Crohn’s disease | accutane side effects

Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the intestines in particular and the gastrointestinal system in general. The gastrointestinal system refers to the stomach, intestine, and all of the structures from the mouth to the anus, and is responsible for the break down and absorption of nutrition and food. Crohn’s represents a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, potentially causing a lifetime of abdominal pain, serious stool issues, fistulas, and other symptoms. The prescription acne medication Accutane, which began production in 1982 by pharmaceutical giant Hoffman-LaRoche, has been linked to Crohn’s disease as a causal agent. Although Hoffman-LaRoche has since ceased production of Accutane, the active ingredient Isotretinoin is still used in Accutane spin-offs.

Crohn’s Disease Symptoms and Complications

Crohn’s Disease is an incurable disease that will mean a necessary adjustment to everyday life to those who contract it. It is an autoimmune disease and a form of inflammatory bowel disease. Because it is autoimmune, Crohn’s disease signals a condition where your own body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue, destroying them in the process. Crohn’s disease can arise from genetic mutations and also from the use of Isotretinoin containing drugs, such as Accutane. Crohn’s tends to primarily affect the intestines, but it can have symptoms that affect other areas of the body as well, including the eyes. Some common symptoms and complications related to Crohn’s are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal stool passing, either accompanied by pain or diarrhea
  • Fistulas
  • Constipation
  • Ulcers

These symptoms can persist throughout the life of someone diagnosed with Crohn’s, and makes their life much more difficult. Other potential complications from Crohn’s disease are:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Bowel obstructions
  • Anemia
  • Lesions in the eye
  • Malnutrition

For some people diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, the symptoms and complications do not only represent a serious, mandated adjustment to their lives, but it can also be life-threatening. While there is no specific diet for those suffering from Crohn’s disease, they must change their eating habits to try and alleviate their symptoms, including total avoidance of certain foods. In some cases, surgery is necessitated to alleviate Crohn’s. Bowel resection is then used to remove parts of the intestine that might be damaged or diseased beyond repair. The more complications a person has involving Crohn’s, the more likely medical procedures like surgery will be necessary. Sadly, Crohn’s disease from Accutane and Isotretinoin can represent a serious or even life threatening obstacle to the lives of those who would not otherwise develop the disease.

Medications and Other Treatments

There is no cure for Crohn’s disease. Doctors might encourage patients with this disease to take fiber supplements, acetaminophen, and even loperamide, but will usually steer a patient away from drugs like naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. A doctor can recommend or prescribe other drugs and treatments, depending on the severity of the symptoms and the immune system of the individual, and hopefully through a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes and / or medical treatment and medication, an individual with Crohn’s disease will be able to effectively manage their condition to the point that it does not disrupt their daily life.

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