Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is a condition that affects 780,000 Americans, and it affects people from childhood through adolescence through adulthood. It is more common among women than men by a slim margin, and can be diagnosed at any age. Knowing what the symptoms of Crohn’s disease are can arm you with the knowledge you need when it’s time to contact a physician for an official diagnosis.
Inovera Bioscience offers a multivitamin for people who suffer from malabsorption conditions, as well as a vitamin D and calcium supplement. Our formulas are specifically designed to be highly absorbable so that people who have problems with absorption—such as those with Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, and IBD, among others—can benefit from the nutrients they provide. Read the product pages for more information, and be sure to take a look at our extensive Crohn’s video library.
Crohn’s is an inflammatory condition that affects the bowel tissue, and it can affect the small intestine and colon. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, and people can experience fluctuations of the severity throughout their lives. Read on to learn more about the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
One of the most common symptoms is diarrhea. The diarrhea can be frequent, and it never seems to go away. If you have recurrent diarrhea, you could also suffer from dehydration, fever, cramping, pain, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Abdominal Pain and Cramps
As you can imagine, when you’re dealing with diarrhea on an ongoing basis, abdominal pain and cramping is likely. Some pain can come from bloating, which, on its own can be very agonizing. Blockages in the stool can also lead to quite a bit of pain.
Blood in the Stools
Fistulas and inflammation can bleed during Crohn’s flare-ups, leading to blood in your stools. You might also notice drainage from abscesses. Over time, fissures and fistulas can lead to scar tissue.
Crohn’s is an inflammatory disease, and in the body’s effort to rid itself of the infection, a fever can result. The fever itself can make a person not feel at all well, but when the fever becomes severe, it can lead to dehydration and even hospital visits.
As you can imagine, your body is going through a lot when it’s experiencing a Crohn’s flare-up. When your body is working so hard to regulate your immune system, it becomes tired from the effort. Additionally, if minerals and vitamins aren’t properly absorbing into your system because of Crohn’s, you’re not getting the energy you need from those critical nutrients. Iron deficiency is especially of concern because it can lead to anemia.
Loss of Appetite and Weight Loss
You might experience nausea, which can contribute to your loss of appetite. Active flare-ups can contribute to lack of appetite, in part because they associate different foods with the pain they experience. Depression from having Crohn’s can also contribute to the change, as well as fluctuations in hormones or various medications.
If you suspect you might have Crohn’s or another inflammatory disease of the bowel, call your doctor or healthcare provider to discuss your concerns. They can work with you to determine a plan for your treatment of Crohn’s disease. For those who are experiencing malabsorption, Forvia and Forbones Xtra D could help you. Shop online with us now.
Crohn’s Disease Diagnosis
In order to get the right treatment for Crohn’s disease, the first step is to get an official diagnosis. This will involve a visit with a healthcare practitioner, who can discuss your history and order tests for confirmation. Once you have a diagnosis and a larger picture of what that means to you, you can begin taking medications and vitamins for Crohn’s disease to replenish nutrients lost through malabsorption.
Inovera Bioscience offers two highly absorbable supplements to help when you’re experiencing a vitamin deficiency. Forvia is a multivitamin that comes in tablet and chewable form, and is formulated to promote good absorption and reduce stomach distress. Forbones Xtra D is a calcium supplement rich in vitamin D and phosphorous in water-miscible form that could be an alternative for those who don’t absorb fats well due to gastric bypass surgery, pancreatitis, Crohn’s, and ulcerative colitis.
Here are some of the ways your doctor or nurse practitioner could diagnose Crohn’s disease. Keep in mind that one or more tests may be warranted based on your health history and symptoms, and this is by no means a comprehensive list.
Blood Tests for Crohn’s Disease
A blood test can give your healthcare provider a picture of your health at a microscopic level, revealing information that a CT scan or visual examination can’t provide. Many who have Crohn’s disease also have anemia, elevated white blood counts, higher sedimentation rates, low blood proteins, and low mineral levels. A blood test can’t reveal a positive or negative test for Crohn’s as you would find with some conditions, but it will provide a piece of the whole picture.
X-Rays to Test for Crohn’s Disease
X-rays can be a powerful tool in the diagnosis of Crohn’s, and there are two ways those can be administered. Plain x-rays of the abdomen can reveal blockages in the intestines, which are the result of scarring and inflammation. Contrast x-rays done with barium can reveal a bit more, such as a bowel obstruction or perforation.
