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Crohn's Disease

What is Crohn's Disease?

Crohn’s Disease (CD) is the chronic inflammation of the bowel or gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Crohn’s is chronic, stressful, and debilitating. Crohn’s is a specific form of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Crohn’s is named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn (1932). CD can span the entire gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus. It primarily affects the small intestine. Inflammation can occur through the entire span or have patches of inflammation throughout the GIT with spots that are normal and not inflamed.

It is important to not confuse Crohn’s Disease with Ulcerative Colitis (UC). UC affects only the colon or large intestine and its entirety is inflamed; it does not have patches of inflammation.

It is also important to not confuse IBD with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is a bowel disorder that affects the muscle contraction of the GI tract and does not involve inflammation

 

Crohn’s Disease (CD) is the chronic inflammation of the bowel or gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Crohn’s is chronic, stressful, and debilitating. Crohn’s is a specific form of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Crohn’s is named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn (1932). CD can span the entire gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus. It primarily affects the small intestine. Inflammation can occur through the entire span or have patches of inflammation throughout the GIT with spots that are normal and not inflamed.

It is important to not confuse Crohn’s Disease with Ulcerative Colitis (UC). UC affects only the colon or large intestine and its entirety is inflamed; it does not have patches of inflammation.

It is also important to not confuse IBD with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is a bowel disorder that affects the muscle contraction of the GI tract and does not involve inflammation

Acknowledgement of Crohn's Disease has not been added yet.

Crohn’s is prevalent amongst many Americans. Men and women are likely to be affected. Mostly adults between 20 to 30 are diagnosed, but it can be diagnosed at any age. Crohn’s is more prevalent amongst individuals that have a family history of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. There is a genetic component to Crohn’s, but family history of IBD is enough to predict the occurrence of CD. CD can occur in all ethnicities, but is more common in Caucasians.

Synonyms for Crohn's Disease has not been added yet.

The cause is unknown for Crohn’s Disease. It is highly suspected that the genetic component of the disease is related to its unknown cause. CD can also be caused by the body’s environment or an overactive immune system.

Crohn’s Disease is chronic, painful, and debilitating. Many symptoms involve the intestinal symptoms, others may not. Non-intestinal symptoms are sometimes more severe and difficult to manage than the intestinal symptoms.

Symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramping or pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Delayed growth in younger children
  • Anemia
  • Bleeding with bowel movements
  • Drainage from the skin around the anus
  • Abscess infections around the anus (persistent and recurring)
  • Anal fissures – tear or ulcer on the anus
  • Fistula – abnormal connection or tunnel tracks from one part of the bowel to another

Other non-intestinal symptoms:

  • Kidney stones
  • UTI
  • Colitic arthritis (knees, ankles, hips, wrists, elbows)
  • Pericholangitis inflammation – inflamed tissues around the bile ducts

That are several types of Crohn’s Disease, depending on the region it affects. Each subtype of CD has specific symptoms.

  1. Ileocolitis is the most common type of CD. It affects the end of the small intestine (ileum) and the large intestine (colon). Symptoms include: diarrhea, cramping, pain in the middle and lower part of the abdomen, weight loss.
  2. Ileitis affects only the end of the small intestine (ileum). Symptoms are the same as Ileocolitis, above. In severe cases of ileitis, complications can occur, such as fistulas, inflammatory abscess in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.
  3. Gastroduodenal Crohn’s Disease involves the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine (duodenum). Symptoms are nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
  4. Jejunoileitis is the inflammation of the middle section of the small intestine (jejunum). The inflammation is typically patchy, meaning some sections are inflamed and some sections are not affected. Symptoms include: mild to severe abdominal pain or cramps after eating meals and diarrhea. In severe cases of jejunoileitis, fistulas can form if there are long periods of uncontrolled inflammation.
  5. Crohn’s Granulomatous Colitis involves only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms are diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and disease around the anus, such as abscesses, fistulas, and ulcers. Other symptoms, such as skin lesions and joint pain or arthritis are common in this subtype of CD.

