Crohn's Disease Essay

1965 words - 8 pages

Crohn's DiseaseKelly HanshawPHA 136November 21, 2011Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammation of the bowel due to an immune system malfunction, which affects more than 500,000 men and women in America. The immune system is supposed to protect us from antigens and other foreign invaders in the body, but when a person has Crohn's their own body (leukocytes) attacks itself and other bacteria that are normal flora in the gastrointestinal tract, usually in the lining of the intestines. When the body sends all the leukocytes to kill the so-called invaders it causes inflammation. If this inflammation continues over a long period of time it can cause ulcerations and injuries to different parts of the bowels. Researchers are not really sure as to the exact cause of Crohn's disease. The Inflammation that is caused by Crohn's usually spreads deep into layers of intestinal and colon tissue that is affected by the disease. If not taken care of, not only can Crohn's disease lead to life-threatening complications, it can also be severely debilitating and horribly painful. There are studies that indicate that foreign substances in the environment, infections and immune system problems could possibly trigger the disease. However, it is possible that Crohn's is genetic and can be inherited; if Crohn's is in your family it doesn't mean that you will come down with Crohn's disease. A diagnosis of Crohn's disease can be hard to come too because the symptoms of Crohn's disease are so similar to other disorders of the bowels. As of today there is no cure for Crohn's disease however drug therapies can greatly reduce the symptoms associated with the disease. Many people are able to live and function well with this disease if they follow the medicinal therapies.The symptoms associated with Crohn's disease vary depending on the severity of the disease and where in the bowel the disease is. Some of the symptoms are tenderness and pain in the lower right side of the abdomen, diarrhea several times a day, stunted growth and delayed development in child, fever, dramatic weight loss, and rectal bleeding. Most of these symptoms are dependent on where the Crohn's disease is in the intestines and the amount of inflammation. There are different types of Crohn's disease and they all have their own lists of symptoms as well. Crohn's colitis is identified by the patient only having inflammation in the colon, and the symptoms that are most common with this type are abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea; it is possible to also have peri-rectal abscesses and anal fistulaes. Crohn's enteritis is when the inflammation is located only in the small intestines, mainly in the jejunum or the ileum. When the inflammation is only in the ileum it is called Crohn's ileitis. While small intestine obstructions can occur the most common symptoms are abdominal pain and diarrhea. Crohn's terminal ileitis is when the inflammation is limited to only the very end of the small intestines, or also called the...

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