Crohn’s disease, which is called regional enteritis in our text (chp. 10) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines, It primarily causes ulcerations or breaks in the lining of the small and large intestines. It can affect the digestive system anywhere from the mouth to the anus (WebMD). This disease was named for the doctor who described it in 1932. In order to diagnose this disease a physician will want a complete and through family medical history, blood test, endoscopy, and other x-rays. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are often called IBD (irritable bowel disease). It is important that you describe your symptoms thoroughly to your doctor. You may want to keep a diary of your symptoms to take to your doctor so that you will not leave anything out. Crohn’s disease tends to run in families. In the early stages crohns causes small, scattered, shallow crater like areas on the inner surface of the bowels. Over time they become deeper and larger, eventually becoming true ulcers, which cause scarring and stiffing of the bowel. As time goes on this will lead to narrowing, and eventually obstruction of the bowel. Symptoms of an obstruction include sever cramping, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal distention (swelling). The pain occurs in the lower right part of the abdomen. When deep ulcers occur they can create holes in the walls of the small intestine and the colon. When this happens a tunnel is created between the intestine and adjoining organs. If the tunnel reaches an adjoining empty space inside the abdominal cavity, a collection of infected puss is formed. This is also known as an abdominal abscess. Periods of exacerbation, remission, and relapse are common in crohn’s disease. It is normally treated with anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics. In some cases surgery may be required. This is a
disease that is hard to diagnosis. Usually other diseases are ruled out through the testing that a physician has to do. Because of this I would agree with the doctor if he diagnosed crohns.
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Sources: WebMD: Crohn’s Disease Health Center Mulvihill, M. L., Zellman, M., Holdaway, P., Tompary, E., & Raymond, J. (2006) Instructor’s resource manual: Human Diseases: A systemic approach (6th ed.). Upper Saddles, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall