By: Trevor Price

disease (CD) affects close to 500,000 Americans. It's a debilitating
affliction that attacks the intestinal tract causing painful cramping,
stress, diarrhea, anxiety and even chronic constipation. If you think
you may have Crohn's or are looking for more information on this
common, but often misunderstood disease, then keep reading.

What are the causes of the disease?

every time a healthy individual is exposed to any type of food or
bacteria, the gastrointestinal tract will become mildly inflamed. The
inflammation is a normal part of digestion and in healthy people, it is
turned on and off as part of the body's way of absorbing nutrients. The
inflammation does not lead to infection.

When someone
has or is susceptible to developing Crohn's disease, the body is unable
to control those inflammations or turn them off. As a result, the
immune system starts working harder and worsening the inflammation. And
though certain dietary and environmental stimulants can cause the
disease to flame up, the actual root causes of CD are unknown.

How is Crohn's disease treated?

is no definitive, known cure. However, patients may be able to control
the disease and even live a normal life. Essentially, the idea behind
most treatment is to control instances of inflammation and therefore
eliminate symptoms associated with it. Because CD is a lifelong
condition, therapy must be ongoing and maintained to keep the disease
under control.

What can trigger a CD flare up?

is typically activated by any infection of the intestinal tract. It is
then aggravated by various diet choices or activities like smoking. For
example, patients are encouraged to avoid fatty foods, foods high in
sodium or many forms of dairy products. Other triggers include
inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.

If I have this affliction, how do I live a normal life?

are numerous websites and online communities where practitioners and
patients discuss different therapy options and life changes that can
help alleviate the symptoms of CD. One site is, a
support site designed to offer tips, forums for discussion and medical

As part of an effective control strategy,
patients are often told to track their inflammations along with the
diet. This enables them to see the connection between potential
triggers and the onset of painful symptoms.

How do I locate help?

you've been diagnosed with Crohn's disease or suspect you may have it,
you should consult with your doctor. Patients are also advised to seek
treatment from a nutritionist or naturopath who can help identify
possible dietary or environmental triggers.

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