Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease and is one of two inflammatory diseases that affects the intestines (the other one is Ulcerative colitis). It is an inflammation that may affect any part of the digestive tract from the mouth down to the anus, but It most commonly affects the ileum (the lower small intestine). Crohn’s disease appears in the prime of life from the age of ten up to thirty years old and is characterized with inflammatory granules (a combination of infections, cysts and ulcers). However, it was found that 40% of the patients with Crohn’s disease develop a partial inflammatory granules and at times did not have granules at all. The inflammation may extend through the entire thickness of the bowel wall.
Crohn’s is a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract characterized by occasional severe fits after periods of remission. The symptoms differ from one person to another and from time to time. They range from mild and bearable to very severe that requires hospitalization, parenteral feeding, intravenous medication, and even surgery.
Types of Crohn’s disease:
- Ileocolitis: The most common form of Crohn’s disease which affects the ileum and the colon. Its symptoms are: weight loss, diarrhea, and painful cramps in the right lower part or middle phase of the abdomen.
- Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease: This type affects the stomach and the beginning of the duodenal. Symptoms may include nausea, loss of appetite, Weight loss, and vomiting.
- Jejunoileitis: Inflammation in the jejunum which is the part of the small intestine between the duodenum and the ileum. Symptoms may Include cramps after meals, abdominal pain, as well as diarrhea.
- Crohn’s (granulomatous) colitis: This type affects only the colon. Symptoms may include: skin lesions, joint pain, rectal bleeding, abscess, fistula, ulcer around the anus, and also diarrhea.
Causes for Crohn’s Disease:
The main cause for Crohn’s disease is still unknown. But there are likely to be several factors:
- A shock or stress.
- Bacterial infection or parasitic infection.
- The intake of antibiotics.
- Also allergy to certain medications.
- Chronic diarrhea at times accompanied with blood or mucus.
- Frequent pain in the right lower phase of the abdomen.
- Appetite loss and weight loss is a common symptom for Crohn’s.
- Mild fever.
- Nausea and also vomiting.
- Wounds in the area around the anus.
Complications of Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease complications can lead to other diseases either in the digestive system or in other organs, such as:
- Inside the digestive system: malnutrition as a result of malabsorption of vitamins and minerals in the affected parts of the intestines, inflammatory ulcers in the intestines and the anus, rectal bleeding, and intestinal obstruction.
- Outside the digestive system: inflammations of the inner layer of the eye, arthritis, osteoporosis, increased risk of gastrointestinal tumors, anemia, liver and gallbladder disorders, rash, as well as slow growth in children.