What is Crohn's Disease?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic, or long-lasting inflammatory disease that causes inflammation, irritation and swelling of your digestive tract.
Crohn’s disease can affect any area of the intestinal tract from mouth to anus. It is more commonly affects the lower part of the small intestines. The most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are diarrhea, cramping, pain in the abdominal area and weight loss.
The cause of Crohn’s Disease is unknown. It may be due to abnormal immune reaction of your body, genetically inherited from your family or other environmental causes.
How is Crohn’s Disease treated?
There’s no cure for Crohn’s disease. Oftentimes doctors treat Crohn’s disease with medicines, bowel rest and surgery to decrease the inflammation of your intestines and prevent flare-up of the symptoms. There’s no real standard of treatment, and treatment choices varies from patient to patient.
Some of the common medications used:
Aminosalicylates (5-ASA) – reduce inflammation, prevent relapse and works best in colon.
Corticosteroids – available orally and topically to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system
Immunomodulators – suppress the immune system often used in people of whom Aminosalicylates and corticosteroids are not effective
Antibiotics – prevent or treat bacterial infection of the GI tract
Biologic therapies (biologics) – stop certain proteins in the body that cause inflammation
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK):
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation: http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org