What is Crohn´s disease?
Crohn´s disease is an extreme case of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in which parts of the digestive tract are prone to sores and ulcers. This lifelong condition can attack the body at any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. While the causes of the condition are unknown, a weak immune system that reacts strongly to bacteria can contribute to the severity of the disease. Smoking can be one of the causes of developing Crohn´s disease, and a family history also increases one´s risk. The disease is not contagious.
What are the symptoms of Crohn´s disease?
How is Crohn´s disease diagnosed?
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
- Fever or cold chills
- Night sweats
- Rectal pain
- Rectal bleeding
A number of tests are available to diagnosed Chron´s disease including:
How is Crohn´s disease treated?
There is no cure for Crohn´s disease but the goals of treatment are to:
- Stool anaylsis
- Abdominal X-ray
- Upper gastrointestinal (UGI) series
- Upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopy
- Barium enema
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Induce remissions
- Maintain remissions
- Minimize side effects of treatment
- Improve the quality of life
Anti-inflammatory medications are often used to induce and maintain remission by relieving symptoms, repairing damaged tissue and postponing the need for surgery. The medication prescribed will vary based on severity of the condition and which part of the digestive system is most affected.