CT Scan to Diagnose Crohn’s
A CT scan (also known as a CAT scan or computerized tomography) is a powerful tool that takes cross-sectional views of the digestive tract. It takes small “slices” of pictures so it can detect fistulas, abscesses, blockages, and more. You may have to take an oral or IV contrast as part of the test.
Endoscopy to Diagnose Crohn’s
Endoscopy is a test where a tube is inserted in your gastrointestinal tract so the physician can see your stomach, intestines, colon, and anus. You will likely be put under a general anesthesia to minimize your discomfort. New tests have emerged that allow you to swallow a pill with a camera that will pass through your digestive tract, and take around 50,000 images as it makes its descent. The capsule will then pass naturally. The whole time, you’re wearing a recorder at your waist, which you’ll take to your doctor afterward.
To confirm a Crohn’s diagnosis, talk to your doctor so you can explore the various types of tests that are appropriate for you. From there, you will learn more about Crohn’s disease treatment, including medications, therapies, and supplements for Crohn’s disease.
If you’re experiencing malabsorption from Crohn’s, Forvia and Forbones Xtra D could be a solution for you. They are specifically formulated for those who are unable to absorb nutrients,, and Forvia comes in tablet and chewable form. Shop online now!
The causes of Crohn’s disease can be different from person to person, so we think it’s important to cover some of these causes to help you better understand Crohn’s disease. As with many conditions, your immune system plays a large role, which we will explain below.
Regardless of the cause of your condition, you need a treatment for Crohn’s that’s effective and helps to keep flare-ups down. Your doctor can talk to you about medications and other treatments, as well as supplements for Crohn’s disease to help when you have malabsorption. Forvia by Inovera is a multivitamin that is highly absorbable and formulated for those who have a hard time absorbing nutrients. It comes in capsule and chewable forms to suit your needs.
Here are some of the causes of Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s is Not Contagious
One thing to know is that Crohn’s disease is not contagious. If you currently have a diagnosis or you’re living with somebody who has been diagnosed, you should not worry about transmitting it from one person to another.
Crohn’s can be Hereditary
Some people can carry and pass on genes that make them more susceptible to developing Crohn’s disease. Up to 20% of people who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s have a relative such as a parent or sibling who also have it. Chances of having it are higher if both parents have an irritable bowel condition.
Demographics can Affect Chances of Having Crohn’s
Studies have found that people who live in developed countries have a higher chance of having Crohn’s than those who live in undeveloped countries. Additionally, those who live in cities have a higher incidence of Crohn’s than those who live in country or rural areas. Northern climates, which are typically cooler, vs. southern climates, which are typically warmer, also seem to have a correlation to the number of people affected by Crohn’s.
Your Immune System can be a Factor in Crohn’s
Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of Crohn’s disease, and inflammation can affect the condition in a number of ways. For one, foods and the substances in foods can trigger an immune response that causes the immune system to fight the substance, and even a person’s own digestive tract tissues. Crohn’s can also act as an autoimmune response—when your tissues are inflamed, your body can work against it. When your body works overtime to fight that inflammation, the immune system might not shut off after the original cause of the inflammation is taken care of.
Lifestyle Factors can Affect Crohn’s
While Crohn’s might not always stem from lifestyle factors, it can certainly be exacerbated by them. Diet is one big factor, especially since the foods you eat travel through the length of your digestive tract. Work with your physician or nutritionist to find a diet rich in Crohn’s-friendly foods that will keep inflammation down and reduce your chances of suffering a painful blockage. Smokers are at risk for a higher incidence of flare-ups—smoking affects the immune system, and therefore, can inhibit the healing of inflamed tissues, fissures, and fistulas that result from Crohn’s. They are also more likely to have to have surgery for their condition than those who do not smoke. High levels of stress also contribute to inflammation, and if a lack of sleep is a result of that, the body’s ability to heal can be decreased.
If you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s, you can discuss factors that might contribute to your flare-ups with your doctor and work on a plan for treatment. You might work on eating a diet of Crohn’s-friendly foods as well as making other lifestyle changes that can help decrease the severity and frequency of your flare-ups, among other things.
