Crohn’s Disease

Overview

Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease. Usually affecting the intestines, researchers believe that Crohn’s Disease occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly confuses healthy body tissue as a threat and ends up attacking that tissue, destroying instead of protecting it. This is also known as an autoimmune disorder. It has affected countless people over the years and commonly begins during ages 13 to 30. It is believed to run in some families, meaning certain individuals may be more likely to contract this disease during their lifetime, though this may not necessarily be the case for all people who have had a relative contract it.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Although, the exact causes of Crohn’s Disease are unknown, there are ways to diagnose the disease and recognize it at its earlier and later stages of development. Some common symptoms are diarrhea and pain in the abdominal area. Other symptoms of Crohn’s Disease include weight loss, bleeding of the rectum, constipation, eye inflammation, the appearance of fistulas, swollen gums, fatigue and a fever may also be present in the affected individual. When visiting the hospital, following the discovery of any of these symptoms, the patient’s doctor will perform a series of tests that include imaging tests, a colonoscopy, a physical exam and various other lab related tests. Since Crohn’s Disease can cause such complications as blockages and ulcers in the intestines, as well as difficulty absorbing and utilizing vital nutrients, it is important to get help before symptoms worsen. This is particularly important for children, since difficulties in growth may arise.

Causes

There are numerous theories surrounding the probable cause of Crohn’s Disease. One of these theories is that several elements may play a part in the contraction of this disease. It’s a popular belief that Crohn’s Disease is largely given through genes. Those with a strong Jewish descent are said to be at the greatest risk, though the possibility that it is a hereditary disease is still under examination. Other possible causes include smoking, environmental elements and an individual body’s tendency to overcompensate protection against common bacteria found in the intestines.  Continue reading for Prevention information . . .

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