Family history can accurately predict likelihood of occurrence in affected individuals. However, due to advancements in technology, diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease can be quickly done with a full physical examination, imaging scans, stool samples and blood tests.

A physical examination is typically performed to find signs of bloating the abdominal area, different sounds in the abdomen, tenderness or pain in the abdomen, or swelling of the spleen or liver.

There are many types of imaging scan tests that can help take images of the gastrointestinal tract. Tests are traditional X-rays, contrast dye X-rays, CT scans, MRI, white blood cell scan, endoscopy (a colonoscopy with a camera), and endoscopic ultrasound.

Routine blood tests help determine if an infection or anemia is present. Fecal blood tests help detect blood in the stool. Antibody tests help determine if the affected individual has Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.

The most common treatment plan provides medications, bowel rest and lifestyle changes. The goal of the treatment plan is to manage and decrease inflammation, prevent bowel flare-ups, and to remain in remission. Medications prescribed for Crohn’s typically help manage and control symptoms. It does not cure Crohn’s Disease.

Aminosalicylates are commonly used in CD with mild symptoms. They help control inflammation. Aminosalicylates include balsalazide, mesalamine, olsalazine and sulfasalazine.

Corticosteroids, otherwise known as oral steroids, decrease the activity of the immune system and help decrease inflammation. These are typically prescribed in CD with moderate to severe symptoms. Corticosteroids include budesonide, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone and prednisone. Long term use of steroids are usually avoided due to the high risk of severe side effects from chronic use.

Immunomodulators decrease the activity of the immune system, which in turn decrease the occurrence of inflammation. They do not work instantly in the body and takes several months to start working. Some immunomodulators are azathioprine, cyclosporine or methotrexate. Use is limited to severe cases due to the many side effects of these medications.

Biologic therapies are effective but costly and requires close monitoring. Close monitoring for drug administration techniques and signs of infection. The following biologics are indicated for CD: Humira, Cimzia, Remicade, Tysabri and Stelara.

Additional medications can be used to help with infections (antibiotics), diarrhea (loperamide, lomotil), pain relievers or fever reducers (acetaminophen) and nutritional supplements.

Anti-diarrhea medications should only be used short term. Aspirin and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can worsen symptoms.

Surgery intervention is reserved for extreme cases or emergencies.

Bowel Rest is important in the treatment plan of CD. Bowel rests includes resting the bowel for a few days or up to several weeks. It involves only drinking liquids that contain nutrients through a feeding tube inserted into the stomach or intravenous (IV) nutrition inserted in the vein. During bowel rest, the stomach or intestine is allowed to heal on its own.

Lastly, lifestyle modification can help decrease flare ups and remain in remission. Diet should be low fat, low fiber, low sat, lactose free and high in calories. Nutritional supplements and vitamins may be beneficial and appropriate. It is recommended to avoid carbonated drinks, popcorn, vegetable skin, nuts, drinking too much liquid and eating large meals.

Affected individuals with CD are likely to be on medications for life. Medications are essential in controlling symptoms and staying in remission.

If the colon is involved in the type of CD, the risk of colon cancer is higher. The longer the colon is involved, the higher the risk of colon cancer. Routine colonoscopies are required.

Do not stop taking medications. Stopping suddenly can cause a flare up and increase incidence of recurrence.

Do not smoke. Smoking is correlated with recurrence rate.

Update on Community Details Created by RareshareTeam
Last updated 4 Feb 2020, 08:00 PM

Posted by RareshareTeam
4 Feb 2020, 08:00 PM

HI all!

We added some useful resources for Crohn's Disease. Thanks to our user Collen S. She was very kind in emailing our support team and sharing her experience and journey through her husband's diagnosis. 

What was helpful you guys? What did you learn in the process?

Posted by RareshareTeam
17 Dec 2019, 11:59 PM

Hi everyone! RareShare Team here! 

We just updated our community details for Crohn's Disease. 

Feel free to share your stories and input!

Cheers!