Forvia is a supplement that’s not only a multivitamin, but it is formulated to be highly absorbable, especially for those who have issues with malabsorption due to Crohn’s, celiac disease, IBD, and more. Shop online for Forvia in chewable and tablet form.
How Crohn’s Disease Affects the Digestive System
Crohn’s disease can have a number of effects on the body, namely, the digestive system. While every person is affected by this condition in their own way, we wanted to cover some of the most common ways Crohn’s affects the digestive system.
Inovera Bioscience has two supplements that can help you if you have issues with malabsorption. Forvia is a multivitamin available in tablet and chewable form and is highly absorbable, offering nutritional support for those who have IBD, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, bariatric surgery, and more. Forbones Xtra D is a calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorous supplement that is water soluble for those who can’t absorb fats well. Shop online for your supplements now!
Here is how your digestive system is affected by Crohn’s disease.
Those who have Crohn’s are affected by abdominal pain for a number of reasons. One is cramping, which can happen as the body works to move food through the digestive tract. Diarrhea can cause severe cramping as well. Pain can stem from the inflammation in general, but can be attributed to bowel perforations or obstructions.
Crohn’s can cause frequent diarrhea, especially during flare-ups. With it being an inflammatory condition, it can be a main cause of the diarrhea, and can result in chronic diarrhea that can happen three times a day and last for four weeks or more. Medications and supplements can also contribute (check the labels for magnesium, especially), as well as diet. Talk to your doctor about finding the causes of your diarrhea to see how some of this can be either reduced or prevented.
People who have Crohn’s might notice blood in their stools, and that can be caused by a number of things. Fistulas can form in the intestines and colon, and fecal matter can cause them to tear and bleed. Blockages in the intestines and colon can cause perforations, which can also lead to bleeding. This bleeding can become infected and pus can build up, so Crohn’s patients might also notice mucus or green/yellow discharge.
Frequent Urges to Have a Bowel Movement
Crohn’s sufferers can experience frequent urges to have a bowel movement, sometimes three times a day or more. Some people might even mistake Crohn’s for food poisoning if they haven’t been diagnosed. Moreover, some might never feel as if they’re completely empty, no matter how many times they have a movement.
Loss of Appetite
Crohn’s can cause a loss of appetite or aversions to certain foods, and this can occur for a number of reasons. For one, medications they’re taking can be rough on the stomach or cause them to never feel as if they’re hungry. Another reason is that they’ve begun to associate certain foods—or eating in general—with the painful symptoms they experience. Additionally, they might not feel well overall, or feel stressed out over their condition, which makes them not want to eat.
When you’re experiencing issues with Crohn’s, it’s important to speak with your health practitioner about ways you can treat Crohn’s and alleviate the symptoms of a flare-up. And if you’re experiencing malabsorption, taking a supplement that’s highly absorbable and doesn’t contain diarrhea-inducing magnesium can help. Forvia is such a supplement, and it comes in capsule and chewable forms. Shop online now for Forvia!
Crohn’s Disease and Malabsorption
Crohn’s disease can lead to discomfort throughout the digestive tract, and in addition to that, the inability to absorb crucial nutrients. Eating a diet rich in Crohn’s-friendly foods can help keep the flare-ups down while increasing the nutrients that can be absorbed, to an extent. Nutrients that come from the foods we eat aid in the healing of fissures, fistulae, and inflammation, which is of critical importance for those who suffer from inflammatory bowel disorders.
Inovera Bioscience has created two supplements that were specifically created for those who have malabsorption conditions such as Crohn’s, celiac disease, IBD, and the post-surgical period after bariatric surgery. Forvia is a multivitamin supplement that is highly absorbable and water miscible, and it’s available in chewable and tablet forms. Forbones Xtra D is a calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorous supplement that’s water soluble to promote increase absorption. Order your supply now!
Here are some ways that Crohn’s disease can affect nutrient absorption and your health.
Loss of Appetite
One of the issues commonly associated with Crohn’s is a loss of appetite. If a person isn’t eating much because they’re not feeling well, are experiencing pain after eating, or because of medications they’re taking, they’re already not getting the healing nutrients they need, and can become malnourished.
