What is Crohn's Disease: symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment.
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the digestive system. It causes inflammation in the lining of the digestive tract, leading to abdominal pain, exhaustion, and weight loss. Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease can vary in severity, and can include: diarrhea, fever, cramping, rectal bleeding, fatigue, loss of appetite, and unintended weight loss.
The cause of Crohn’s Disease is currently unknown, however, it is believed to be an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks healthy cells in the digestive tract. It is also thought that it may be caused by genetics, environmental factors, or a combination of both.
A diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease is made after a physical exam, blood tests, and an endoscopy. An endoscopy involves passing a thin flexible tube with a light on the end, through the mouth and into the digestive tract. This allows the doctor to view the lining of the digestive tract and look for signs of inflammation.
Treatment for Crohn’s Disease typically involves medications, such as corticosteroids, that reduce inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics, and immunosuppressants may also be prescribed. In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove diseased portions of the digestive tract or to create a bypass around a blockage. Dietary changes, such as avoiding certain foods that may irritate the digestive tract, may also help to reduce symptoms.