An Inflammatory Bowel Disease

An Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease where parts of the digestive system get swollen and develop ulcers. Crohn’s is generally located in the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine, but can develop anywhere in the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease is a life long disease. There is no known cure, but there are many ways to keep this disease in remission.

More than 500,000 Americans have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Although researchers have not figured out what causes Crohn’s disease, the inflammation is part of the body’s immune response. No specific ‘trigger’ has been linked to the disease. Some believe that Crohn’s is passed genetically as it tends to run in families.

Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include diarrhea, sometimes accompanied by blood, cramp like pain in the lower right part of the abdomen, fatigue and fever. Fever is one of the key characteristics of Crohn’s.

To treat the symptoms of Crohn’s, doctors use a variety of methods. Steroids are generally used to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. Studies show bacteria to be an important element in Crohn's disease. This may involve bacterial agents triggering the inflammatory process, thus being the reason antibiotics are becoming increasingly common in Crohn's disease.

Some patients with Crohn’s disease will require surgery at some point. This is recommended when medications can no longer control symptoms. Surgery is used either to relieve symptoms that do not respond to medical therapy or to correct complications such as blockage, perforation, abscess, or bleeding in the intestine. Surgery to remove part of the intestine can help people with Crohn’s disease, but it is not a cure. it is not uncommon for people with Crohn’s Disease to have multiple surgeries, as inflammation tends to return to the area next to where the diseased intestine was removed.

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