Growing up, we’ve all heard the saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” and in most cases, an apple is a great fruit to eat! However, if you have Crohn’s Disease that might not always be the case. Those afflicted with Crohn’s Disease actually have to peel the skin off of fruits and vegetables with edible skin, however delicious it may be! The skin is an insoluble fiber that can aggravate Crohn’s symptoms causing more gas, bloating, diarrhea and pain. In severe cases, can even cause blockages.
The cause of Crohn’s Disease is still unknown. Scientists believe the cause to be a mixture of environmental, and genetic factors. Crohn’s Disease causes inflammation of the wall of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract is continuous starting at the mouth and ending at the anus. An interesting fact about the GI tract is, it can be considered to be outside of the body. The body changes the environment of the GI tract to be conductive to digesting and absorbing food to the inside of the body. If we followed the journey of the apple discussed earlier after masticating and swallowing the apple is moved down the esophagus, and into the stomach where it will be digested. Next the apple will pass through a sphincter and into the small intestine where the nutrients from the apple will be absorbed. Crohn’s most commonly occurs in the small intestine and during a flare up it is difficult to absorb necessary nutrients before the bolus is moved to the large intestine.
While the small intestine is most commonly affected, with Crohn’s, any part of the GI tract explained above can be affected. The inflammation caused by Crohn’s produces flare ups and can lead to many uncomfortable symptoms. A few of which are: diarrhea, pain, unintentional weight loss, ulcers, malaise, anemia, and anal fissures.
Research has produced many significant advances for Crohn’s Disease, but there are still many unanswered questions. Our research sites are devoted to finding answers to those pressing questions and providing a better outlook for the future of Crohn’s health management. You can be an integral part of shaping the path for future medicine, by participating in a clinical trial.