Crohn’s disease occurs in genetically-predisposed individuals, and mostly occurs in 20 and 30 year olds. It is characterized by inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Patients can often develop extra-intestinal manifestations of disease in addition to diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, fevers, and fatigue. Treatment options are based on both the severity of disease as well as the behavior of disease (i.e. inflammatory, stricturing, or fistulizing disease). Surgery in Crohn’s disease patients, both intestinal resection and strictureplasty, is extremely common in most patients.
- Crohn’s disease is characterized by inflammation involving any part of the gastrointestinal tract.
- The diagnosis of Crohn’s disease is based on clinical, endoscopic, radiographic, and histological findings, with negative stool cultures.
- The differential diagnosis of Crohn’s disease includes infectious colitis, diverticulitis, celiac sprue, intestinal lymphoma, radiation enteropathy, NSAID use, and ischemic colitis.
- First-line therapy for Crohn’s disease patients with inflammatory-type disease often includes budesonide, and some patients also need other corticosteroids agents, immunosuppressives, and biologic agents.
- There are many extra-intestinal manifestations of Crohn’s disease and some respond to medications directed at bowel inflammation.
- Colorectal cancer is an important concern for patients with extensive involvement of Crohn’s disease in the colon.
- Treatment options depend on the severity of disease as well as the behavior of disease.
Those think they may have Crohn’s should seek a doctor’s opinion immediately and begin taking measures to gain relief.