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Crohn's disease

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Crohn's Disease is a disease that causes swelling in the digestive tract. It is most often found in the smallest intestine, the Ileum. The swelling goes down the digestive tract starting from a twisting tube from the mouth all the way down to the anus. The swelling causes excruciating pain and makes the intestine empty bowels more than usual. The swelling leads to a scar tissue building up inside the intestine and creates a narrow passageway that slows the movement of food and causes cramps. The cramping and swelling often tends to make the patient have frequent diarrhea.[1]

History

Crohns Disease was named after an American gastroenterologist, Dr. Burrill Crohn. At first it was known as a medical entity when it was being discovered in 1932. It was first described by an Italian doctor by the name of Giovanni Battista Morgagni in 1769. Throughtout the years, more people around the world began to have symptoms of this disease. Crohn's was not yet discovered and was still being questioned if it was a real disease or not. Doctors all over the world started tracking down how many people seemed to have this rare disease and started having meetings to figure out what it was. On May 13, 1932, Dr. Crohn and his team wrote a paper on what would soon become Crohn's Disease. The paper was published in newspapers and articles all over the world. The paper was published during a time period when the medical community was looking for new diseases. The paper grew to be very popular and many doctors were interested about this new disease. After thorough examination, Dr. Burrill Crohn had published the new disease.[2] The cause of Crohn's Disease is still unknown. It is believed to be an abnormal reaction by the body's immune system. Even though the immune system is supposed to protect the body from bad bacteria, viruses and other illnesses, Crohn's Disease attacks bacteria, foods, and other things that are harmless to the body. Over the years, researchers have found that there is a high level of protein, tumor necrosis factor produced in people with Crohn's Disease.

Description

The inflammation of the intestines often starts out in the mucosa. The disease can then grow inside and spread out to different layers of the intestines and the bowel. Due to the inflammation, ulcers start to grow and spread throughout the intestines while growing in size. The lining of the intestine is covered with inflammation so that it can no longer absorb the nutrients and water the body needs to keep healthy and turns into malabsorption. Once the body goes through malabsorption, more problems start to develop. As the inflammation grows, the lining of the intestine becomes more narrow and thick not allowing bowels to come through the intestine. This leads to obstruction and can be treated by doctors, but can become permanent. The inflammation in the intestines can make its way all the down to the anus causing ripping and tearing of the skin. It can create sores in and around the anus and make a abscess, an area of inflamed or dead tissue. Sometimes a fistula (a abnormal passageway between two organs in the body) is formed usually between the bladder and the vagina, and in some cases, the outside of the body [3]

Close up of Crohns disease.jpg

Symptoms

Crohn's disease happens to be very painful. The stomach area becomes very fragile and sensitive to touch. The most common symptom is stomach cramping. It starts out as a slowly progressive stomach cramp that later turns into a long lasting cramp. Crohn's tends to cause excessive diarrhea that can result up to twenty or more times a day. When the disease becomes worse, the patient develops a high fever this can mean they have an infection. Due to the diarrhea, weight loss is very dangerous symptom. The patient loses their appetite and goes to the bathroom so frequently, it is hard to keep all the nutrients the body needs. They eventually lose so many blood cells, the patient may develop anemia. Anemia might occur due to the loss of blood cells that produce the iron in the body,the blood loss in the stools, or the inflammation in the intestines. Due to the lack of red blood cells, there is less oxygen carried to the cells throughout the body. Sometimes if the disease is more severe, it leads up to the inside of the mouth and starts producing sores in the mouth. After a while, the anus starts to swell up because of the inflammation and diarrhea. Ulcers start to form in the deep layers of the skin causing the skin to rip in the anus. [4]

Diagnosis

Crohn's Disease can be hard to diagnose because there are so many other diseases like it. It is often diagnosed incorrectly and treated for another disease. There are many different tests to see if one has Crohn's Disease. A doctor can perform a blood test to see if the patient has anemia, a case of a high amount of white blood cells in the body. A stoole test can be performed to see if there is any bleeding in the intestine. Crohn's Disease can also be diagnosed by a colonoscopy, a strict diet is instructed and sometimes a laxative is given to the patient. A flexible tube with a camera is inserted into the anus to check for inflammation. There are many other scans that can be given to someone with Crohn's Disease to check if they have it.[5]

Cures

Most Crohn's disease patients can be treated, but some cases are to severe. There is no cure for Crohn's Disease. There are many ways to reduce the pain and symptoms, but once someone has it, they are likely to have it the rest of their lives. There can be a time period of weeks up to years with no symptoms. This makes it difficult to know if a treatment has worked or not. In mild cases, some patients can be treated with an antidiarrheal medicine to stop the swelling. For more severe cases, most patients are given corticosteroids through the veins. For ongoing treatments, patients are put into remission and put on multiple different kinds of medication. If it gets to be really bad, doctors perform a surgery that will take away the diseased bowel.The most common surgeries are a Proctocolectomy, a surgery to remove the rectum and part of the colon. An Ileostomy surgery is a procedure where the doctor attaches the ileum to a stoma. An ostomy pouch is then attached to the stoma to and is worn on the outer side of the body to collect bowel movements. An intestinal resection surgery is where the intestine is cut at the ends of the diseased areas and are connected to the body again with the healthy ends of the intestine. [6]. There are many natural ways to overcome Crohn's Disease. Taking mastic, fish oil, curcumin,and aloe MP plus help take away the disease. A strict diet will help in many ways. Most of the food now days is overly processed, loaded with carbohydrates, and high in unhealthy fats leading to problems in the body. All this bad food can lead to a high balance of of acidity in the GI tract, indigestion, poor absorption of foods, buildup of toxins,and autoimmune reactions. All of these reactions can make the gastrointestinal tract inflamed and ulcerated. Food allergies is a big problem with Crohn's Disease.Allergic reactions can cause more swelling and inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.[7]

References

  1. Crohn's Disease National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC. Web. Accessed on 15 November 2012. Author Unkown.
  2. Bellamy, Max. History of Crohns Disease EzineAtricles. Web. Date of access 15 November 2012.
  3. Crohn's Disese eMedicineHealth. Web. Accessed on 15 November 2012. Unkown Author.
  4. Crohn's Disease Health Center WebMD. Web. Accessed on 15 November 2012. Author Unknown.
  5. Crohn's Disease National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC. Web. Accessed on 15 November 2012. Author Unkown.
  6. Treatment for Crohn's Disease WebMD. Web. Accessed on 15 November 2012. Author Unknown.
  7. Find a Natural Cure for Crohn's Disease: Preview NarualCures.com. Web. Accessed on 15 November 2012. Author Unkown.