What is Crohn’s disease — causes, symptoms and treatment
Few heard, and fewer still were directly faced with such a rare pathology of the digestive system like Crohn’s disease. What is Crohn’s disease? So called chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract, marked by formation of granulomatous nodules. In the process of developing Crohn’s disease may damage any part of the digestive system, from mouth and ending with the walls of the rectum. Occur terrible disease can any person, regardless of age, lifestyle and social status.
For the first time this disease was described in 1932 by an American gastroenterologist — Barril Crowns.
The reasons for the development of the disease
Still doctors can’t give a definite answer of what causes the development of Crohn’s disease. This makes the disease even more dangerous. Nowadays, only the main factors that contribute to extensive inflammation in the digestive organs.
- The factor of immunity. Immune system some people develop a negative reaction to the microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract, or the same goes for food. The immune system perceives them as foreign biological objects, and attacks. As a result, the mucosa forms a major source of inflammation.
- Genetic heredity. Statistics show that 17% of people who suffer from Crohn’s disease with family relatives who also suffered from this disease.
- Infection or virus. There is a scientific theory that disease causes some kind of bacteria or virus that is still not explored by man.
- Bad habits. Through the use of alcohol, Smoking, drugs, tablet drugs — there may be inflammation of the digestive system.
A distinctive feature of Crohn’s disease is that the human immune system begins to attack not only the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in mucosal erosions and ulcers, but other systems of the body. Thus, the presence of this disease almost always is accompanied by the development of arthritis, erythema, stomatitis, lesions of the whites of the eyes.
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease
The first symptoms are very easily confused with the manifestations of activity of intestinal infection, or banal poisoning with poor-quality food. Still there are several of the most pronounced symptoms, the presence of which may indicate the development of Crohn’s disease.
- Permanent day or night diarrhea that is accompanied by painful sensations at the time of defecation.
- Intestinal obstruction, bloating, vomiting.
- The increase in body temperature to 39 degrees. There are no signs of a cold.
- The intestinal mucous membrane is in an excited state, which leads to bleeding in the stool. The presence of inflammatory process in the intestine can be seen with the help of special diagnostic tests — endoscopy.
- Experiencing chronic malaise, weight loss, lack of appetite, dry mouth. May be constant thirst, but the blood sugar level of the patient is within normal limits.
Crohn’s disease has a fairly long development. It blends of exacerbations in remission. It would seem that the man almost recovered, but the disease returns with renewed vigor. The clinical picture of the disease is very similar to the manifestation of ulcerative colitis.
As not to confuse ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease?
These two diseases are very similar to each other according to the clinical manifestations, and in practice it happens that you are suffering from Crohn’s disease put a false diagnosis in ulcerative colitis. What is the difference between the symptoms?
- Ulcerative colitis stools are loose and with a lot of blood and pus, and Crohn’s disease may be only a small sukrovichnye impurities in the feces.
- Inflammation in Crohn’s disease may be localized in any segment of the gastrointestinal tract, while ulcerative colitis only the large intestine or rectum.
- Crohn’s disease affects all tissue layers of the colon, while ulcerative colitis is characterized solely by inflammation of the mucous membrane.
- In the presence of Crohn’s disease inflammation of the digestive system is a focal character, while ulcerative colitis — diffuse.
How to diagnose Crohn’s disease?
The first stage of diagnosis of the disease is the preliminary examination of the patient by the doctor. In General, the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease consists of the following items:
- Palpation of the abdomen of the patient by pressing the left lower torso. The purpose of these manipulations is to identify characteristic pain syndrome.
- A survey recently transferred intestinal infections.
- Establishment of data about the presence or absence of similar illness in close relatives with blood ties.
- The appointment of the biochemical and clinical blood analysis. The objective of this study was to determine whether the body large focal inflammation or not.
- The analysis of urine. Intended to exclude the possible inflammation in the urogenital organs, as well as to control fluid removal from the body.
- Examination of feces for the presence of vaginal bleeding.
- Laprogramma. This is a profound study of the composition of feces. Through laboratory analysis establishes the presence in the feces amount of undigested food, fat, protein fiber. On this basis the conclusion about the level of functioning of the digestive system of the patient.
- Ultrasound examination of abdominal cavity.
- Endoscopy. Allows you to enter the intestines with the help of special medical equipment, and assess the condition of the tissues of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Colonoscopy. A procedure that is very similar to the biopsy. Doctors take a fragment of intestinal tissues for analysis for changes in the cellular material.
Current diagnostic methods allow physicians to make the most accurate diagnosis, and to identify Crohn’s disease in the early stages.
How to treat Crohn’s disease?
The method of therapeutic effects on inflamed tissues of the digestive system depends on the degree of development of the disease and its neglect. During the treatment the patient is encouraged to complete mental and physical rest. In pronounced inflammation the doctor may prescribe a special anti-inflammatory drugs based on salicylic acid.
If the disease is in the acute phase of their development, the patient is assigned a comprehensive treatment plan that may consist of:
- Potent hormonal drugs. Drugs of this group possess potent anti-inflammatory effect.
- Immunosuppressants. As in the development of Crohn’s disease, a role played by an aggressive immune system — the goal of doctors is to suppress her inappropriate activity.
- Antibacterial agents. If the laboratory studies are found in the intestine of pathogenic microorganisms, it can be treated with antibiotics, suppressing harmful microflora.
Extreme treatment would be the removal of the affected portion of the intestine or another organ of the digestive system. This surgical intervention is possible in case of severe Crohn’s disease, when medical therapy does not bring positive effect.
Video about Crohn’s disease