Crohn’s disease is an illness that causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
The disease is caused by a combination of different factors like environment factors, problems in the immune system and genetics. At times due to the disease the immune system does not respond to the microbes well, thus causing inflammation. In some people the immune system may not react appropriately and cause inflammation in the digestive system resulting to intestinal injury and ulcers. If a member in the family has Crohn’s disease there are 10 to 20% chances of others too getting the disease, especially in particular ethnic groups.
Who usually gets Crohn’s disease?
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include severe constipation, bloody diarrhea and cramps or pain in the stomach. Other symptoms include fever, loss of weight, frequent and sudden need to visit the bathroom, nausea, fatigue and bleeding from the rectum. Symptoms could be mild or could leave the person weak. In severe cases complications like burning, swelling and pain in body parts like joints, eyes and skin, or partially or totally blocked intestine, fistulas or open sores in the anus, mouth and intestines or thickening of walls of the intestine may occur.
Diagnosis is done by the doctor with physical examination, testing blood samples for testing level of red blood cell count, blood protein, body minerals, blood sedimentation and white blood cells. Stool samples are taken to check infections microbes and blood. X rays, CT scans and endoscopy may also be done.
Treatment of the disease is possible with changes in lifestyle, consuming a healthy diet, exercising and taking anti inflammatory medicines, Acetylsalicylic acid drugs like Sulfasalazine, Balsalazide, Olsalazine and Mesalamine, antibiotics like Metronidazole and Ciprofloxacin, immune system drugs, biologics or prescription drugs. Self care is also advised and in severe cases surgery may be done.