Medical Marijuana Access for Patients With Crohn’s Disease in Pennsylvania

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Crohn’s disease is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affecting as many as 1.6 million Americans.

Most patients are diagnosed before the age of 35.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the prevalence of IBD increased from 2001 to 2018 for all race and ethnicity groups.

There was a higher increase rate among non-Hispanic Black adults.

Can Medical Marijuana Improve Crohn’s Disease Symptoms?

Research is still in the early stages regarding the impact of medical marijuana to Crohn’s. However, small clinical studies involving patients with the condition indicate that it might help with inflammation and decreased appetite.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

It’s an inflammatory bowel disease that causes chronic inflammation and damage to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

It can affect any part of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus. It most commonly affects the end of the small intestine (the ileum) where it joins the beginning of the colon.

  • Men and women are equally likely to be affected
  • It can occur at any age, but it is most often diagnosed in adolescents and adults between the ages of 20 and 30.
  • Studies have shown that 1.5 percent and 28 percent of people with IBD have a first-degree relative, who also has one of the diseases
  • It can affect people from all ethnic backgrounds but is more common in Caucasians
  • It can affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall
  • Inflammation of the intestine can “skip” or leave normal areas in between patches of diseased intestine

Types of Crohn’s Disease Types of Crohn's Disease-TeleLeaf RX

  1. Ileocolitis — the most common form affecting the end of the small intestine (terminal ileum), and the large intestine (colon)
  2. Ileitis — affects only the ileum with the same symptoms as ileocolitis
  3. Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease — affects the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine called the duodenum
  4. Jejunoileitis — characterized by patchy areas of inflammation in the upper half of the small intestine called the jejunum
  5. Crohn’s (Granulomatous) Colitis — affects only the colon or the large intestine

Causes of Crohn’s Disease

The real cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown. Experts agree that the cause may be genetic or infectious.

Individuals who have a viral or bacterial illness, or exposure to another environmental trigger could cause those with a genetically higher risk for Crohn’s to develop the condition.

The following are some identified factors that can increase your risk of developing Crohn’s disease:

  • Autoimmune disease – bacteria in the digestive tract may cause the body’s immune system to attack healthy cells
  • Genes – IBD often runs in families. You may have an increased risk of having Crohn’s if you have a first-degree family member who has it
  • Cigarette smoking – doubles your risk of having Crohn’s disease
  • Appendicitis – children who undergo an appendectomy are at a higher risk of developing Crohn’s disease
  • Taking antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Impact on Lifestyle of Crohn’s Disease

Chronic conditions of Crohn’s disease are ongoing and long-term. Some individuals diagnosed with the disease usually have the same life expectancy as those without Crohn’s disease. This means that they typically lead full, happy, and productive lives.

The best way for patients with Crohn’s disease to live normal lives is by taking medications as prescribed by their doctor or other health care professionals.

Types of Treatments

Health professionals would usually find the best treatment depending on what works best for the symptoms you are experiencing. Symptoms of Crohn's Disease-TeleLeaf RX

The common treatments:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Biologics for Crohn’s
  • Biologics treatment
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Immune system drugs
  • Self-care
  • Surgery
  • Vitamins
  • Complementary and alternative therapies

An Alternative Treatment: Medical Marijuana

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation reported that medical marijuana has improved IBD symptoms like pain, nausea, and decreased appetite.

Flare-ups that happen because of Crohn’s disease can disrupt daily life. You can keep the disease in check by using medical marijuana to manage the symptoms.

Crohn’s disease patients can qualify for medical marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania.

Visit TeleLeaf RX or give us a call to start applying for a medical marijuana card!

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