Crohns Diseas Essay

1070 WordsMar 20, 20115 Pages
Crohn’s disease is an ongoing inflammation bowel disease of the digestive tract, also referred to as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that can cause ulcerations which is breaks in the lining of the small and large intestines. Crohn’s disease is named after the physician who described the disease in 1932 (www.gicare.com). Crohn’s disease can affect any area of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus, but it most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum. The swelling extends deep into the lining of the affected organ. The swelling can cause pain and can make the intestines empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea. Men and women are equally affected by Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease can occur in people of all age groups, but it is more often diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 30 (Black & Hawks). Crohn’s disease is relatively similar to another chronic inflammatory condition that involves only the colon called ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and ulcers in the top layer of the large intestine, while Crohn’s disease affects all layers of the intestine. Together, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are frequently referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (Black & Hawks). Several theories exist about the cause of Crohn’s disease, but none have been proven. The most popular theory is that the body’s immune system reacts abnormally in people with Crohn’s disease, mistaking bacteria, foods, and other substances for being foreign (www.gicare.com). The immune system’s response is to attack the invaders. During this process, white blood cells accumulate in the lining of the intestines, producing chronic inflammation, which leads to ulcerations and bowel injury. Scientists do not know if the abnormality in the functioning of the immune system in people with Crohn’s disease is cause, or a result, of the

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