Crohn’s Disease is a chronic disorder (inflammatory bowel disease) that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. Crohn’s Disease can affect any area of the GI tract, but commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine. The swelling extends deep into the lining of the affected organ. The swelling can cause pain and can make the intestines empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea.
Crohn’s Disease can be hard to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to other intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s Disease is typically inherited and it seems to affect men and women equally. Crohns disease often diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 30. People of Jewish heritage have an increased risk of developing Crohns disease.
Blood tests are run to check for anemia, which could indicate bleeding in the intestines. Blood tests may also uncover a high white blood cell count, which is a sign of inflammation somewhere in the body. By testing a stool sample, the doctor can tell if there is bleeding or infection in the intestines.
Treatment may include drugs, nutrition supplements, surgery, or a combination of these options. Treatment for Crohns disease depends on the location and severity of disease, complications, and the persons response to previous medical treatments when treated for reoccurring symptoms.