New therapy for Crohn's disease developed
Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammation of the bowel, is often discovered late and increases the risk of developing colon cancer. Two new therapies now promise success in treatment. That was the conclusion of the "German Society for Gastroenterology, Digestive and Metabolic Diseases (DGV)" at the action day "Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Diseases" on May 19.
Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease have so far been considered almost incurable, even if TCM in Crohn's disease gave hope to some patients as well as a new drug in the fight against Crohn's disease.
On the one hand, the active ingredient Usteknuman is said to help effectively against Crohn's disease, namely to end a spurt of infection and to prolong the phase without inflammation. First of all, Crohn's disease is shown by regular diarrhea. These are slimy, but mostly without blood. Second, abdominal pain occurs in the right lower abdomen in episodes.
A second new approach relies on SMAD7 antisense oligonucleotide, which is intended to contain the infection of the last part of the small intestine.
Crohn's disease affects all layers of the intestinal wall - but not all parts of the intestine are inflamed to the same extent. The exact cause is still unknown, but those affected show a lack of the body's own antibiotics; therefore, many researchers suspect a disturbed immune response on a genetic basis that may be activated by an infection.
The antibiotics are missing, and therefore the intestinal mucosa cannot adequately ward off harmful bacteria. These bacteria then trigger the inflammation.
Crohn's disease primarily attacks the last part of the large intestine, but also affects every other section of the intestine, from the mouth to the anus. Inflammation occurs everywhere - when it heals, it leaves scars that can narrow the intestine.
If the disease is severe, nutrients from the intestine are processed insufficiently. Then weight loss and blood loss will result. The risk of developing colon cancer is increasing.
Mesalazine can be used as a suppository or rectal foam if only the rectum and lower colon are affected. In the event of a severe relapse, cortisone preparations help, in the form of an enema or again as foam. Immunosuppressive agents are used for extremely severe relapses. These suppress the defense functions and thus inhibit inflammation.
Azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine and infliximab help against Crohn's disease. Living strains of Eschericchia coli stabilize the intestinal flora. Aziathiopirine also helps to extend symptom-free periods after a severe relapse. Ciprofloxacin helps to ensure that the fistulas and abscesses in Crohn's disease heal. Loperamide or colestyramine have proven to be successful against the diarrhea.
The medication often does not help, especially if bleeding occurs, the intestine narrows, the fistulas spread or pus accumulates in large quantities. Then surgery is required.
The doctors are now removing the most affected sections of the intestine.
In Crohn's disease, doctors avoid surgery as long as possible because the shortened intestine brings additional complaints. The intestinal sutures often do not heal, or new fistulas and abscesses develop.
Normal bowel problems
Crohn's disease is a serious and chronic illness and severely limits the enjoyment of life. It is advisable to pay attention to symptoms if there are no alternative explanations for intestinal complaints. If you have problems with your intestines, you should ask yourself:
1) Have I overexcited my bowel in the past few days? For example, have I drunk a lot of coffee, consumed large amounts of sugar or sugar substitutes, for example in the form of energy drinks, gummy bears, chocolate? Have I drunk a lot of alcohol and / or smoked a lot of cigarettes? Have I consumed a lot of animal fats - belly meat when grilling, roast goose or pork knuckle?
2) Did I not get enough fiber in my intestine, i.e. not ate fruits and vegetables, no legumes such as beans or chickpeas, or no flax seeds, pumpkin seeds etc.?
3) Did the diarrhea start after a meal? Maybe there is an intolerance or food poisoning?
4) Have I just returned from a trip? Could it be a travel diarrhea? This lasts for two to five days, coli bacteria or viruses are the cause.
If I can answer all of these questions with no, it may be Crohn's disease. At the latest when there is blood in the diarrhea, severe abdominal pain and fever, those affected should go to the doctor on the same day.
What can affected people do?
Anyone suffering from an acute relapse should be physically careful and stay in bed, so behave like a flu-like infection.
During a light push, the body can be relieved by liquid food without fiber - but a heavy push requires an infusion. In Crohn's disease, refraining from smoking reduces the risk of a new relapse.
Herbal remedies for diarrhea and abdominal cramps are recommended during lighter episodes and in symptom-free times: bloodroot, peppermint or celandine. Indian psyllium is appropriate when changing from diarrhea and constipation. (Dr.Utz Anhalt)