Inflammation of the Intestines
When you eat, your bile duct produces bile, which works as sort of a detergent to break down foods and fats to prepare them for their trip down the intestines and onward. When these foods are broken down, the nutrients they hold are absorbed by the small intestine to nourish the body, and the broken down food particles are excreted as waste. When the intestines are inflamed, there are a few mechanisms at work. Inflamed tissues can scar, which prevents some of the nutrients from becoming absorbed.
Dehydration and Diarrhea
Bile is a critical element of digestion, and serves an important role in breaking down the foods we eat so that we can absorb nutrients. It also releases water from food matter so it can be absorbed and keep you properly hydrated. However, when bile doesn’t completely break down foods, water escapes with the food. This can lead to dehydration, for one, because the water can’t be absorbed. And second, diarrhea can occur, which further contributes to dehydration.
Malabsorption and Growth
Children and adolescents affected by Crohn’s can experience delayed growth and failure to thrive. Nutrition is especially important during these formative years, so working with your specialist and potentially a nutritionist could be warranted.
Symptoms of Malabsorption
Knowing the symptoms of malabsorption can help you determine if a discussion with your healthcare provider is necessary. Some of the symptoms can include chronic diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating, gas, and fatty/bulky stools. Your doctor can perform blood tests to determine the extent of the nutritional deficiencies, and find a Crohn’s supplement appropriate for your needs.
When faced with malabsorption, a nutritional supplement that replaces the nutrients lost due to Crohn’s symptoms can be helpful. Forvia and Forbones Xtra D by Inovera Bioscience have been formulated to be highly absorbable for those who have a malabsorption condition. Shop online now!
Maintaining a healthy diet is especially important for those affected by Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s-friendly foods are packed with nutrients and can help to sooth some of the symptoms that result from a flare-up. Along with good foods to eat comes a list of foods to avoid, which we will cover below.
Inovera Bioscience has created a multivitamin supplement for those who suffer malabsorption issues due to Crohn’s, celiac disease, IBD, and post-bariatric surgery. Forvia comes in tablet and chewable forms, and is a highly absorbable multivitamin. Forbones Xtra D is a calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorous supplement in a water-soluble form, and is formulated to be gas-free. Shop online now!
Here are some Crohn’s-friendly foods that can help your symptoms and improve your nutrition.
Protein promotes healing, which is especially needed for those with inflammation, fissures, and fistulae resulting from Crohn’s. Some of these foods could produce gas or lead to discomfort, so start with small portions to see how you tolerate them. Foods that are high in protein can include:
- Fish and seafood, such as salmon, shrimp, and white fish (tilapia, for example)
- Red meats
- Beans (especially chickpeas and lentils)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which is just what people who have inflammatory bowel conditions need. While fatty foods are usually to be avoided for people with Crohn’s, essential fatty acids can be beneficial. Here are some foods to consider:
- Salmon (again, a great nutrient-dense food with multiple health benefits!)
- Tuna and mackerel
Foods High in Iron
Anemia and low energy are side effects of Crohn’s, so eating foods that are high in iron can help boost iron levels and keep your energy from dipping too low. If you’re worried you might have anemia, talk to your physician about a blood test for platelet levels. Here are some iron-rich foods to consider:
- Kale, chard, and spinach, as well as other dark, leafy greens
- Legumes (black beans, kidney beans, lentils, beets, lima beans, and soybeans)
- Eat fruits rich in vitamin C to increase your absorption of iron
Foods Rich in Folate
Folate/folic acid, or vitamin B9, is an essential nutrient in aiding mental health and energy. When you’re not getting enough of it, you’re likely going to feel foggy, irritable, tired, and even depressed. A deficiency can also contribute to anemia. Here are some foods that are rich in folate:
- Dark, leafy greens like spinach, turnip greens, and chard
- Beans: pinto, black, navy, garbanzo
Foods to Avoid with Crohn’s
People can react differently to foods, so what works for you might not work for somebody else. Introduce new foods in smaller quantities until you know how you tolerate them, and how much you can tolerate.
That said, there are foods that should be avoided if you have Crohn’s. These might increase gas, bloating, inflammation, and other discomfort for one, but even more importantly, they might not have much to offer in the way of nutrition.
