Understanding Crohn's Disease

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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…show more content…
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 disease (www.gicare.com). Researches have shown that the inflammation seen in the GI tract of people with Crohn’s disease involves several factors such as genes the patient has inherited, immune system and environmental factors…show more content…
There is no cure for Crohn’s disease. Treatment may include drugs, nutrition supplements, and surgery. The goals of treatment are to control inflammation, correct nutritional deficiencies, and relieve symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. Some people have long periods of remission, sometimes years, when they are free of symptoms. However, the disease usually recurs at various times over a person’s lifetime. Someone with Crohn’s disease may need medical care for a long time, with regular doctor’s visits to monitor the condition. Most people with Crohn’s disease are first treated with anti-inflammation drugs such as mesalamine, and sulfasalazine which are used to control inflammation. Corticosteroids drugs such as prednisone are used. Immune system suppressor drugs such as 6-mercaptopurine is use by blocking the immune reaction that contributes to inflammation. Infiximab (Remicade) is a drug that is use to block the body’s inflammation response to treat moderate to severe Crohn’s disease that does not respond to standard treatment. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine caused by stricture, fistulas. Anti-diarrheal and fluid replacements drugs are also used. People with Crohn’s disease often experience a decrease in appetite, which can affect their ability to receive the daily

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