Overview Of Crohn's Disease Essay

1775 words - 7 pages

Description
Crohn’s disease is chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines however affects the entire digestive system, from the mouth to the anus otherwise known as the Gastrointestinal Tract (GI Tract) [1]. Individuals affected by the disease are often young adults and adolescents aged 15 – 35 [7]. Crohn’s Disease is one of the two types of Inflammatory Bowel Disorders (IBD), the other being ulcerative colitis [3] and is usually located in the lower part of the small intestines and the upper end of the colon. There is no exact cause of this disease however various stimuli can cause the disease such as bacteria, genetics or Paneth cells [4]. Paneth cells are one of the four main specialised cell types found in the small intestine [6] and Crohns disease may possibly be a specific disorder of this type of specialized cell [5]. It is also found that 5% - 20% of those who are affected by Crohn’s disease have an immediate family member (parents, children, siblings) who is already affected with the disease. Many studies have also shown that Crohn’s disease is commonly found in those who live in northern climate, urban areas in developed countries [7].
Diagnosis
Many diagnostic tests can be taken to determine whether or not Crohn’s disease may be an issue. Some tests may be based on medical history or procedures like blood tests, colonoscopies, a Computerizes Axial Tomography, or a Video Capsule Endoscopy. However, one main diagnostic test that is very commonly used is called a Barium X-ray. This type of imaging test is able to help find any problems in the small intestine that cannot be found with any other techniques. The procedure starts off with a chalky fluid containing Barium being put in the body through the mouth (Upper GI Series) or through the anus (Barium Enema). Following that, the fluid will then proceed to flow through the intestine where it will appear white on the X-ray scans [2]. This will actually allow doctors to see any abnormalities of the intestines such as narrowing, ulcerations, and sometimes fistulae of the bowel [8] and even how much of the GI tract the disease is affecting [2]. Along, with the many benefits of this imaging test, there are some risks that are associated with this diagnostic such as radiation. Radiation is a large factor in which can affect overall health and with overexposure to radiation can cause mutations in cells developing cancers [2].
Symptoms
Symptoms would often appear in young adults and can either develop slowly or have a sudden onset [9]. They often vary depending on the person and location of the disease; for instance, some may experience more of one symptom than another. Many common symptoms include, persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, rectal bleeding, anal leakage, weight loss, abscesses (a localized infection), fistulas (abnormal tube connecting two hollow organs such as the vagina and the colon), anxiety and depression. Many less common symptoms that would affect 1 in 3 people...

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