Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract. Some people may be symptom free most of their lives, while others can have severe chronic symptoms that never go away. It can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, and fatigue. In some cases Crohn’s disease can cause life-threatening complications.
The diagnosis of Crohn’s disease can sometimes be challenging, and a number of tests are often required to assist the physician in making the diagnosis. A colonoscopy is the best test for making the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, as it allows direct visualization of the colon. MRI and X-ray images of the bowel are taken over time, which is useful for looking for inflammation and narrowing of the small bowel. Also a complete blood count is performed to help reveal anemia which can be caused by blood loss.
Treatment of Crohn’s?
While there’s no known cure for Crohn’s disease, therapies can greatly reduce its signs and symptoms and even bring about long-term remission. With treatment, many people with Crohn’s disease are able to function well. A change in lifestyle can also help reduce the symptoms of Crohn’s. Dietary adjustments, proper hydration, and smoking cessation are a few ways to help reduce the symptoms. Also the use of medications such as steroids and immunosuppressant’s are used to slow the progression of disease. If the medications aren’t effective, a patient may require surgery. Postsurgical recurrence of Crohn’s is relatively common. Crohn’s usually comes back at the site where the diseased intestine was removed and the healthy ends were rejoined.
Who Does Crohn’s Affect?
Crohn’s disease can occur at any age, but you’re likely to develop the condition when you’re young. Most people who develop Crohn’s disease are diagnosed before they’re around 30 years old. You are also at a higher risk of Crohn’s if you have a relative who was also diagnosed.