Crohn’s disease. It is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes ulcers to form in the digestive tract anywhere from the mouth to the anus.
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- 1 Definition
- 2 People who may have Crohn’s disease
- 3 Identification of the disease
- 4 Treatment of Crohn’s disease
- 5 Treatment success
- 6 Source
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes ulcers to form in the digestive tract anywhere from the mouth to the anus. Symptoms include stomach cramps and pain that comes and goes, diarrhea and blood in your stool. Other symptoms include losing weight, feeling sick to your stomach, having joint pain, and feeling tired. Some people who have Crohn’s disease have severe symptoms, while others have less severe symptoms. Some people with the disease have long periods without symptoms, even without treatment. Others with more serious illness will require long-term treatment or even surgery.
People who may have Crohn’s disease
Almost 500,000 people in the United States of America have Crohn’s disease. It can give anyone Crohn’s disease but it is more common in women, in white people and of Jewish ancestry. It is not known what causes Crohn’s disease. It appears to be inherited in families but there is no known hereditary pattern.
Identification of the disease
If your doctor thinks you may have Crohn’s disease, the doctor will ask about your symptoms and do a complete exam to see if you have signs of the disease. If your symptoms and your test results suggest that you have Crohn’s disease, your doctor may do some blood tests. Although there is no blood test to show that you have Crohn’s disease, your blood may show anemia, an imbalance of salts, a vitamin deficiency, or signs of increased inflammation; and all these symptoms are possible signs of this disease. Your doctor may also order special x-rays or a procedure called an endoscopy. Endoscopy allows your doctor to look into your digestive tract to check for ulcers,
Crohn’s disease treatment
The treatment of Crohn’s disease depends on how advanced Crohn’s disease is and where it is located within your digestive tract. When the disease is mild, medications called salicylates can help. Certain antibiotics are also used to treat mild Crohn’s disease.
Steroids are generally used in people who have more severe disease. In more aggressive illness, steroids can be used in combination with immunosuppressants or with a new medicine called infliximab. If you have very severe Crohn’s disease you may have to be hospitalized. Sometimes surgery is required, but it cannot cure the disease.
The success of treatment for Crohn’s disease varies. Although the cure for the disease is not known, many people have long periods without symptoms. Your doctor will need to see you regularly to assess signs of active disease or any complications of the disease. People who have had Crohn’s disease for a long time may become depressed or have other mood disorders. Your doctor will also do an evaluation for these problems.