Crohn's disease was named after Dr. Burill B. Crohn, an American
physician in 1884. It is defined as a chronic inflammatory bowel
disease of unknown origin, usually affecting the ileum (the last part
of the small intestines), the colon or both structures. The disease
begins as patches of tiny ulcers in the innermost lining of the
intestines, with swelling of nearby tissues. The inflammation
eventually extends through all layers of the intestine, which becomes
thickened, hard, and brittle. Deepening ulcers, scarring and swelling
may obstruct the intestinal tract. It seems to run to families an is
more common among Jews of European descent. Crohn's disease is also
associated with Ulcerative Colitis or inflammation of the colon. I
will attempt to further explain the symptoms and how the diagnosis is
done as well as its complications and alternative treatment.
Most people don't see a doctor about stomach pain or a little
diarrhea. But if the diarrhea persist for more than a few days, most
people go see a doctor. Crohn's disease is often distressing and
difficult for people to deal with. Symptoms usually develop gradually
with spell of diarrhea that is frequently bloody, weight loss, loss of
appetite, fever, weakness and colicky pains in the abdominal region
commonly on the right side, and deterioration of health in general.
Most of the time, the first bout of this disease usually occurs during
early adulthood and additional episode will most likely to follow.
Occasionally, an acute (sudden and severe) case of crohn's disease
resembles appendicitis (inflammation of the appendix), with sharp pain
in the lower right quadrant (LRQ) of the abdomen, cramping, nausea as
well as fever and diarrhea. There may or may not be bloody stools.
Another symptoms can also resemble infections. People who suffer from
crohn's disease can also show one of a number of abnormalities which
are very painful. Among these are anal fissures which is a crack in
the lining of the anus which are extraordinarily painful, false
openings called sinus tracts which often give of a discharge and
perianal abscesses (a collection of infected material) which also
frequently drain by itself.
To perform diagnostic studies, a thorough history and physical
examination is performed. During the physical examination, the
physician will feel gently in the right lower quadrant (RLQ) of the
abdomen to feel if there is a palpable inflammatory mass. He or she
will also feel along the path of the colon up the right side across
inferior the diaphragm and down the left side searching for tender
spots that signal acute inflammation. The doctor may also do a biopsy
and blood count test of leukocytes and erythrocytes. Higher count of
leukocytes is often a sign of inflammation. In biopsy, it involves
taking a sample of tissue from the lining of the intestine to view
with a microscope (instrument use to view small objects). Abdominal
x-rays are the...