Chron's Disease is a form of Inflammatory bowel disease. It usually affects the intestines but can occur anywhere from the mouth to the rectum. The cause of Chron's disease is unknown, they belive the problem is linked with the body's immune system. The immune system is composed of immune cells and the proteins that these immune cells produce. Normally, these cells and proteins defend the body against harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other foreign invaders,with Chron's disease the immune system can't tell the difference between normal body tissue and foreign substances. When Chron's disease narrows the small intestine to the point of obstruction, the flow of the contents through the intestine ceases.

There are five different types of Chron's disease: Gastroduodenal , Jejunoileitis, Ileitis, Ileocolitis, and Granulomatous Colitis.

  • Ileocolitis is the most common form. It affects the lowest part of the small intestine (ileum) and the large intestine (colon).
  • Ileitis affects the ileum.
  • Gastroduodenal Crohn's disease causes inflammation in the stomach and first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum.
  • Jejunoileitis causes spotty patches of inflammation in the top half of the small intestine (jejunum).
  • Crohn's (granulomatous) colitis only affects the large intestine.
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Signs and Symptoms:

Symptoms range from mild to severe, and can come and go with periods of flare-ups. Signs and symptoms of this disorder start with abdominal pain. The pain often is described as cramps and the abdomen may be sore when touched. Abdominal pain may turn to a dull, constant ache as the condition progresses. Since Chrons disease takes place in the rectum area diarrhea is another main symptom.

The inflammation that occurs in Chrons disease causes cells in the affected areas of your intestine to secrete large amounts of water and salt. Since the colon can't completely absorb this excess fluid, you develop diarrhea. The diarrhea may lead to weight loss. Abdominal pain and cramping and the inflammatory reaction in the wall of your bowel can affect both your appetite and your ability to digest and absorb food. This disease can cause small sores on the intestine that eventually become large ulcers that penetrate deep into and sometimes through the intestinal walls.

You may also have ulcers in your mouth similar to canker sores. People with severe Chrons disease may also experience a fever, arthritis, skin disorders, eye inflammation and delayed growth or sexual development. Food moving through your digestive tract may cause inflamed tissue to bleed, or your bowel may also bleed on its own. You might notice bright red blood in the toilet bowl or darker blood mixed with your stool. You can also have bleeding that you can't see, known as occult blood.


Treatment:

The main treatment for Chrons disease is medicine to stop the inflammation in the intestine and medicine to prevent flare-ups and keep you in remission. A few people have severe, persistent symptoms or complications that may require a stronger medicine, a combination of medicines, or surgery. Types of drug therapies are Anti-Inflammation Drugs, Cortisone or Steroids, and Antibiotics. In the beginning, when the disease it at its worst, prednisone is usually prescribed in a large dose. The dosage is then lowered once symptoms have been controlled. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine caused by stricture, fistulas, or prior surgery Surgery may be needed if no medicine is effective, if you have serious side effects from medicine, if your symptoms can be controlled only with long-term use of corticosteroids. No specific diet has been shown to improve or worsen the bowel inflammation in Chrons disease. However, eating a healthy amount of calories, vitamins, and protein is important to avoid malnutrition and weight loss. Specific food problems may vary from person to person.

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History:


The first description of Chrons was made by the Italian physician Giovanni Battista Morgagni in 1769, when he diagnosed a young man with a chronic, debilitating illness and diarrhea. Successful cases were reported in 1904 by Antoni Lesniowski and John Berg.

At the meeting of the British Medical Association,Scottish physician T. Kennedy Dalziel, described nine cases in which the patients suffered from obstruction in the intestines. On close examination of the inflamed bowel, the trans-mural inflammation that is characteristic of the disease was very evident. Abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and weight loss were observed in most patients, particularly young adults, in the 1920s and 1930s.The disease may occur at any age, but it usually occurs in people between ages 15 - 35. Crohn’s disease affects men and women equally and seems to run in some families. About 20 percent of people with Crohn’s disease have a blood relative with some form of inflammatory bowel disease, most often a brother or sister and sometimes a parent or child.


Sources :
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001295
http://gicare.com/Diseases/Crohns.aspx
http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/crohns-disease/tc/crohns-disease-treatment-overview?page=2
http://www.mayoclinic.org/crohns/