Crohn's Essay

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Crohn’s Disease
April Jennings
Widening Community College

Crohn’s disease, as defined in Mosby’s Medical Dictionary is: “a chronic inflammatory bowel disease of unknown origin, usually affecting the ileum, the colon, or another part of the GI tract. Diseased segments may be separated by normal bowel segments, which give it the characteristic skip lesions” (Mosby’s, 2007, p.482). Inflammatory bowel disease is a general term for diseases that cause swelling in the intestines. Crohn’s disease can be hard to diagnose due to the symptoms mimicking other intestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis can cause inflammation and ulcers in the top layer of the lining of the large intestine. In Crohn’s disease, the inflammation involves intestines, and normal healthy bowel is found between sections of diseased bowel (Ignatavicius, 2013, P. 1280-84). Crohn’s disease affects men and women equally and seems to run in some families. About 20 percent of people with Crohn’s disease have a blood relative with some form of inflammatory bowel disease, most often a brother or sister and sometimes a parent or child. Crohn’s disease can occur in people of all age groups, but is primarily an illness of the young. There are different theories about the cause of Crohn’s disease. One theory being, that the body’s immune system mistakes normal foods, bacteria, and other substances as being foreign. The body’s immune system will then attack these substances. White blood cells will then accumulate in the lining of the intestine and cause inflammation. This can lead to several different types of bowel problems (Bethesda, MD). Common symptoms with Crohn’s disease

cause pain in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen and diarrhea. Bleeding can occur and lead to severe anemia. Radiologic tests can be used to determine if someone has Crohn’s disease. Some of the test includes barium enema, upper GI, and CT scan. Endoscopic tests of the upper or lower GI tract can confirm Crohn's disease. The test includes locating areas of the intestine that are affected by the disease, and gathering tissue samples for biopsies. Blood test alone cannot provide a positive diagnosis of Crohn's disease. However, it can reveal the signs that Crohn’s disease is present (2013, Conquering Crohn's Disease). The most common complication occurring with Crohn’s disease is blockage of the intestine. Blockage occurs due to the disease thickening the intestinal wall with swelling and scar tissue, narrowing the passage. Other complications are fistula formation and fissures, or small tears, in the lining of the mucous membrane of the anus. Nutritional problems caused by poor absorption are also common in Crohn’s disease (2011, Bethesda, MD). Treatment for Crohn’s disease may include medication and/or nutritional supplements. Medications that are commonly used include Anti-Inflammatory drugs such as Asacol, Dipentum or Pentassa to treat the inflammation. Cortisone or Steroids are often prescribed. Infliximab (Remicade) is used to block the body’s inflammation response. Antibiotics such as Ampicillin, sulfonimide, dephalosporin, tetracycline or metronidazole are used to treat the infection within the GI tract. Anti-Diarrhea medications such as diphenoxylate, loperamide are often used to treat the diarrhea. Fluids are administered when patients are dehydrated (2009,

The Merick Manual). Surgery is sometimes required to treat complications