Health Conditions

The most important tips on how to prevent crohn’s disease

You can find out here- What is Crohn’s Disease? How to prevent crohn’s disease. It types, diagnoses, medical tests, causes, complications, signs and symptoms, daily life, surgery, and more.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any part of the digestive tract – from the mouth to the anus – although it is more common in the final part of the small intestine (ileum) and the beginning of the large intestine (cecum). 

It belongs to a group of disorders known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), which also includes ulcerative colitis.

Unlike this, Crohn’s Disease affects the entire thickness of the intestinal wall and is discontinuous. This means that it can affect some areas of the intestine and not others. 

It manifests itself, especially at an early age in life, and is a chronic autoimmune disease that alternates inflammatory outbreaks with episodes of remission.

How is it diagnosed?

The initial suspected diagnosis can be made by the family doctor through the patient’s medical history and a general examination in which abdominal tenderness, skin rash, swollen joints, or mouth ulcers are determined. 

Blood tests usually show non-specific alterations, such as an increase in sedimentation rate, as well as white blood cells and platelets. There may also be a shortage of protein, iron (anemia), and vitamins B12 and folic acid. A stool culture can also help rule out other causes of diarrhea.

The diagnosis is confirmed by radiological studies (CT, ultrasound, intestinal transit), which offer information about the location and possible complications, such as abscesses, fistulas, or stenosis. In addition, there are tests, such as colonoscopy, that allow the intestinal mucosa to be explored and samples taken for biopsy.

Finally, in some cases, a scintigraphy or nuclear test may be necessary, which allows the extent of the inflammation to be assessed.

Diagnosis for how to prevent crohn’s disease

There is no single test that diagnoses Crohn’s disease.

The diagnosis is established based on clinical suspicion and a set of compatible radiological, endoscopic, and histological findings.

The tests that help make the diagnosis are the following:

Blood test:

It allows you to detect whether there is anemia or not (thanks to the number of red blood cells and hemoglobin). If there are elevated markers of inflammation (CRP, erythrocyte sedimentation rate) or indicators of infection (thanks to white blood cell counts).

Stool analysis:

It can be useful to detect occult blood in feces, as well as diagnose concomitant infections (bacteria, parasites).

There are specific parameters, such as calprotectin, that allow confirming the existence of intestinal inflammation.

Endoscopy ( gastroscopy, colonoscopy ):

These tests allow you to directly see the intestinal mucosa using a flexible tube with a camera at its end.

In addition to visualizing the lesions, this medical procedure also allows biopsy of the affected areas, that is, obtaining small tissue samples.

The samples are analyzed under the microscope.

Depending on whether they present certain histological characteristics (such as the presence of granulomas), they may or may not be considered compatible with Crohn’s disease. 

A colonoscopy allows you to see the colon and the final part of the small intestine (terminal ileum). This is the area where inflammation occurs most frequently. Thus, it is the technique of choice to make the diagnosis.

It is also one of the most used tests in follow-up, as it is useful to monitor inflammatory activity and evaluate the response to treatments.

Gastroscopy allows visualization of the esophagus, stomach, and the part closest to the small intestine (duodenum).

It is not always performed, but it may be indicated if the patient presents vomiting, upper abdominal pain, or other gastric discomfort.

These symptoms make us suspect that the upper part of the digestive tract may be affected.

Capsule endoscopy:

It consists of the ingestion of a “camera” type device that takes images of the entire digestive tract during its journey. It is expelled through feces.

It is very useful for obtaining photographs of the small intestine, a segment of the digestive tract that is not easily seen with endoscopic tests. It is mainly reserved for patients with a high suspicion of Crohn’s disease in whom imaging tests are inconclusive.

On some occasions, balloon-assisted enteroscopy can be used to explore some areas of the small intestine in which an injury has been seen with capsule endoscopy.

Image tests:

Imaging tests, such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, and computed axial tomography, are complementary to endoscopy and should be performed at the time of diagnosis.

They allow for defining the location, extension, and degree of inflammatory activity. They are also useful in diagnosing complications (such as strictures or fistulas). 

Colonoscopy is the most used technique for diagnosing Crohn’s disease.

This examination allows us to observe the interior of the rectum, colon, and terminal ileum. And obtain tissue samples from any lesions evident for subsequent pathological analysis.

