Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disorder that affects the entire digestive tract. It is also called regional enteritis or ileitis. It is an inflammatory bowel illness that lasts a lifetime. Crohn’s disease can affect any area of your body, although the small intestine and colon are the most commonly affected.
In Crohn’s disease, the digestive tract, particularly the small and large intestines, becomes inflamed and irritated due to the illness. Diarrhea and stomach pains are common symptoms of Crohn’s disease. It’s not uncommon for disease flare-ups to occur on a regular basis. It is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease condition that affects people of all ages.
Dr. Burrill Crohn, an American physician, gave Crohn’s disease its name as he was one of the first doctors to characterize the condition in 1932. Although there is no cure, some therapies can help, including stem cell therapy for Crohn’s disease. Read on to learn how it works.
How Does Crohn’s Disease Manifest?
Since Crohn’s disease can affect various parts of the digestive system, it presents in a variety of forms, including:
- Ileocolitis: This is an inflammatory condition affecting the small intestine and a portion of the large intestine (colon). Crohn’s disease is widely manifested as ileocolitis.
- Ileitis: This refers to a condition in which the last part of the small intestine (ileum) becomes swollen and inflamed.
- Gastroduodenal: The stomach and small intestine’s top are affected by inflammation and irritation (the duodenum).
- Jejunoileitis: This represents a condition in which the upper portion of the small intestine (called the jejunum) becomes inflamed in patches.
What Are the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease differ greatly depending on the individual and the region of the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) that the disease affects.
The symptoms may be permanent or appear and disappear every few weeks or months. It’s known as a flare-up when symptoms come. Disorders frequently appear in early adulthood or childhood.
The key signs and symptoms that are often seen when it affects the lower GI tract, or colon, include:
- abdominal cramps and pains;
- blood in your stool (hematochezia);
- anal sore;
- uncomfortable bowel movements;
- a feeling of incomplete bowel emptiness after defecation;
- loss of appetite;
- weight loss;
- constipation, which can lead to intestinal obstruction.
When it affects the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract or small intestine, you may experience some of these symptoms; however, they will be fewer and milder.
A person may have no symptoms. This is referred to as silent Crohn’s. If your first symptoms aren’t noticeable, the following typical Crohn’s symptoms could involve more serious consequences such as:
- intestinal blockage;
- intestinal abscess;
- chronic fever or pain;
- intestinal fistula.
Stem Cell Treatment for Crohn’s Disease
Inflammation is found in a variety of diseases. Crohn’s disease is not an exception. In the case of inflammatory bowel disease, reducing inflammation in the body is often considered in treating this disease and many other common conditions. The ultimate goal is to eradicate as much inflammation from the body as possible, whether through medicines, dietary and lifestyle modifications, or different natural approaches.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been proved to be one of the most potent anti-inflammatory therapies existing today, and a lot of patients are turning to stem cell treatment to suit their demands. There have been numerous positive and exciting outcomes for patients who have had limited success with conventional therapy.
Mesenchymal stem cells target inflammation and repair damaged tissue in the body. It could make a massive stem cell transplant for Crohn’s disease a viable therapeutic option. Patients with Crohn’s disease may benefit from stem cell therapy to aid them through the following processes:
- Reduction: Inflammation in the gastrointestinal system is reduced.
- Regulation: Immune system regulation (to control immune response).
- Repair: Injured tissue in the gastrointestinal system is repaired.
How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?
Stem cells have a unique, intrinsic characteristic that draws them to inflamed body areas. Studies have shown the ability of stem cells to rebuild damaged or diseased tissues, reduce inflammation, and alter the immune system resulting in improved health and quality of life. In essence, stem cell therapy works by resetting the immune system.
In the first stage, patients undergo a thorough screening process to see if they are eligible for the procedure. Doctors confirm that Crohn’s patients have tried all the usual treatments and still have the disease.
If patients are approved, treatment will begin with a week or two-week hospital stay during which stem cells for Crohn’s disease will be administered via the drip. It is a simple and painless procedure performed under the doctor’s supervision. Then patients go home and expect the possible improvements in several months after stem cells injection.
Why Do We Use Stem Cells for Crohn’s Disease?
Stem cells are commonly regarded as the body’s raw materials — the cells that give rise to all other cells with specific roles. Mesenchymal stem cells are adult stem cells with self-renewal, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, signaling, and differentiation capabilities. The ability of MSCs to divide and develop into various specialized cell types found in a certain tissue or organ is known as self-renewal capacity.
Due to their capabilities to promote regeneration and decrease inflammation, MSCs are frequently used to treat a variety of illnesses. In-vitro (in a lab setting) and in-vivo (in a living organism) studies have aided in understanding MSC therapy’s mechanics, safety, and efficacy in clinical applications.
Immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative stress, mitogenic and angiogenic influences are among the paracrine mechanisms by which MSCs exert their therapeutic effects.
The discovery of the therapeutic effect of the stem cell for Crohn’s disease is a modern development in the medical practice, which has shown to be more beneficial than the conventional pharmacological and surgical approach. It helps to reduce the inflammatory process in the gastrointestinal tract, alleviate symptoms, and improve the overall quality of life of the individual.
Cell-based products are applied in many regenerative clinics all over the world to treat the disease. And did you know that Crohn’s disease can be treated with stem cells?