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CROHN DISEASE

Crohn's disease is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the lining of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.. It is an autoimmune disorder, meaning your body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue in your body.

Crohn's disease is chronic (ongoing), 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.

Symptoms

Symptoms can range from mild to severe. One may also have period of no signs and symptoms.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Delayed growth (in younger children)
  • Blood in stool
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Non intestinal manifestations: it includes inflammation of skin, eyes and joints, urinary tract complications and liver disease

Diagnosis

Crohn's disease will likely be diagnosed only after ruling out other possible causes for your signs and symptoms. There is no one test to diagnose Crohn's disease.

  • Colonoscopy
  • Plain x-ray abdomen
  • USG abdomen
  • Barium meal follow through

Risk Factors

  • Family history
  • Age: It usually occurs before the age of 30 year.
  • Infections: Mycobacterium  tuberculosis and atypical mycobacteria
  • Smoking
  • NSAIDs(pain killer) medications
  • Immunologically predisposed

Complications

  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Stricture formation
  • Ulcers, fistulas
  • Bleeding
  • Malnutrition
  • Abscess formation in perianal area
  • Colon cancer 

Treatment

Treatment for Crohn's disease usually involves drug therapy or, in certain cases, surgery. There is currently no cure for the disease

  • Medical
  • Initial phase: 5 aminosalicylic acid, steroids
  • Maintenance  phase: azathioprine
  • Supportive therapy: anti diarrheal, Cessation of smoking, protein diet, vitamin supplementation,  pain relievers, avoid NSAIDs etc.
  • Surgery:
  • In case of failure of medical treatment
  • In cases of complications