How to prevent crohn’s disease

10 tips on how to Prevent Crohn’s Disease: Although Crohn’s Disease has no cure, taking care of your diet and avoiding some harmful habits can help the patient control outbreaks:

1. Faithfully follow the treatment established by your doctor.

Don’t quit even if you feel good. If you suspect that you have a relapse, go to the doctor as soon as you notice the first symptoms to see your specialist and restart treatment if necessary.

2. Check the use of certain drugs

For example, always consult your doctor before taking medication for diarrhea, as well as hemorrhoid treatment.

3. Be careful when taking painkillers

Medications such as indomethacin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can trigger disease reactivation in some patients. Therefore, if you need pain relievers, choose to take paracetamol.

4. Stop smoking

The risk of relapse and needing surgery is doubled in smokers compared to non-smokers. In addition, tobacco worsens the response to treatment and makes it difficult to maintain remission of symptoms.

5. Control stress

Your intestinal problems can worsen if you fail to manage stress in problematic circumstances and times. Learning relaxation techniques, meditation, or practicing disciplines such as yoga or tai chi can be very useful.

6. Travel prepared

Don’t give up on trips either, but inform your doctor before leaving. He will advise you on what medications you should take and what precautions to take.

6. Talk about your problem

Many people with Crohn’s disease sometimes feel very discouraged. When it happens to you, seek support from your family or friends. Patient associations can provide good information and support.

8. Eat a varied diet

The nutritional aspect is key in this ailment. The objective of your diet should be to prevent and correct malnutrition, as well as not to worsen digestive symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea,…). To do this, it is important to follow a diet rich but balanced in protein, calcium, and iron.

9. Don’t blame food

Currently, there is insufficient scientific evidence to suggest that a specific food triggers, perpetuates, or worsens the inflammatory process of Crohn’s Disease. Therefore, you should only avoid those that repeatedly and systematically increase or worsen your symptoms.

10. Yes to dairy and fiber… in some cases

Milk and dairy products are a great ally to prevent bone decalcification. Although the lactose in these products can cause diarrhea in some cases, the milk should be lactose-free. In addition, you can take fiber, through fruit, for example, except when sprouts appear, and keep in mind that quince and banana constipate and that cherries and plums are laxatives.

Medical tests for how to prevent crohn’s disease

There is no single test that diagnoses that a person has Crohn’s disease, so a combination of tests may be used to diagnose it.

Among them, the blood test stands out, in detecting the possible presence of anemia and infections. In turn, it may be necessary to provide specialists with a stool sample to check for the presence of occult blood in it.

Other tests that may be done to diagnose Crohn’s disease are:

  • Colonoscopy.
  • CT scan.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Capsule endoscopy.
  • Balloon-assisted enteroscopy.

Diagnosis of Crohn’s disease:

Your GP will ask you what your symptoms are and examine you. He or she may also ask you questions about your medical history.

You may be referred to a gastroenterologist, a doctor who specializes in identifying and treating diseases of the digestive system. They may request a series of tests, including:

  • Blood test
  • Stool (stool) tests
  • Colonoscopy – allows the doctor to look inside your large intestine
  • X-ray of your abdomen

*Barium x-ray – involves drinking a drink containing barium (a substance that shows up on x-ray images) to see the inside of your intestine more clearly

*CT or MRI. These tests are typically performed as outpatient procedures. This means you will have the test at the hospital, without having to spend the night there.

What types of Crohn’s disease are there?

Types of Crohn’s Disease:

If you are diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, it is important to know which part of your gastrointestinal tract is affected. While the symptoms of Crohn’s disease can vary from person to person, the type of Crohn’s you have determines the symptoms and complications you may experience.

  • Ileocolitis:
  • Ileitis:
  • Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease:
  • Jejunoileitis:
  • Crohn’s colitis (granulomatous):
  • Crohn’s disease versus ulcerative colitis:


This is the most common form of Crohn’s disease. It affects the lower end of the small intestine, known as the ileum, and the large intestine.

Symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea and cramps
  • Pain in the middle or lower right part of the abdomen
  • Significant weight loss


This type of Crohn’s only affects the ileum.

Symptoms may include:

*The same as ileocolitis

*In severe cases, complications may include inflammatory fistulas or abscesses in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.


This type of Crohn’s only affects the ileum.

Symptoms may include:

*The same as ileocolitis

*In severe cases, complications may include inflammatory fistulas or abscesses in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.

Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease:

This type affects the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine called the duodenum.

Symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weightloss


This type is characterized by irregular areas of inflammation in the upper half of the small intestine, called the jejunum.

Symptoms may include:

  • Mild to severe abdominal pain and cramps after eating
  • Diarrhea
  • Fistulas may form in severe cases or after prolonged periods of inflammation

Crohn’s colitis (granulomatous):

This type affects only the large intestine.

Symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Conditions around the anus, including abscesses, fistulas, and ulcers
  • Skin lesions and joint pain are more common in this form of Crohn’s than in the others

Crohn’s disease versus ulcerative colitis:

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis share similar symptoms and are both types of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), but they are not the same disease and affect different areas of the gastrointestinal tract.

Crohn’s disease:

*It can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus.

*It can affect the entire thickness of the intestinal wall.

ulcerative colitis

*Affects only the colon and rectum (also known as the large intestine)

*Affects the inner lining of the large intestine

What main causes of crohn’s disease?

At the moment, the cause(s) of this disease are unknown. For a time, it was considered to be a disease directly related to diet and the level of stress, but today it is known that both factors can be considered to aggravate the disease, but not its cause.

It is possible, therefore, that a combination of factors such as genetics along with poor functioning of the immune system are the causes of its appearance.

In the case of the immune system, it is possible that the origin is found in a virus or bacteria, and its response to invaders causes irritability in the digestive tract.

In the case of hereditary factors, it should be mentioned that this disease is more common in people with relatives who suffer or have suffered from this disease, so genetics may influence the chances of suffering from it.

The impact of Crohn’s disease on daily life

Crohn’s disease can cause debilitating symptoms, such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Weightloss
  • Nutritional problems.

These symptoms can interfere with daily activities and affect people’s quality of life. It is important to understand how the disease can influence different aspects of your routine so you can take appropriate measures.

Organization and planning:

Good organization and planning can be key to dealing with Crohn’s disease. It is advisable to keep a record of symptoms, foods consumed, and medications taken. This can help identify potential triggers and adjust the treatment plan accordingly.

Food and nutrition:

Crohn’s disease can affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. It is important to follow a balanced diet adapted to your individual needs. Some people may find benefits from avoiding certain foods that trigger symptoms, such as spicy foods or high-fiber foods. A Crohn’s disease nutritionist can provide specific guidance and help you plan a healthy diet.

Stress and emotional well-being:

Stress can trigger or worsen the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. It is essential to find ways to manage stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, meditation, regular exercise, and maintaining a strong support network. Additionally, it is essential to take care of your emotional well-being and seek support from mental health professionals if necessary.

Adaptation in the work and social environment:

Crohn’s disease can present challenges in the work and social environment. Communicating with your specialist about your condition and requesting reasonable accommodations, such as flexible hours or the ability to work from home if necessary, may be beneficial. In social situations, it is important to plan ahead and be comfortable explaining your needs to loved ones and close friends.

Medical consultations and follow-up:

Regular follow-up with your digestive system specialist is essential to control Crohn’s disease. Be sure to schedule and attend your medical appointments, follow your doctor’s orders, and perform any necessary tests to evaluate the progress of the disease. During these consultations, you will be able to discuss your symptoms, adjust your treatment plan, and address any concerns you may have.

Information and education:

Information and education are critical to managing Crohn’s disease effectively. Learning about symptoms, treatments, and lifestyle options will allow you to make informed decisions and actively participate in your care. It is helpful to look for reliable sources of information, such as medical websites and organizations that specialize in Crohn’s disease.

Crohn’s disease can affect people’s daily routines and challenge their quality of life. However, with good organization, planning, and adequate care, it is possible to adapt and lead a full life despite the disease.

Remember that each individual is unique and it is important to work closely with your doctor to find the strategies that best suit your needs. Stay positive, seek support, and continue to educate yourself about Crohn’s disease to make informed decisions and enjoy a full and satisfying life.

Signs and symptoms of crohn’s disease

What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease in adults? 

The symptoms of Crohn’s Disease are very variable. They depend on the location and extent of the disease, as well as the intensity of the inflammation.

Thus, there will be patients with mild symptoms, others with moderate symptoms, and finally others with more serious and disabling symptoms.

There are periods of flare of Crohn’s disease followed by periods of remission (inactive phase).

It is unknown why symptoms come and go, and there is no way to predict how long the outbreak will last or how severe it will be.

Digestive signs and symptoms caused by intestinal irritation include:

  • *Recurrent abdominal pain. 
  • *Diarrhea. In Crohn’s disease, constipation only appears in the event of a complication (for example, in case of intestinal obstruction).  
  • *Stools with mucus and/or blood (rectal bleeding)
  • *Palpation of an abdominal mass (a “lump”) 
  • *Weight loss and/or decreased appetite
  • *Nausea and/or vomiting
  • *Fever or low-grade fever 
  • *Fatigue

Perianal disease: Crohn’s disease can affect the anus. Different injuries can occur such as fissures (tears), abscesses (drainage of pus), fistulas (communication of the interior of the rectum with the perianal skin) with secretion or lesions on the skin, and ulcers. 

Extraintestinal manifestations: Crohn’s disease is a multisystem disease. 

Therefore, in addition to intestinal involvement, it can be associated with inflammation of the eyes (uveitis), mouth ulcers (aphthous stomatitis), swelling and joint pain (arthritis), red and tender bumps (nodules) under the skin (erythema nodosum), stones. renal or biliary, etc. 

We advise that in the presence of any of the symptoms mentioned above, you go to a specialist.

The most frequent symptoms are abdominal pain and chronic diarrhea. However, keep in mind that each person may have slightly different symptoms. For example, people with small intestine involvement mainly have abdominal pain and diarrhea, weight loss, and/or lack of appetite. 

On the other hand, in the case of colon involvement, the most common symptom is diarrhea, sometimes accompanied by blood.

What are the complications of Crohn’s disease?

Some complications of this disease are the following:

Intestinal obstruction: produced by a narrowing or “blockage” of the intestinal lumen, secondary to inflammation and/or accumulation of scar tissue. The main symptoms of this complication are vomiting, cramps (abdominal pain), abdominal distension, and absence of bowel movements (constipation).

Intestinal perforation:

A rare complication may be a consequence of severe intestinal obstruction or deep ulcers that penetrate through the intestinal wall.


Chronic inflammation can produce open “sores” anywhere in the digestive tract, including the mouth and anus.


Abnormal connections that connect the intestine and another area of ​​the body. They are a consequence of deep ulcers that have penetrated through the intestinal wall. Fistulas may appear between two intestinal loops, between an intestinal loop and another organ (for example the urinary bladder), or between the intestine and the skin.

Fistulas that connect the anal canal with the perianal skin are the most common and can be very annoying.

Anal fissure:

this is a small tear in the tissue that covers the anus or in the skin just around it. It is associated with painful bowel movements and may cause a perianal fistula.


Accumulation of pus, due to infected fistulas/ulcers.

Colon cancer:

In people with colonic involvement, there is a higher risk of suffering from colon cancer. It is recommended to perform periodic colonoscopies from a certain age.


Due to excessive loss of body water in case of significant diarrhea. These may also be accompanied by hydroelectrolyte alterations due to the loss of electrolytes.


Due to inflammation, there may be an alteration in the absorption of nutrients, such as vitamin B12 and iron. This situation is worsened by diarrhea and if there is severe abdominal pain that makes eating difficult.


it can be caused by bleeding (if the ulcers of the intestinal mucosa bleed) or by a deficiency of iron or vitamin B12 (both necessary for the synthesis of hemoglobin). 

Crohn’s disease can cause serious complications that affect quality of life, such as abscesses, fistulas, and intestinal strictures, which may require surgical treatment.

How to prevent crohn’s disease with the eat?

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel conditions. Although they are considered related diseases, Crohn’s disease is usually located in the lower end of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine, while ulcerative colitis affects the lining of the large intestine (colon) and the rectum.

Both Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis patients now have drugs that effectively control inflammation, allowing them to avoid a diet that is too restrictive or specific.

Crohn’s patients:

Eat several times a day and in a varied way

Even so, Crohn’s patients, depending on their severity, must follow a well-designed diet calibrated to their weight and clinical situation. The intestine of a Crohn’s patient resembles a large supermarket; If it were suddenly filled with customers, the service would be better if they were divided into different sections and decided to pay at different times. In the same way, Crohn’s patients are recommended to eat several times a day and in a very varied way so that they can assimilate all the nutrients progressively.

