Healthy Living

How to Avoid Making Crohn's Disease Worse

Keep up with your appointments

The mucus tissues in the digestive/intestinal tract become scarred and can lead to the potentially fatal complication known as bowel obstruction.

Other potentially life-threatening conditions secondary to Crohn’s disease include infected ulcerated openings (fistulas) or abscesses in the rectal region.

Swollen, paralyzed areas of the colon (Toxic Megacolon) can also occur, where building pressure releases the colon contents into the abdominal cavity to cause massive infection (Healthline).

A major role of the intestinal tract, according to WEBNET, is the maintenance of what is referred to as intestinal flora. The flora is considered a type of “good bacteria” whose job is to breakdown and digest food for use by the body. In those with Crohn’s Disease, it appears the immune system attacks this beneficial intestinal bacterium, creating an unhealthy abundance of infection- causing “bad bacteria.” This condition is referred to as “small intestinal bacteria overgrowth”, (SIBO) and leads to intestinal infection.

Symptoms of SIBO Include abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea (Knokel/Sinha).

Treatment with antibiotics for SIBO is generally effective in bringing the bacterial colony back into balance. If not controlled, however, the condition may lead to food malabsorption, creating malnutrition (Medicine net).

Additionally, UMM has published a report on Crohn’s Disease which states “Inflammatory bowel disease can increase a patient's susceptibility to Clostridium difficile, a species of intestinal bacteria that causes severe diarrhea.” (Clostridium infections have been somewhat common in hospitals and nursing homes for many years now, but this information attests that a population within the general community is now susceptible).

To help ensure a positive quality of life, keep all scheduled appointments with your Gastroenterologist. If you have questions or concerns between appointments, call his/her office and ask to speak with a Nurse, who will relay your message to the Physician.