Crohn’s Disease Essay

1304 Words 6 Pages
Many people have suffered some form of gastrointestinal discomfort in their life. For patients with Crohn’s Disease this can be a daily occurrence that greatly affects their everyday lives. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease that targets the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s most commonly will occur in the lower GI tract involving the small and large intestine and colon but can be found anywhere throughout the GI tract from mouth to anus. Crohn’s is lumped together in a larger group of illnesses more commonly referred to as inflammatory bowel disease. ("About crohn's disease," 2009)
Crohn’s results when the body’s defense system, the immune system, does not behave normally. In the case of Crohn’s the immune system attacks bacteria
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Initial tests may include lab tests of the patient’s blood to ascertain certain nutrient levels. ("About crohn's disease," 2009) If the patient’s bowel is not properly functioning, they may be lacking vital nutrients such as vitamin B12, which is typically absorbed in the ileum. ("Crohn's disease," 2011). X-rays may be obtained but typically the best way to diagnose an improperly functioning GI tract is utilizing fluoroscopy. A small bowel follow through or also a lower GI exam may be performed. In some cases a tissue biopsy, endoscopy such as a colonoscopy, and possibly stool examination my be utilized to aid in diagnosis. ("About crohn's disease," 2009) An important and somewhat daunting prospect for the patient is that there is no cure for Crohn’s but rather just treatments to alleviate some of the symptoms. There are several choices for treatment from using anti-inflammatory drugs such as amino salicylates to corticosteroids as well as immune system modifiers. ("About crohn's disease," 2009) Other options include antibiotics or also a biological therapy that blocks the production of tumor necrosis factor or TNF. TNF is a chemical that can increase inflammation. ("Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors are an effective option in the management of Crohn's disease.", 2011) If non-invasive treatments were unsuccessful the next step would be surgery. Surgery will usually involve either a resection, removal of the diseased intestine, or also an ostomy such as

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