Interested in sharing Created by stopcaidnow
Last updated 12 Feb 2011, 05:48 AM

Posted by stopcaidnow
12 Feb 2011, 05:48 AM

If anyone has pictures they would like to share on the Foundation website or share their story please email me @ stopcaidnow.com Lisa Moreno-Dickinson CEO/President for Stop Childhood Auto Inflammatory Diseases www.stopcaidnow.com

Ourcrohns.com needs you! Created by Tomstewart
Last updated 15 Jun 2009, 02:40 PM

Posted by Tomstewart
15 Jun 2009, 02:40 PM

Hey guys, My names Tom Stewart the founder of www.ourcrohns.com I have Crohn's myself so I understand to some extent the daily problems people can and do face. The goal of the site is to act as one massive community driven blog with as many authors as possible all speaking about their specific experiences with IBD. Crohn’s, Colitis and all other IBD related problems are mainly anti-social in their very nature. So whats better than trying to combat these issues by starting up a new community driven website where people will be able to contact each other and discusses the problems only people with IBD disease can really understand. What I'm trying to do with www.ourcrohns.com is get people to come and blog on their experiences with Crohn's and Colitis. OurCrohns.com has been designed to help people communicate with other people in simlar situations, and to allow people to tell their personal stories. But for all of this to happen we need people to join the blogging team! User accounts will be set-up by myself upon request and I’ll personally show people how to use wordpress to publish articles to the website. If you would like to contact me directly then please use the contact form on our contact page, which can be found at www.ourchrons.com/contact Also if you use MSN add me tomstew2002@hotmail.com If you have any questions then please fire away (p.s. the site is still under development, but the blog homepage is ready to roll!) Thanks, Tom.

Low Dose Naltrexone Created by andymedia
Last updated 3 Jun 2009, 11:32 PM

Posted by shirley_ann
3 Jun 2009, 11:32 PM

I have not tried it because my symptoms were cured with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, but many people in that diet group that I belong to take it and swear by it. They have great success, no pain and lots of energy.

Posted by gcvmom
16 Sep 2008, 05:25 PM

Sorry, we have not. My 14yo son is on Imuran and has been in remission for two years now.

Posted by andymedia
29 May 2008, 06:21 PM

Hello! Has anyone had success with Low Dose Naltrexone?

What has worked for you? Created by llewis
Last updated 3 Jun 2009, 11:30 PM

Posted by shirley_ann
3 Jun 2009, 11:30 PM

I replied to you on the AS community, I have all the same auto-immune diseases your daughter has plus PG and I have been symptom free for a year by using the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, please google it. I currently take no medications except thyroid hormone for autoimmune thryoiditis and vitamin D3. I use 3 probiotics every day as well. This diet is a true miracle.

Posted by Charlene
20 Dec 2008, 10:20 PM

Methotrexate injections once a week work beautifully for my husband. He takes about 8 Asacols a day and no steroids of any kind. His last colonoscopy was clear. A high blood pressure drug Hydrochlorot seems to be keeping any clotting at bay with him. He did suffer from Restless leg syndrome, but, Mirapex stopped it immediately. Some doctors say that Mirapex can be used for fibromyalgia-they don't know why it works, but, sometimes it does. Good luck.

Posted by llewis
20 Oct 2008, 06:50 PM

Six months ago my daughter (then 16) was hospitalized with a massive blood clot extending from her stomach to the ankle of her left leg. At the same time she developed a sudden allergy to NSAIDS. After many doctors and many tests, she was diagnosed with Spondyloarthritis, specifically enteropathic arthritis with associated inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As she matures, the IBD could become Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. Currently the arthritis inflammation is mostly in her spine, chest and ribs while the IBD is localized to her small intestines (only cramps and pain). She also suffers from vein damage in her left leg and tendentious in her right leg (a symptom). To add to the lovely list of ailments, most recently she was also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. All of this is pretty overwhelming and seems very unbelievable. She sees four different specialists with four different drug treatments. Her drug treatment for the arthritis seems to finally be working (injection Methotrexate) and controlled exercise is helping with the Fibromyalgia. However she is still greatly suffering from the IBD. Her current treatment is 3X daily Belladonna phenobarb. Doesn’t seem to work. She also has developed allergies to nuts and dairy (which she never had until now). I am interested in learning what similar stories other have and what they found has worked them. It feels like the doctors just guess at treatment and we are trying one thing after another only to get limited results. I need my daughter to get her life back by controlling this rather than it controlling her. Any suggestions for alternative medicine is also appreciated.

