Crohn's Disease

If you are suffering from frequent abdominal cramps or pain, reduced or lost appetite and unintentional weight loss? You may have Crohn's disease and should consult with your doctor is these symptoms persist or have been occurring for a long time.

What is Crohn's Disease?

It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) wherein the intestines are swollen or inflamed. The large intestine also referred to as the colon is frequently affected by this disorder which affects colon function, while the small intestine is affected most commonly.

crohn's diseaseIt occurs equally in both men and women and is generally noted in the individuals between the age group of 20 to 30 years. This disorder is also commonly referred to as ileitis or enteritis.

It can result in the patient suffering severe abdominal pain and can also lead to life-threatening situations in certain instances. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can improve the quality of life of those suffering from it.

Do You Know About Crohns Disease?

If you suffer from this illness, it can result in severe pain that may restrict you from performing everyday activities and can also be at times life threatening. This disorder affects about 1 in every 1,500 individuals and can occur anytime between the ages 15-40 years.

What Are The Causes of Crohn's?

Although the exact cause of this disease is unknown, factors such as defect in the immune system (our body's defense system) or heredity have been proposed to play a vital role in the occurrence of this disease. In case of individuals with the condition, the body's defense system overreacts to the infection caused by certain bacteria resulting inflammation of the colon.

This reaction which is generally a controlled one may increase substantially in severity in cases of individuals with this illness. In some instances, the condition is observed to run in families wherein 20 percent of the affected individuals have a parent, sibling or other relative who is also a sufferer.

Am I At Risk?

You may be at an increased risk of developing this condition if:

How Do I Know If I Have Crohn's Disease?

This condition is generally characterized by certain symptoms and visible signs such as:

Fever, skin problems and arthritis (inflammation of the joints) can also be observed. Furthermore, this condition may also lead to anemia (decrease in red blood cells in the body), delayed growth in children and eye inflammation.

Consult a doctor if you experience any or some of these signs and symptoms.

The doctors usually perform a complete physical examination and advise certain specialized tests to diagnose Crohn's. The laboratory tests include blood tests, colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy (both involve the insertion of a tube like device with camera into the colon), barium enema (introduction of fluid contain barium into the colon followed by X-ray), plain X-ray of the colon and at times CT scanning of the intestines.

These tests help the doctors to identify the inflammation and also rule out the presence of other disorders.

How Is Crohn's Disease Treated?

The treatment of this illness is based on the severity of the condition and includes a wide variety of treatments. Your doctor is the best starting point if you are concerned over this problem.

Medications that belong to the group of anti-inflammatory agents, immune system suppressing agents, antibiotics, pain killers, anti-diarrheal agents, laxatives, iron supplements, and vitamin and mineral supplements are advised as appropriate. Surgery is attempted as a last resort wherein the affected portions of the colon are surgically removed.

Some Tips For Sufferers

While you cannot prevent the occurrence of this condition some of the following measures are helpful in relieving the symptoms of Crohn's Disease.

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