What is Crohn's Disease?
Crohn's disease is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. It is an autoimmune disorder, meaning your body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in your body.
Crohn's disease is chronic, and may appear and disappear at various times. Initially, it may affect only a small part of your gastrointestinal tract, but the disease has the potential to progress extensively.
Crohn's disease appears early in life;approximately one-sixth of patients have symptoms before 15 years of age. Although the cause is unknown, doctors suspect a genetic influence, since many members of the same family may be affected.
What are the Symptoms of Crohn's Disease?
Crohn's disease often begins in a person's teens or twenties, though some patients experience symptoms even earlier. Most common symptoms include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Weight loss
How is Crohn's Disease Diagnosed?
Our gastroenterologist may suspect Crohn's disease based on your medical history and a review of your symptoms. You may have you undergo several tests and procedures to help determine a diagnosis. These tests and procedures include:
- Blood test
- Stool sample
- Small bowel enteroscopy
- CT Scan
How is Crohn's Disease Treated?
Treatment for patients with Crohn's Disease include medication, and in severe cases, surgery. Because it is a disorder of the immune system, in which the body attacks cells within the colon, the goals of treatment are to suppress inflammatory episodes (causing the disease to go into remission) and to improve quality of life.
Common treatments for Crohn's Disease include:
- Nutrition counseling