Lifelong smokers often attribute a slim physique to their addictive habit. However, smokers may cause diseases that contribute to this weight loss, such as Crohn's disease. Crohn's can also cause other complications and symptoms that are painful to manage. In some situations, Crohn's may cause undernourishment.
As a result, smokers need to understand whether their cigarette habit keeps them trim or if they have Crohn's disease. Just as importantly, smokers with or without Crohn's need to make sure that they both quit smoking and get their Crohn's disease under control. Proper health management can minimize the impact smoking and Crohn's have on a person's life.
Weight Loss Is Common With Both Crohn's and Cigarette Smoking
Smokers lose weight because tobacco and nicotine increase the metabolism in the body. As a result, smokers' hearts beat faster, and their stomach digests food more effectively. However, Crohn's disease is also a prevalent influence on weight loss. This disease often causes weight loss in people who do not exercise or watch their diet.
Unfortunately, Crohn's weight loss occurs because the body does not properly digest its foods. Many people may pass undigested food through their bowel movements. Even worse, Crohn's may make eating harder for people or decrease their appetite.
Smoking Increases the Risk of Crohn's Disease
By now, most people know the risks of cigarette smoking but may not understand the increased risk of Crohn's. In a recent study, researchers found that smokers were more likely to develop Crohn's disease than non-smokers were. Experts believe that this increased risk occurs because smoking interferes with a person's immune system and can even change a person's genetics.
An extension of the study found that smokers with Crohn's disease were nearly 30 percent more likely to get surgery than non-smokers with Crohn's disease. That massive increase indicates the connected nature between smoking and Crohn's. Unfortunately, smokers who have yet to develop Crohn's need to understand the potential symptoms of this disease to know when to get treatment for it.
Crohn's Disease Is Treatable
The first step in the Crohn's management process is to quit smoking. Smokers who cut back on their habit or give up entirely minimize their risk of Crohn's. Just as importantly, quitting smoking can also decrease the severity of Crohn's or increase a person's immune system efficiency to manage Crohn's more effectively.
Proper medical treatment is then necessary. Medications such as aminosalicylates minimize the inflammation that causes Crohn's symptoms. Other drugs, such as corticosteroids, decrease the immune system action that creates other painful Crohn's problems. In more severe scenarios, surgery may be necessary to manage such issues as intestinal obstructions and excessive bleeding.
Crohn's Disease Has Various Symptoms to Watch Out For
Weight loss is just one symptom of Crohn's disease. Other symptoms include diarrhea, stomach pain, severe constipation, nausea, increased trips to the bathroom, and a bleeding rectum. Crohn's symptoms like these often decrease and increase in severity sporadically.
The wax and wane of Crohn's disease make this a hard problem to diagnose. For example, some people may not experience symptoms for weeks and have a sudden attack. In some cases, heavy smoking may trigger an attack and create even more pain. Thankfully, treatment for this disease is possible.
Reach out to get the help necessary to manage this problem. Professionals at Colon & Rectal Surgery Associates can assess the problem quickly and give relief for this problematic bowel condition. Contact our medical experts today to set up an appointment or to get a free health assessment. We are also happy to answer any questions or concerns you have about Crohn's disease.