- Dairy (many who have Crohn’s are lactose intolerant, so dairy should be avoided)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Fats and oils such as butter, margarine, mayonnaise, and certain cooking oils
- Soda and other carbonated drinks
- Fried foods
- High-fiber foods during a flare-up
- Most nuts
- Fruits with skins and seeds
- Whole grains and popcorn
- Cured meats like bacon, ham, and sausage
Discuss your dietary concerns with your doctor or dietician to see what is best for you. If you’re concerned about malabsorption, buy Forvia and Forbones Xtra D now!
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestinal tract. It is one of the conditions (along with ulcerative colitis) classed as IBD, or Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury – it’s what happens in reaction for example to an infected cut. The cut and it becomes red, swollen, and tender or painful. Inflammation in Crohn’s disease occurs in the lining of the intestinal tract.
Unlike inflammation from a cut, inflammation from Crohn’s doesn’t heal on its own. Normal inflammation is good because it concentrates various body-healing factors around the injury until healed , but continuous chronic inflammation causes be damageing.
In Crohn’s, the inflammation damages the intestinal lining and the cells making up the intestinal wall. It is often in the terminal ileum (last part of the small intestine) but can occur anywhere in the digestive tract from mouth to anus. Over time, the inflammation and damage can extend over greater areas of the intestinal tract.
The inflamed areas of the intestine affect nutrition reducing the body’s ability to absorb food and also reducing appetite. Many people with Crohn’s avoid certain foods because they find those foods make them feel worse or tend to cause diarrhea.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition that over time tends to affect additional areas of the intestinal tract. As more surface of the intestinal tract becomes inflamed, nutritional problems can develop due to reduced absorption of vitamins and minerals from food. Reduced appetite leads to reduced intake of food. Reduced intake, reduced absorption and increased needs can lead low vitamin, mineral and protein nutritional status.
Inflammation also makes people feel poorly and not want to eat. At the same time, the chronic inflammation and associated fever can increase caloric needs, while some medications that interfere with some vitamins and minerals can increase needs for those nutritional elements.
Signs and symptoms
- low grade fever
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
Advanced Crohn’s disease
Enough damage to the intestinal tract can also cause bleeding visible in the toilet when passing stools. Bleeding can occur with hemorrhoids, though usually blood from hemorrhoids is bright red and in small quantity. Any red or dark blood in quantity should be brought to the attention of a doctor.
More advanced disease can cause scarring and narrowing of sections of the intestinal tract and even blockages. Pain, loss of appetite, bloating, nausea and vomiting may indicate a blockage. Intestinal blockage is a serious medical emergency needing prompt attention.
Causes of Crohn’s disease
The cause of Crohn’s disease is not unknown, but current belief is that the disease is the result of several factors.
Studies suggest a genetic part, as several genes have found to be associated with Crohn’s, and having family members with the disease increases chances of also having Crohn’s. Exactly how these genes cause Crohn’s is not known.
Environment may play a part, especially the internal environment – research into the bacteria in the human gut has shown differences in the variety of bacteria in the intestinal tract between people with and without Crohn’s disease. Recent research has suggested a possible role of fungi in Crohn’s, either as an independent factor or in combination with certain bacteria.
Diagnosis of Crohn’s can be difficult. Many of the symptoms may have other causes, such as celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBSC). The fact that Crohn’s can occur in a variety of locations and lack of a diagnostic blood or other test make positive diagnosis of Crohn’s a process. Firm diagnosis often requires endoscopy or colonoscopy.
Treatments for Crohn’s disease include surgery when strictures (intestinal blockages) occur, steroids, mesalamine, sulfasalazine, mercaptopurine and mesalazine. These drugs target inflammation.
Over the past 10 years, several biological-based treatments have been studied and approved for treatment of Crohn’s. These treatments are also directed at reducing the chronic inflammation that damages the intestinal tract.
Some of these newer products include Remicade, Humira, Cimza, Tysabri and Entyvio. These drugs are monoclonal antibody-based and target proteins that are part of the inflammation process. The ultimate goal of treatment is mucosal healing of the intestinal tract.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are used to address nutritional deficiencies, among common deficiencies are iron, calcium, Vitamin B12, folic acid, and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Because of the findings of different profiles of intestinal bacteria between people with and without IBD, there is interest in the potential of probiotics and specialized diets. There is limited evidence so far for probiotics and diets such as FODMAP in treating Crohn’s disease.