CROHN'S DISEASE

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is one of the autoimmune diseases that are commonly referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes painful inflammation of the digestive system. Crohn’s disease commonly involves the small bowel and/or colon. However, it may impact any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus. Crohn’s disease can affect any area of the bowel wall and can extend into the deep layers of the affected bowel tissue. This gastrointestinal condition can be excruciating and possibly lead to more severe complications. Untreated Crohn’s disease can cause fistulas (openings between the bowel and other areas of the body), and even lead to cancer.

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is another autoimmune GI disease that is similar to Crohn's disease. However, the key difference is that Ulcerative Colitis only affects the colon, and is not found in the small intestine. The disease usually begins in the rectum and may progress upwards towards other parts of the colon. Due to the affected area being low down in the rectum, the most common symptoms of UC are rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and the feeling of having to have frequent bowel movements throughout the day.

What Causes Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis?

The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is still unknown. However, there are some theories regarding the onset of this disease.

  • Immune system: Internal bacteria or viruses can likely trigger Crohn’s disease. When the body triggers the immune system to fight a virus or bacteria, an abnormal immune response can also attack the cells in the digestive system. As a result, parts of the small intestine and the colon can then become targets of the immune system
  • Genetics: A hereditary predisposition could cause a higher risk of developing Crohn’s disease. As many as 20% of people with Crohn’s disease have a relative with the condition or another inflammatory bowel disease. It is most common in individuals between the ages of 20 and 30.

What Are Common Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative colitis?

Most symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease develop slowly, ranging from mild to severe. Crohn’s disease could include any of the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody stool
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Loss of normal menstrual cycle
  • Mouth sores
  • Pain or drainage near or around the anus
  • Poor development in children
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sudden weight loss

You should contact Citrus Valley Gastroenterology immediately if you notice persisting changes in the bowel habits or you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Bloody stool
  • Fever lasting more than a day
  • Persistent and/or severe abdominal pain
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss

CONDITIONS

ABDOMINAL PAIN


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ABDOMINAL PAIN

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GALLSTONES


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GALLSTONES

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CIRRHOSIS/FATTY LIVER


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CIRRHOSIS/FATTY LIVER

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ULCERS


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ULCERS

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HEMORRHOIDS


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HEMORRHOIDS

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COLON CANCER SCREENING


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COLON CANCER SCREENING

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JAUNDICE


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JAUNDICE

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CONSTIPATION


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CONSTIPATION

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ULCERATIVE COLITIS


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ULCERATIVE COLITIS

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CROHN'S DISEASE


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CROHN'S DISEASE

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RECTAL BLEEDING


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RECTAL BLEEDING

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PROVIDERS

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