What is Crohn’s disease?

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Crohn’s disease is a chronic illness involving the intestinal tract.  It typically affects the small and large intestines but may also spread to any part of the digestive tract from the mouth down to the rectum.  It is characterized by the formation of ulcers in the various linings of the intestinal tract.  Along with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease is part of a disease group called IBD or inflammatory bowel diseases.

With affectation to the intestines and other parts of the digestive tract, symptoms of Crohn’s disease typically include cramping and pain in the stomach area.  With more ulceration involving the intestines, blood in the stool is also expected for many patients.  Some people affected by this disease may also get diarrhea while other will have mucus present in their stool.  The presence of mucus simply signifies that there are inflammatory changes going inside the intestinal tract and this could also lead to loss of appetite among patients.  Men and women are said to be equally affected by Crohn’s disease but in terms of actual cause for the disease, medical experts refer to it as idiopathic.  Idiopathic simply means that there is no known causative agent or factor for Crohn’s disease.  There is some evidence though that some patients with Crohn’s disease or IBD have also relatives who acquired this same disease in the past.

There is no actual cure for Crohn’s disease.  Treatment are mostly directed to the what symptoms are present during its relapsation phase after possible remission for several months.  For those in remission, no treatment or management may be prescribed by doctors.  As for those who have relapsing symtoms, medication may be given to address the ulcerations or inflammation and/or treat the pain.  Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are typically given in order to help patients go into remission or maintain the remission phase of Crohn’s disease.  Stronger drugs like immuno-modulators and surgery may be prescribed for serious cases of this illness.

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