Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a type of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). It tends to affect the intestine but it can affect anywhere from the mouth to the anus.


The H&E strain also known as Crohn's Disease

How Crohn's Disease Occurs and Its Causes and Risk Factors

The cause of Crohn's disease is unknown but it is known that it is linked to a problem with body's immune system response.

The immune system protects the body from

foreign particles but when someone has Crohn's disease the immune system is unable to tell the difference between foreign particles and normal body tissue. This leads to chronic immflamation. This is an autoimmune disorder.

People with Crohn's disease have ongoing chronic immflamation in the gastrointestinal tract. The immflamation causes the intestinal wall to become thick.
There are several types of Crohn's disease depending on where the immflamation is in the gastrointestinal tract.

Genes and environment seem to play a role in Crohn's disease. The body might actually be overreacting to normal bacteria in the intestine.

Crohn's disease can occur any time throughout a lifetime but often happens in 15-35 year olds. People who have family history of Crohn's disease, smoke or have Jewish ancestors have a higher chance of getting Crohn's disease than other people.


If you smoke, increases the risk of getting Crohn's Disease by four or five times

What Crohn's Disease's Symptons are

There are different syptoms for Crohn's Disease depending on which area of the gastrointestinal tract is affected.
People with Crohn's Disease often experience these symptons:

  • Belly pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tenesmus
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight Loss

Other syptoms are:

  • Constipation
  • Eye inflammation
  • Fistulas
  • Joint pain
  • Live inflammation
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Bloody stools
  • Skin ulcers
  • Swollen gums


Affected Areas of Crohn's Disease

Signs and Tests

Pyshical examinations can reveal an abdominal mass or tenderness, skin rash, swollen joints, or mouth ulcers. Diagnostic tests for Crohn's disease are:

  • Barium enema
  • Colonoscopy
  • CT scan of the abdomen
  • Endoscopy
  • MRI of the abdomen
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Enteroscopy
  • Upper GI series

A stool culture can remove some causes of symptons but this disease changes the results in some tests.


This is a CT scan of the abdomen, the arrows refer to where Crohn's Disease has affected the abdomen.


Diet and Nutrition

Have a well-balanced and healthy diet. It is very important for you to get enough esential nutrients from varieties of food.

To avoid diarrhea and gas symptons make possible changes to your diet such as:
  • Do not eat too much food
  • Drink lots of water through small amounts throughout the day
  • Avoid foods high in fibre
  • Avoid things with visible lipids
  • If you are lactose-intolerant limit the intake of dairy products
  • Avoid foods that make you gas


It is very important to have a healthy and balanced diet during Crohn's Disease.


If you feel stressed about having a bowel accident and have other stress impacting on your life you should visit a doctor or nurse for tips to manage stress.


Go to your nurse or doctor for tips on managing stress.


If you have bad diarrhea you can take Loperamide. However, always talk to your doctor or nurse before taking drugs.

Here are other drugs that can help with symptons:

  • Fibre supplements, consult with your doctor before using them
  • Laxative medicines, consult with your doctor before using them
  • Tylenol for mild pain
  • Do not use drugs like asprin as they may make the symptons even worse

Your doctor may give you prescriptions for stronger pain medicines such as:

  • Aminosalicylates to treat moderate symptons
  • Corticosteroids to treat moderate to severe symptons
  • Antibiotics for abscesses or fistulas


Consult to your doctor before you use any medication


Bowel resection is only to happen if medicines do not work. During bowel resection the diseased portion of the intestines are remove to drain an abscess.

Surgery should happen when medicine is not working and these complications start showing:

  • Bleeding
  • Failure to grow in children
  • Fistulas
  • Infections
  • Narrowing of the intestine


Have surgery when medicine does not work. However, this does not get rid of Crohn's Disease.


Unfortunately, there is no cure Crohn's diease. Also you have a higher chance of getting small bowel and colon cancer.

Bibliography: on 21/06/11 Author: A.D.A.M. Copyright © 2011 Accesed on 25/06/11 Author: NIH Publication No. 06–3410 February 2006 Accesed on 27/06/11 Author: G.E.S.A, A.G.I. and ACCA

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NIH Publication No. 06–3410
February 2006