Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. People experience painful swelling and irritation inside the digestive tract.
As of today, there is still no cure or effective treatment that works for everyone. This is why scientists conduct clinical trials to produce a cure. There are many organizations that are seeking healthy volunteers to take part in their study. So, we in HealthMatch provide a platform that finds and filters eligible trials for volunteers in an easy-to-understand process.
These trials range from drug therapy and dietary investigations, to population surveys to discover commonality and genetic predisposition.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is difficult to identify early because its symptoms mimic common everyday illnesses, such as fever, cold and diarrhoea. This makes it easy to mistake these for other medical conditions. These symptoms often start very mild and gradually, only increasing in severity over time. This means it takes doctors some time before being able to diagnose it. It is only in very rare cases that Crohn’s disease symptoms appear quickly and noticeably.
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease include blood in your stool, regularly feeling fatigued and frequent feelings for bowl movement. You will also experience loss of appetite and rapid loss in weight.
More serious symptoms include pain and drainage near your anus (perianal fistula), ulcers in your mouth or anus and inflammation. You may also experience shortness of breath and decreased strength as part of your symptoms, often caused by iron deficiency. Doctors believe that smoking, age and rectal issues increase the severity of your symptoms as does the length of time you’ve had the symptoms.
It is important to consult your doctor as soon as you notice any of the above symptoms. Early intervention and assessment can help avoid severe complications
Causes of Crohn’s disease?
So far doctors have not been able to identify with certainty the causes of Crohn’s Disease. Your chances of developing the disease are influenced by your immune system, your genes, your environment and any family history of the disease.
The inability to identify the causes of Crohn’s Disease makes the need for clinical trials more urgent.
Crohn’s disease undermines peoples immune system. This leaves them more vulnerable to intestinal infections from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi and increases the severity of the symptoms. The treatment itself further compromises your immune system, in some cases causing further complications and worsening the infection.
Crohn’s disease can only be diagnosed through a process of elimination. This is because its symptoms are so similar to other more common illness such as flu, cold, food poisoning. Along with blood tests, stool tests and possibly a biopsy, your doctor will diagnose your Crohn’s disease by comparing your symptoms with those of other diseases.
Your doctor will also ask you to undergo tests which produce a clear image of the inside of your gastrointestinal tract and any organs of concern, to identify abnormalities or organ damage. These tests include an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, a CT scan and an MRI scans.
In many cases your doctor may order a few rounds of tests, until the results are conclusive. They will compare the results from those of other illnesses with similar symptoms to rule them out. At this point they will diagnose you as having Crohn’s disease.
These results will also help determine how advanced the disease is and any tissue or organ damage it has caused.
Treatment for Crohn’s disease
These is currently no known cure for Crohn’s disease. But there are management techniques which help to lessen the severity and frequency of your symptoms. The aims of these treatment are to improve long-term outcomes, control symptoms and inflammation and reduce the risk of complications.
Treatment will depend on the severity of your condition, how active your disease is at present and it’s location in your bowel.
There are several different types of treatments. Some work better than others for different people and at different stages of the disease. Quite often different treatments need to be tried to find the one that will work best for you.
Importance of Clinical Trials
Because there is no known treatment for Crohn’s Disease, doctors are struggling to find ways to identify and treat it. For these reasons, ongoing trials are ever important. They trials help find new medications and treatment options. They also present an opportunity for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to deduce the safety and effectiveness of each medications.
Trials also help doctors find new medications to help their patients. Trials are also a great way for sufferers of IBS/IBD to be actively involved in finding a treatment for their own problem while helping thousands of others.
Patient care is fundamental in all areas of medical research and care. Patients are closely monitored by the clinical investigators. Before commencing the trial patients will have a one on one discussion with their clinical researchers and be able to ask any questions or concerns they may have, as they can doing any time during the trial.
What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a medical research study that aims to find a better way to manage a particular disease. The main aim of a clinical trial is to research and discover new treatments, therapys or medications for certain diseases. It also helps increase the understanding of how people respond to these and any side effects that might occur as a result.
Clinical trials are considered to be part of best practice medicine and are one of many options for treatment of a disease or illness.
What are the benefits of participating in a clinical trial?
Participating in a clinical trial is voluntary. Your should not feel obliged or forced to take part. Participating in a clinical trial could benefit you, your fellow patients and also the greater medical community. Apart from the obvious benefits it could also be emotionally very beneficial for the participant to know that they are contributing to finding cures for diseases that affect millions of people around the world.
Clinical trials enable patients to access the latest, most up-to-date research treatments even before they are available to the general public. Patient’s are able to gain extra advice and treatment from leading medical experts and cutting edge medical facilities.
• Participating in a clinical trial also allows participants to play an active role in their healthcare and their treatment.
• Clinical trials help bring light to rare conditions and those illnesses with limited treatment options, such as Crohn’s disease. This can result in greater exposure, knowledge and funding for finding a cure for the illness.
• You will benefit from being monitored more closely and comprehensively if you suffer from the illness being investigated, compared with those receiving standard treatment.
• You will directly provide benefit in the future through the lessons learned, both good and bad, during the clinical trial.