Crohn’s disease is a chronic health condition that occurs when the immune system of the body attacks the gut, causing inflammation in the small intestine, large intestine, and any part of the digestive tract. Basically, the Crohn’s disease affects the digestive system.
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Crohn’s disease is more common in people between 15 and 35 years old, though it can develop in people of any age, according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.
Women with Crohn’s disease experience periods with little or no symptoms, which is called remission. They also experience flare-ups, which is when many symptoms develop, often suddenly.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease in females
Crohn’s disease causes inflammation in the digestive tract and damages organs and tissues, leading to some symptoms. Most women who are diagnosed with Crohn’s disease are usually under the age of 35.
Common symptoms of Crohn’s disease in both males and females include:
The major symptoms of Crohn’s disease that affect females include:
Females with IBD are more prone to developing an iron deficiency because of bleeding from the intestine or a lack of iron absorption. Also, iron levels in the body can be affected by a heavy menstrual cycle.
READ ALSO: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
2. Irregular periods
Crohn’s disease can affect nutrition, hormone levels, and stress, which all play a role in the menstrual cycle. The inflammation caused by Crohn’s can hamper the normal function of hormones. Diarrhea and weight loss and make it hard for the body to retain sufficient nutrients.
A flare-up of Crohn’s can cause stress because the symptoms can be uncomfortable and affect a person’s ability to carry out daily activities.
According to research, women who are experiencing a Crohn’s remission have similar fertility rates as the general population. However, a woman may have difficulty bearing a child if the disease is active or if a person has recently had surgery for the condition.
Anyone with Crohn’s disease who is thinking about conceiving may wish to consult their doctor, because some treatment options may also affect fertility.
This means pain during sex, and it may indicate that the disease is active in the part of the digestive tract surrounding the anus or vagina. It could also indicate a fistula. (A small abnormal passage that develops between two internal organs, often the bowel and intestine).
A doctor will ask a person about their symptoms and medical history before referring them to an expert who can determine whether a person has Crohn’s disease. The specialist may recommend the following tests:
- CT or MRI scans
- Colonoscopy to look for inflammation inside the bowel
- A biopsy to remove tiny pieces of the bowel for testing
Treatment and management
There is no cure for IBD and doctors aren’t completely certain of what causes the condition. However, several medications can help control the inflammation and keep the disease in remission for as long as possible.
Treatment for Crohn’s disease can include:
Antibiotics: This is to treat infections or complications, including metronidazole and ciprofloxacin.
Aminosalicylates (5-ASAs): These may be prescribed by doctors to decrease inflammation in the lining of the intestines.
Corticosteroids (steroids): These reduces inflammation by suppressing the immune system. This is a short-term solution for people with moderate to severe Crohn’s who are experiencing a flare-up.
Immune modifiers (immunomodulators): These drugs suppress the body’s immune system to reduce inflammation.
These medications can have adverse side effects, so make sure you consult a doctor for the best prescription.
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