Crohn’s disease was named after the famous doctor who first discovered the disease in year 1932. He is Dr. Burrill B. Crohn together with his colleagues Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer and Dr. Leon Ginzburg. Crohn’s disease symptoms vary from one patient to another patient and some may also be more common than others. Crohn’s disease is not fatal, though exception could be ignored. It is more common for people with Northern European origin.
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is a disease that causes swelling, irritation, and inflammation primarily to the digestive tract or primarily called the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The irritation and swelling reaches the lining of the affected organ which causes pain and leads to frequent emptying of the intestines.
Normally, our gastrointestinal tract consists of a series of hollow organs joined in a long and twisting tube from the mouth down to the esophagus, to the stomach and small intestine, and ends into the anus. The digestion of foods happened with the release of some enzymes and hormones together with the movement of the GI tract.
Ileum which is the end part of the small intestine that connects to the large intestine is the most commonly affected part of this disease, although it can also occur in any part of the digestive tract. Its symptoms sometimes mistakenly linked to another disease which is ulcerative colitis. The similarity of these symptoms makes diagnosis difficult. Doctors typically need to perform series of visual tests together with blood test to come up with a proper crohns diagnosis. Some of these tests include endoscopy, signoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and many others.
Who Are At Risk?
Crohn’s disease equally affects men and women and it may seem to run in some families. Crohn’s disease occurs in people of all ages but it is more prevalent among adolescents and young adults between the ages of 13 and 35. African Americans have a decreased risk of developing Crohn’s disease, and People of Jewish heritage have an increased risk. Men and women who smoke are also more likely to develop Crohn’s disease than nonsmokers.
What Are The Causes Of This Disease?
What causes this disease is totally unknown. However, Researchers believe that Crohn’s disease could be caused by some bacteria or like which when is fought by the immune system, the inflammation sensation is caused. Researchers have reasons to believe that the inappropriate response of the immune system causes the Crohn’s disease to surface.
Normally, immune system protects people from infection by identifying and destroying bacteria, viruses, or other potentially harmful foreign substances. What happened in Crohn’s disease is that the immune system attacks bacteria, foods, and other substances that are actually harmless or beneficial. In this process, white blood cells accumulate in the lining of the intestines, producing chronic inflammation, which leads to ulcers, or sores, and injury to the intestines.
Research shows that the inflammation seen in the GI tract of people with Crohn’s disease involves several factors: the environment, the genes the person has inherited, and the person’s immune system. High levels of a protein produced by the immune system, called tumor necrosis factor (TNF), are present in people with Crohn’s disease. However, researchers do not know whether increased levels of tumor necrosis factor and abnormal functioning of the immune system are causes or results of Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s Disease Symptoms
Way back then, Crohn’s disease eventually was classified as type of Irritable Bowel Disease and was proven to be a genetic disorder. If a family member has this condition, it is most likely that close relatives can also develop this disease in the later years. Aside from genetics, it is believed that faulty lifestyles can also trigger this condition in both men and women. It is also thought to be an auto immune disorder that causes hypersensitivity reactions that will takes place in the digestive tract causing the severe swelling and pain.
Since Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the intestine, symptoms may vary greatly from patient to patient. Common symptoms include:
• Persistent Diarrhea
• Weight loss without trying
• Loss of appetite
• Night sweats
• Abdominal pain and cramping
• Skin lesions
• Joint pain
• Anal pain or drainage
• Rectal abscess
• Rectal bleeding
• Constipation which may lead to bowel obstruction
• Sensation of incomplete evacuation
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. This means that patients will likely experience periods when the disease flares up and causes symptoms, followed by periods of remission when patients may not notices symptoms at all. In more severe cases, inflammation may cause a fistula to develop. It is a tunnel that leads from one loop of intestine to another. Crohn’s disease can also lead to fissures or tears in the lining of the anus, which may cause pain and bleeding, especially during bowel movements.
Symptoms may depend on which part of the GI tract is affected. Only proper testing performed by doctors can render a correct diagnosis even if you think you are showing signs of Crohn’s disease symptoms.