By Kirsten Whittaker
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes
inflammation in the digestive tract - from the mouth all the
way through to the anus. As a disease, it can be difficult to
diagnose due to its similarity to other inflammatory disorders
such as ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome.
Disease usually causes inflammation in the lower small
intestine, known as the ileum. The inflammation goes deep into
the wall of the intestine causing pain and diarrhea.
It is not known what causes Crohn’s disease, although it is
thought that it may be heredity in nature or the result of a
virus or bacterium invading the body. To date no definitive
answer has been provided. It effects both males and females
people suffering with this disease also tend to have immune
system abnormalities, although whether this is a cause or a
result of the disease is unknown. One thing that has been
established is that Crohn’s Disease is not caused by stress,
although emotional distress can exacerbate the symptoms.
Symptoms most commonly experienced by sufferers are severe
abdominal pain, accompanied by diarrhea. Some also report
bleeding from the rectum, weight loss and fevers. Children who
suffer with Crohn’s may experience some developmental and
growth delays due to the lack of essential vitamins and
minerals absorbed into the body.
Due to it’s similarity to other inflammatory diseases and
syndromes determining if a patient is actually suffering with
Crohn’s disease requires a thorough physical exam and a number
of tests to be carried out. These can include blood tests to
check for anemia and providing stool samples to check for
which could indicate an infection or bleeding in the
Further, more invasive tests can also be required, for example
drinking a barium liquid and having a series of x-rays taken
which will highlight any inflammation or abnormalities. A
colonoscopy may be required to confirm the diagnosis as
disease. In this case an endoscope is inserted into the anus
up into the large intestine to look for bleeding or
inflammation. A small sample of tissue may be taken at this
point for further analysis. Once Crohn’s disease has been
confirmed further tests may be needed to determine the extent
of the inflammation.
There is no actual cure for Crohn’s disease, although some
people, through proper management, can be free of symptoms for
extended periods. The treatment for Crohn’s disease varies
person to person as it depends on the severity of the disease
and the area effected. Typically, all treatments aim to reduce
the inflammation, relieve the pain, diarrhea and bleeding and
ensure that the sufferer has the correct nutritional intake.
There are three main ways of achieving these goals,
surgery or dietary changes.
About The Author: Kirsten Whittaker has an interest in Crohn’s
Disease. To access more articles on Crohn’s Disease click on
the following link –
for additional crohn’s information and resources go here -