The key to the diet with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis is to eat several times a day and a variety of foods

Ulcerative colitis patients:

Eat little fiber and lots of protein

On the contrary, the patient with ulcerative colitis in the active phase should follow a low-fiber diet and eat what gives him energy and proteins with maximum absorption and minimum residue. These patients should focus on not overworking the colon, which is achieved by reducing the need to go to the bathroom. 

The good news for ulcerative colitis patients is that, once the active phase or outbreak is over, they can eat anything.

In addition to reducing symptoms, you can, through diet, reduce inflammation or add probiotics, live microorganisms that remain active in the intestine and that can contribute to the balance of the intestinal flora and enhance the immune system.

Sometimes, patients with inflammatory bowel diseases may, as a result, suffer from malnutrition, which is why dietary supplements are necessary, such as vitamin B12, D, and calcium if they take corticosteroids, and iron.

In general, the goal of the gastroenterologist is not only to make his patient recover from an outbreak caused by his illness but also to be able to eat, as far as possible, what he used to, maintaining a varied diet with adequate digestion.

How is Crohn’s disease treated?

Although there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, treatment can improve symptoms, control inflammation, and correct nutritional deficiencies. Among the common treatments, the options are:


Anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics can help control inflammation, suppress the immune system, and treat bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.


This surgical procedure involves the removal of the rectum and part of the colon or the entire colon. After removing the colon, the surgeon will perform an ileostomy, a procedure in which the small intestine is joined to the opening in the lower abdomen. A bag is then attached to the opening and held outside the body to collect the feces. Sometimes the small intestine can be connected to the anus so that the pouch is not necessary.

Intestinal resection surgery:

The affected part of the intestine is removed and the healthy sections are connected.

Nutritional supplements:

Patients with Crohn’s disease are sometimes given high-calorie liquid formulas or intravenous feedings so that the intestine can rest from processing solid foods.

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When is surgery needed for Crohn’s disease?

At least one surgical intervention is required between 50 and 70% of patients and this may be indicated urgently in the event of serious complications such as bleeding, obstruction, or perforation of the intestine, but much more frequently in those who suffer from a chronic form of the disease due to failure of medical treatment, complications, frequent or severe outbreaks, or serious side effects resulting from the use of medications. 

Other indications are the existence or suspicion of cancer or nutritional alterations. In addition, it is common to need surgery for anal problems, mainly abscesses or fistulas. Surgery is not the last resort in the treatment of this disease and must be indicated by consensus between the digestive specialist and the surgeon treating the patient. 

What specialist treats Crohn’s disease?

The person in charge of diagnosing and treating this disease is the digestive system specialist, although they may require the support of other specialists.

What are surgical interventions for Crohn’s disease?

Surgeries for Crohn’s disease usually require the removal of the intestinal portion or portions causing the problem. Although they should be as least aggressive as possible in this disease, and the minimum intestine necessary must be removed and frequently with the use of laparoscopic surgery, when there are fistulas or serious affections the intervention can represent a technical challenge that requires an experienced colorectal surgeon. 

On other occasions, when there are only small strictures causing the symptoms, we can widen them without having to remove the intestine (plastic). Given that surgery is not curative and it is possible that a patient will undergo surgery several times throughout his life,

it is important to preserve as much of the intestine as possible to avoid future nutritional problems. The patient may need to wear a stoma (void bag) at some point, temporarily or permanently.

When the anus is affected, it is sometimes necessary to empty accumulations of pus (abscesses) and place small rubber drains similar to piercings, to avoid discomfort and complications. Sometimes it is necessary to treat anal strictures, fissures, and more frequently, fistulas to the skin, or to neighboring organs, such as the vagina in women.

Summary of how to prevent crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease of unknown etiology associated with an altered immune response that presents with periods of activity and remission. It can affect any section of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus, mainly in a transmural and patchy way.

The most frequent symptoms are abdominal pain and diarrhea, which can seriously affect the quality of life of patients. 

The increase in its incidence and prevalence in our environment has led to a growing impact on routine clinical practice as well as a rapid development of diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. That is why both family doctors and specialists must be familiar with the management of the disease.


It should be noted that both genetic and environmental factors, which may include tobacco consumption, taking certain medications, and the use of contraceptives, seem to contribute to an increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease. 

Thus, microimmunotherapy, within a global treatment strategy that takes these factors into account, can help support the immune system specifically and help it cope with the inflammatory processes linked to the disease

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