- by Bangalore Baptist Hospital
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- Nov 20 2017
WHAT IS CROHN’S DISEASE?
Crohn's disease (ileitis or regional enteritis) is a chronic illness of the intestine, bowel and other parts of your digestive tracts. These areas experience inflammation and ulcers, leading to abdominal pain and other symptoms.
Crohn's disease is painful and debilitating, and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications.
The exact cause of the disease is not known but certain factors such as immunity, heredity and diet may play a role in aggravating the disease.
- Genetics: Crohn’s disease could run in families and some ethnic groups could be more prone to it.
- Immune System: The immune system may get disrupted and release a special protein known as tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) to kill all bacteria (friendly or otherwise). This causes most of the inflammation.
- Smoking: If you are a heavy or chronic smoker, you are more likely to develop this disease and experience severe symptoms.
- Past Infection: A previous childhood infection can cause abnormal immune response.
- Environmental Factors: People living in urbanised and developed nations are more likely to develop this disease. This is related to western lifestyle and consumption of refined and high fat diets.
Your colon and small intestine are the most affected areas. Signs may range from mild to severe.
- Fever & Fatigue
- Rectal bleeding
- Weight loss and malnutrition
- Abdominal pain
- Mouth sores
- Stunted growth (in kids)
Once the doctor has been made aware of your symptoms, you may be ask to take certain tests to check for Crohn’s disease, such as – Blood test, stool sample, colonoscopy, MRE scans, etc.
There is no cure for Crohn’s disease but treatment is available that aims at reducing symptoms and maintain remission. Treatment may range from antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, nutritional therapy and surgery. You may be required to make certain lifestyle changes to better manage the symptoms.
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