The gene that causes psoriasis can be present in a person who suffers from crohns ileitis. This type of Crohn’s disease affects only the ileum, which is the last and lowest portion of the small intestine, and is the closest to the colon. This form of Crohn’s disease is one of the more common types, but is not as common as ileocolitis, which is a form of Crohn’s that affects both the ileum and the colon.
What can a Crohn’s ileitis sufferer experience? The inflammation of the ileum often causes diarrhea and cramping or abdominal pain in the lower right region of the abdomen and near the belly button. Sometimes pain may be so severe it imitates appendicitis. These symptoms are usually most pronounced after a meal. Left untreated, crohns ileits can lead to inflammatory masses, obstruction of the small intestines, and the development of fistulas.
In addition, Crohn’s disease that affects the ileum can cause malabsorption of the B12 vitamin. It can also cause folate deficiency which can obstruct red blood cell development and increase a person’s risk of becoming anaemic.
How does crohns ileitis occur? It is still not known what causes Crohn’s disease, or why a person’s immune system malfunctions. However, like all ailments, the condition starts small. Miniscule pockets of inflammation persist and eventually spread. Once this occurs, the bowel lining can develop ulcers and the wall of the bowel can thicken. If not treated, the bowel will eventually narrow or become obstructed, requiring the sufferer to undergo surgery such as having part of their intestines or bowel removed.
What are the treatment options? The type of treatment for crohns ileitis depends on the severity of the disease, and whether or not a person is experiencing an active case of Crohn’s.
Nevertheless, a Crohn’s sufferer can try alternative therapies such as reducing stress, exercising, and maintaining a balanced, nutritious and Crohn’s-friendly diet.
Providing your body with the rest it needs, the energy it requires, and eliminating foods that aggravate the condition, is the perfect compliment to medications and can help prevent flare ups and surgery. Other alternative/complimentary treatments for Crohn’s ileitis include botanical remedies, supplements, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and homeopathy.
Aside from alternative remedies, the following are the most common types of medical treatment used:
Cortisone or Steroids (Prednisone) – Theses types of medications are very powerful and are prescribed to those with severe crohns ileitis. Their purpose is to bring the disease under control fast and put the patient in remission. The drug is typically administered by enema or pill and can be quite effective in relieving Crohn’s symptoms.
However, some common side effects include indigestion, nervousness, restlessness, and increased appetite. Other rare side effects may include mental depression, hallucinations, skin rash or hives, etc. For those who are taking this medication for the long-term, side effects may include acne, nausea, constant abdominal pain, trouble sleeping, unusual bruising, rapid weight gain, etc.
Immune System Suppressors (Imuran, Purinethol) – These medications are designed to suppress the overreacting immune system, and are administered orally. These meds are generally used for long-term treatment to maintain remission of the disease, and are primarily prescribed for those who suffer from a severe case of crohns ileitis.
The side effects associated with immune system suppressors include, but are not limited to: darkening of the skin, headache, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, itchy skin or skin rash, etc.
Infliximab (Remicade) – This is a new type of drug treatment that is showing much promise for those who suffer from moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. Remicade is designed to block the body’s inflammation response. Remicade is administered via intravenous infusion over the course of several hours and is a short-term treatment. It has been effective at helping Crohn’s sufferers achieve relief of their symptoms and remission.
The side effects of Remicade include, but are not limited to: Abdominal pain, nausea, sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, tightness in chest, etc.
Be sure to speak to your doctor about all treatment options for crohns ileitis, and bring any side effects you experience to your doctor’s attention immediately.