Best Resources for Crohn’s Disease

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Tilghman Whitacre Health

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Atlanta Health Specialists

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Casey Jean Wellness

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Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes swelling and irritation in the digestive tract, resulting in local or systemic complications. Some local complications include abscess due to bacterial infections, bile salt diarrhea - due to fat malabsorption, fissure - tear in the lining of the anus resulting in bloody stools, fistula - sores or ulcers that turn into openings, reduced appetite leading to weight loss and malnutrition, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) - causes gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, Strictures - narrowed, thickened areas of the intestines due to the inflammation. Systemic complications include arthritis, skin conditions such as erythema nodosum (small red nodules on the shins, ankles, arms), pyoderma gangrenosum (pus-filled sores following an injury), skin tags, and mouth ulcers/canker sores. Other associated symptoms are fever, kidney stones, iron deficiency (anemia), delayed growth and/or sexual development in children. There are five variations of Crohn’s disease: Ileocolitis, Crohn’s colitis, Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease, Ileitis, and Jejunoileitis. The cause of Crohn's disease remains unknown however it is thought that genes, immune system complications, smoking, stomach bugs, and an imbalance of gut bacteria play a role. The ileum (the last section of the small intestine) or the colon (the large intestine) are the usual regions of inflammation in the digestive tract. However, inflammation can occur anywhere in the digestive system. There is no known cure for Crohn's disease, however the symptoms can be managed. Common treatments are steroid tablets (reduce inflammation in the digestive system); tablets or injections; surgery. Further, there is no standard test to diagnose Crohn's disease, so a series of tests are usually performed. These include blood tests; feces testing; colonoscopy - inserting a long flexible tube attached with a camera and light into the rectum and up the colon; small bowel enema (SBE) - inserting a tube through the nose and down the throat into the small intestine to take an X-ray; computerized tomography (CT) scan; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan - the use of a magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body; a wireless capsule endoscopy - swallowing a small capsule that transmit images wirelessly to a computer; biopsy - examining a small sample of tissue from the body; and enema - injecting fluid into the large intestine to empty the bowel.