Amy Dowden opens up about her battle with Crohn's disease
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Crohn’s disease is a lifelong condition causing inflammation in parts of your digestive system. This disease is one type of condition called inflammatory bowel disease. The main signs affect the stomach area. One symptom signalling it’s time to see your GP is persisting diarrhoea.
The NHS advises seeing a GP if you had diarrhoea for more than seven days.
The Mayo Clinic specifies that you could try over-the-counter medication to stop it at first and seek medical help after the diarrhoea hasn’t responded to the remedy.
Persisting diarrhoea can even lead to malnutrition.
It might make it difficult for you to eat and for your intestine to absorb nutrients to keep you healthy and nourished.
Diarrhoea is one of the symptoms you can continue to experience even once your other Crohn’s disease symptoms are under control.
Watery or loose poo might be caused during a flare-up in Crohn’s disease patients.
Flare-up describes when the symptoms of this disease come back.
However, there are other possible reasons behind this problem ranging from the side effects of your medicine and diet to infections.
Another sign when you go to the toilet that requires seeing a GP is blood in your poo, according to the NHS.
If the colour of the blood is bright red, it’s usually coming from the rectum or large intestine.
Darker or black stools may be caused by blood higher up in the digestive system.
It can be common to develop anaemia due to blood loss.
If you have developed anaemia, you may need to start taking supplements with iron, folic acid, or vitamin B12, based on your doctor’s advice.
The NHS also recommends seeing a GP if your experience frequent stomach aches or cramps and if you’ve lost weight for no reason.
Your GP will try to find the cause of your symptoms and consequently might refer you for Crohn’s disease test.
The tests used for diagnosis can vary from colonoscopy and biopsy to MRI and CT scans.
If you need a reminder, the main symptoms of Crohn’s disease to look out for are:
- Diarrhoea – can come suddenly
- Stomach aches and cramps
- Weight loss.
There’s currently no cure for this disease but there are treatments available that can help manage or reduce your symptoms.
These treatments include medicines to help with inflammation and even surgery.
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