Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease is a form of an inflammatory disease that may occur in any area of the alimentary canal. The exact cause is unknown, but the disorder appears to be autoimmune in nature. This means that the condition occurs when the immune system undergoes an anomaly and attacks body’s own cells. The target organs can be the small intestine, large intestine, rectum and even mouth. The underlying reasons can be genes, environmental factors, bacterial over excitability and smoking.

Crohn’s Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of this disease may be both mild and severe, ranging between time periods of severity and remission. The active spells of the disease are associated with the following symptoms

  • Diarrhea is the major symptom of Crohn’s Disease.This is primarily due to the inability of the colon to absorb its fluids.
  • Severe abdominal pain and cramping.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Inflamed alimentary canal may cause the stool to pass out in a bloody state.
  • Ulcers of the digestive tract.
  • Weight loss
  • Skin disorders
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Eye inflammation
  • Mouth sores

How to diagnose Crohn’s Disease?

As with all other disorders, the diagnosis is initiated with a simple medical history intake identify the specificity of the symptoms involved.  Q and A for Your Doctor This may include:

  • Dietary habits.
  • Recent travel.
  • Past  or current medication.
  • Family history of the disease.

Having established a proper history, the first test that a doctor may advise is the Colonoscopy. Other tests may include: blood tests, stool sample tests, small bowel enema (shows the image of the area of attachment between the small intestine and the colon that is not visible via colonoscopy). Further tests may include:

  • Endoscopy
  • MRI scans
  • X-rays

Conditions that May be Associated with Crohn’s Disease

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Colon cancer
  • Malnutrition
  • Liver disease
  • Arthritis
  • Bone disease (30-40% of people with Crohn’s disease have low bone density).
  • Eye diseases

Crohn’s Disease Treatment

Treatment options for Crohn’s disease, depend upon the severity of the disorder. The medications that a doctor may choose include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Corticosteroids
  • Aminosalicylates
  • IV corticosteroids
  • Surgery may be an option when all types of medications to limit the damage have failed.

Crohn’s Disease Outcome

The prognosis of the Crohn’s disease depends upon the extent of damage to the colon. About 13 to 20% of the patients suffering from Crohn’s disease have a chronic condition that continues to trouble them for the rest of their lives. The vast majority respond well to treatment.

Next Visit, Q and A for Your Doctor

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.