15 and 30 years of age. Crohn’s disease differs from ulcerative colitis by affecting the gastrointestinal tract from oral cavity to rectum; UC involves the mucosal tissue of the colon and rectum. In Crohn’s disease, the intestinal lumen decreases; peristalsis from food intake cause cramping pain, especially in the right lower quadrant. Other symptoms include fever, weight loss, debility, nausea, mouth sores, anal fissures, vomiting, abdominal pain, intestinal bleeding, and sporadic flare-ups.
Mycobacterium para-tuberculosis and measles virus have been proposed as potential cause of Crohn’s disease.
Similar to UC. Focal ischemia due to autoimmune reaction also has been considered.
Single strongest risk factor for development of Crohn’s is a relative with Crohn’s disease.
High intake of refined sugar and low intake of fibre from fruits and vegetables have been reported in patients with Crohn’s disease.
Smokers are more likely to develop the disease than non smokers. Also the disease has a more unfavorable course in smokers.
The disease is often insidious, slowly progressive with protracted course, commonly affects young adults in the second or third decade of life.
Intermittent colicky lower abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss, is common.
Disease site: Ileum
Mass in right iliac fossa
Disease site: Colon
Disease site: Rectum
Other sites mouth, stomach, duodenum are occasionally affected.
Complications of Crohn’s disease
Stricture – more common in small intestine. May cause obstructive symptoms.
Fistulas – may develop between loops of bowel adjacent to the bladder or vagina.
Perianal disease – fissures, fistulas, and abscesses.
Carcinoma – may complicate long standing colonic disease.
Investigations of Crohn’s disease
- Small bowel enema: absence of peristalsis in terminal ileum, multiple strictures and dilated segments in between can be demonstrated.
- Sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy may demonstrate inflamed mucosa, which is granular with apthoid ulcers, which are discrete.
- Fistulograpgy to localize the internal fistula
- CT – it is done to detect thickening of bowel and extraintestinal disease.
Homeopathic treatment of Crohn’s disease
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat Crohn’s disease symptoms but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several well-proved medicines are available for Crohn’s disease treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, condition, sensation and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following medicines which are much helpful for the treatment of Crohn’s disease:
Ignatia – since the emotional element is uppermost in Ignatia, relationship of this physical irritation first needs to be established. To resolve this emotional state Ignatia is much helpful.
Natrum Mur – in chronic of Ignatia. Ill effects of grief, fright and anger aggravations by consolation are the characteristic features. Cutting pain in abdomen and the abdominal ring, burning and stitching pain in the rectum after a copious diarrhoea.
Staphisagria – is a nervous personality with marked irritability. This irritability is reflected in temper as well as in function of the digestion. The peristalsis is aggravated with the emotional outburst.
Aurum met – has feeling of self-condemnation and utter worthlessness, profound despondency that affects the digestion.
Nux Vomica – excellent medicine for Crohn’s disease, if one studies the Nux Vomica, one sees a clear picture of this condition.
Lycopodium – is another remedy that has a very close resemblance to the condition.
Merc sol – both have a very close relationship with the pathology of Crohn’s disease.
Apart from the treatment through the remedies, a lot of counseling and appropriate diet regimen is required.
Correction of dehydration and electrolyte losses through intravenous fluids may often be required which may not be possible at home and need admission to the hospital.
Allopathic treatment and surgery – allopathic medication mainly include salazopyrines and corticosteroids. Surgical procedures like stricture-stricturoplasty or resection, ileocaecal resection, colectomy and ileorectal anastomosis can be done according to the condition.