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Crohn's Disease

more about Crohn's Disease




Normal

Abnormal

Abnormal
  • This is a disease involving inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. It can occur anywhere in the tract, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, or anus. Though the most commonly affected area is the ileum (part of the small intestine), other parts of the small intestine and the colon are also common. The inflammation affects the whole wall of the part of the tract involved (i.e., the full thickness of the ileum). Crohn's disease is thought to be an autoimmune illness, in which the body attacks itself, but this is not entirely certain.

  • Fevers
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stools
  • Liquid bowel movements
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of energy
  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Anal pain
  • Anal bleeding
  • Anal/rectal discharge
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Rashes
  • Back arthritis
  • Joint arthritis/pain

  • Examination:
    1. Abdominal tenderness
    2. Mass in right lower abdomen
    3. Rectal exam may show blood
  • Laboratory findings:
    1. Anemia
    2. Vitamin B12 Deficiency
    3. Elevated white blood cell count
    4. Low albumin (protein) because the body is not absorbing nutrients properly
    5. Elevated sedimentation rate
  • Imaging:
    1. X-Rays may show ulcers, strictures (bowel narrowing), or fistulas (abnormal tracts)
    2. Small bowel follow through (barium is swallowed and X-Rays taken) may show inflamed ileum
    3. CT scan may show inflamed involved areas
    4. Barium Enema
    5. Colonoscopy with biopsy
    6. Nuclear medicine scans such as radiolabeled leukocyte scans (99mTc-WBC scintigraphy for Crohn’s) can discriminate between inflammatory and noninflammatory features. This type of imaging is useful to differentiate Crohn's Disease from ulcerative colitis.
    7. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can also be used in diagnostic work up of Crohn's Disease.

  • Diet -- specific low-fiber or high-fiber may be prescribed depending on symptoms and location of the disease
  • AntiDiarrheal medications as needed, e.g., Lomotil
  • Antispasmodic medication as needed, e.g. Hyoscyamine
  • Medications for treating Crohn's:
    1. Sulfasalazine
    2. Corticosteroids, e.g., Prednisone
    3. Immune therapy drugs, such as Azathioprine or Mercaptopurine
  • Surgery may be needed for fistulas, abscesses (infections), or bowel obstructions.




more about Crohn's Disease


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