Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease. It’s known for causing irritation in the digestive tract (GI tract). The condition mainly affects the ileum, which is located at the end of the small intestine. Crohn’s disease is known for causing painful abdominal cramps and frequent diarrhea. In cases where the condition is ongoing, dangerous scar tissue can actually form. According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), the disease is typically broken down into five categories. Ileocolitis is the most commonly diagnosed form of Crohn’s disease. It impacts both the ileum and the colon. The other types of Crohn’s disease affect different parts of the GI tract.

Causes for Crohn’s disease

At this point, the disease’s cause remains unknown. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, it’s likely triggered by an abnormal immune system reaction. For people with Crohn’s disease, the immune system attacks bacteria, foods and other nonthreatening substances. This causes a buildup of white blood cells in the intestines, which leads to inflammation. The most common symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease include diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, weight loss and fever.

Treatment

In terms of treatment, there’s no cure for the disease, but there are drugs that aim to keep inflammation under control. These medications include anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressants. Diet and nutrition also play a part. It is recommended that people with the condition avoid spicy foods and foods high in fiber. If dietary changes and medications are not enough, surgery may be an option. The CCFA reports that approximately two-thirds to three-quarters of all people with Crohn’s disease eventually end up opting for surgery. Surgical procedures for Crohn’s disease often involve removing parts of the digestive tract that have been damaged by the disease. According to Mayo Clinic, surgery may also aim to close fistulas and drain abscesses.

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