In general, men are more likely to develop coronary artery disease than women. This is because, until they go through menopause, women benefit from higher levels of estrogen in their bloodstream. However, once women go through menopause, their rate of developing the disease exceeds men's. After the age of 70, more women die of coronary artery disease than men.
Katarzyna Ostrzenska, MD
Specialty: Internal Medicine
Location and Office HoursBay Medical Center
7001 Central Ave Ste 3
Saint Petersburg, FL 33710
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How is coronary artery disease (CAD) different for women than for men?
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Do alcohol or nicotine make Crohn's disease symptoms worse?
Christie Korth, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
Many people who have IBD smoke. It has been found that nicotine has a negative effect for those with Crohn's disease; however, bizarrely, nicotine seems to help those with colitis.
More research needs to be done on this phenomenon to understand exactly why this is the case. The theory behind this is that nicotine is a stimulant; therefore it increases intestinal peristalsis, which causes waste to pass through the body much faster. This will cause urgency and more frequent bowel movements for those with Crohn's, which is obviously not a desirable effect. I have tested some people in my practice and found they are also intolerant to nicotine, meaning the body has the same negative reaction to nicotine the way it would food, and thus causes more inflammation, further aggravating the intestines.
As far as alcohol is concerned, it is not recommended for those with Cohn’s or colitis. Alcohol will cause inflammation in the body, which can affect the intestines and cause a flare up. It would be best to avoid alcohol if you have Crohn's or colitis. If you do happen to drink, you should consider taking digestive enzymes, probiotics, and a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory, like bromelain to counteract the effects.
What are the different grades of Crohn's disease?
Crohn’s disease is graded based on your symptoms.
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- Remission is very obvious. It means you feel perfect, and your small bowel and colon look perfect as well. You won’t even realize you have Crohn's disease except for the fact that you have to take routine medications.
- Mild disease means you don't have a lot of symptoms. For example, you don't have a painful mass on exam or signs of bowel obstruction. You may have some increased bowel movements and mild cramping and pain. This suggests that you have the inflammatory behaviors of Crohn's disease, which are the most likely to respond to medical therapy.
- When you start to develop symptoms of an abscess, fever, weight loss, anemia or blockages, you have more moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. This requires medications that are appropriate for the disease. You will also require multidisciplinary care that involves not only a gastroenterologist but also a nutritionist to make sure you're eating the right diet. You will definitely need to see a colorectal surgeon.