Amy Dowden opens up about her battle with Crohn's disease
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People with Crohn’s disease sometimes go for long periods without symptoms or with very mild symptoms, but may also have flare ups. There are a number of symptoms to be aware of, including some which might have a noticeable impact on your appearance.
A common symptom is unintended weight loss, according to the NHS.
The other common symptoms can include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, how do you take metformin extreme tiredness and blood and mucus in your faeces.
People with severe Crohn’s disease may also experience inflammation of skin, eyes and joints and inflammation of the liver or bile ducts, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Other signs include kidney stones, iron deficiency and delayed growth or sexual development, in children.
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“See your doctor if you have persistent changes in your bowel habits or if you have any of the signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease,” the site adds.
Your symptoms may also vary depending on where in your gut you have Crohn’s.
Crohn’s disease belongs to a group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel diseases.
“Crohn’s is a very individual condition and some people may remain well for a long time, even for many years, while others may have more frequent flare-ups,” says Crohn’s and Colitis UK charity.
It is estimated that Crohn’s Disease affects about one in every 650 people in the UK.
With medication, many people with Crohn’s have mild and infrequent symptoms of diarrhoea and pain, and their illness may not affect their lives very much, adds the charity.
Crohn’s can start at any age, but usually appears for the first time between the ages of 10 and 40.
Drug treatment for Crohn’s usually aims to reduce symptoms, control flare-ups and achieve remission.
The NHS states that it is thought several things could play a role in causing the condition.
These include your genes, as you are more likely to get it if a close family member has it.
It may also be caused by a problem with the immune system that causes it to attack the digestive system.
Other causes may be smoking, a previous stomach bug or an abnormal balance of gut bacteria, says the health body.
When Crohn’s disease first develops it is sometimes mistaken for appendicitis.
Your doctor will initially arrange blood tests to help find the diagnosis. You may also be asked to provide stool samples for analysis to see if there is an infection in your gut.
If it is thought that you may have Crohn’s disease you will be referred to a specialist for further investigations.
If you are very ill then you may need to be admitted immediately to hospital for these investigations.
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