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Crohns Disease Overview

 

Crohns Disease is a chronic inflammation of the intestines, bowel or digestive tract. This disease is one of a number of similar colon related diseases known as 

inflammatory bowel diseases, or IBD. Crohns disease can affect any area of the digestive tract from mouth to anus, but it's most often found in the lower area of the small intestine, known as the ileum.

The inflammation is usually found deep within the lining of the organ affected, which causes both pain and frequent diarrhea from the intestines being emptied continuously. Sometimes the diarrhea is bloody too.

Crohns disease affects men, women and children, though the actual cause is not known. There are some indications of hereditary and genetic links though. About 20% of Crohns disease sufferers have family members who also have some form of inflammatory bowel disease, with siblings being the most common. There are also a variety of theories and studies which we'll cover in more detail throughout this series.

A related IBD known as Ulcerative colitis affects the top layer of lining in the large intestine, which can make diagnosis of Crohns disease more difficult. To make things even more complicated, many of the symptoms of this disease mimic a disorder known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS.

One of the defining symptoms of Crohns Disease is bleeding however. Doctors can test for blood in the stools; perform blood tests for anemia, because this could be an indication of internal bleeding of the intestine; and perform an upper GI, or gastrointestinal series, which is an xray process that will reveal inflammation and abnormalities in the intestine.

Other symptoms of Crohns disease include abdominal pain or tenderness - particularly high on the right side - fever, weight loss, being tired, having sores around the anus which produce discharge, ulcers on the tongue or cheek, inflamed eyes, painful or swollen joints and red bumps on your skin.

In addition to the diagnosis methods already mentioned, doctors might also decide to do a colonoscopy. This involves inserting a flexible tube into the anus to see inside the large intestine. The tube is often hooked to a tv or computer monitor so the doctor can see internal inflammation or bleeding during the examination. Sometimes they'll take a tissue sample as well, to send to the lab for further testing.

If the colonoscopy shows inflammation or bleeding, the doctor normally orders additional xrays of both the upper and lower intestines to see how far the disease has progressed.

There are a whole host of complications which can arise with Crohns disease. Ulceric sores can tunnel through the tissue and affect surrounding organs such as the bladder, skin and vagina for instance. These tunnels, commonly called fistulas, often become infected.

Nutritional deficiences are well documented side effects of Crohns disease, though some researchers question whether these might actually contribute to the disease instead. Other complications of Crohns disease can include kidney stones, arthritis, skin problems, eye inflammations, liver diseases, and more.

As we've talked about in previous herbal and alternative remedy article series, when the colon or bowel is sick, the entire body reflects that sickness, and the documented side effects and complications of Crohns disease is an excellent example of this concept.

In this series on Crohns disease, we'll look closer at modern medical science treatments, theories on causes, the candida fungus connection, side effects and complications, controlling Crohns with diet and herbs, and healing Crohns with herbs and natural remedies.


Breakthrough Crohn's Disease Guide Written By a Patient, For Patients



Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

 

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Breakthrough Crohn's Disease Guide Written By a Patient, For Patients



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