Success with Adult Stem Cells Created by skinny13
Last updated 16 Mar 2009, 04:46 AM

Posted by skinny13
16 Mar 2009, 04:46 AM

In this Stem Cell Blog, there has been a high level of success with Adult Stem Cell Therapy. You can read what Dr. Margolis says at: http://donmargolis.com/blog/2009/02/stem-cell-research-crohns-disease-adult-stem-cells/. There are products with AFA, a natural botanical, that can increase the release of Adult Stems Cells, so we can essentially heal ourselves, without invasive procedures.

New Service Available Created by air5631271
Last updated 16 Mar 2009, 01:19 AM

Posted by air5631271
15 Mar 2009, 01:04 AM

Just want to let people know of a service that is now available. Physicians for Patients is a group of doctors dedicated to helping people online in a way to help with high health care costs. People living with Crohn's Disease can ask questions at: http://crohns.physiciansforpatients.com/ You can just click on the questions tab and ask. Patients, family, and supporters of those with health conditions (including Crohns) can ask a dedicated board certified physician specialist any questions they may have. (everything is free) The idea is to give a resource for people that need alternative opinions, information, have limited access to health care (either uninsured or simply can't afford it). This way it is easier for a smaller number of physicians to help a larger number of people. If you know of anyone that might benefit from this resource, please pass this information forward. Thx! Phoebe

Community External News Link
Title Date Link
Designer Microbes: a Potential Living Cure for Crohn's and Phenylketonuria 04/21/2019
Community Resources
Title Description Date Link
Complications of Crohn's disease

Thanks user Collen S.!

02/04/2020
Nutrition Tips for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Thanks user Collen S.!

02/04/2020
How to Create a Healthy Home Environment that Will Soothe Autoimmune Disease Symptoms

Thanks user Collen S.!

02/04/2020
Complementary Medicine

Thanks user Collen S.!

02/04/2020
How Crohn's Disease Is Treated

Thanks user Collen S.!

02/04/2020
Find a Gastroenterologist

Thanks user Collen S.!

02/04/2020
10 Crohn’s Disease Symptoms, From Diarrhea to Beyond

Thanks user Collen S.!

02/04/2020
Paratuberculosis Awareness & Research Association (PARA)

Paratuberculosis Awareness & Research Association (PARA) is an organization of Crohn's disease patients, their families and others who are concerned about the relationship between MAP (Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis) and Crohn's disease.

03/20/2017
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to finding the cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

03/20/2017

Clinical Trials


Cords registry

CoRDS, or the Coordination of Rare Diseases at Sanford, is based at Sanford Research in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It provides researchers with a centralized, international patient registry for all rare diseases. This program allows patients and researchers to connect as easily as possible to help advance treatments and cures for rare diseases. The CoRDS team works with patient advocacy groups, individuals and researchers to help in the advancement of research in over 7,000 rare diseases. The registry is free for patients to enroll and researchers to access.

Enrolling is easy.

  1. Complete the screening form.
  2. Review the informed consent.
  3. Answer the permission and data sharing questions.

After these steps, the enrollment process is complete. All other questions are voluntary. However, these questions are important to patients and their families to create awareness as well as to researchers to study rare diseases. This is why we ask our participants to update their information annually or anytime changes to their information occur.

Researchers can contact CoRDS to determine if the registry contains participants with the rare disease they are researching. If the researcher determines there is a sufficient number of participants or data on the rare disease of interest within the registry, the researcher can apply for access. Upon approval from the CoRDS Scientific Advisory Board, CoRDS staff will reach out to participants on behalf of the researcher. It is then up to the participant to determine if they would like to join the study.

Visit sanfordresearch.org/CoRDS to enroll.

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Master's degree in human Nutrition

 

Master's degree in education

 

PhD candidate in health science
I am the President and Founder of StopCAIDnow,Inc. (www.stopcaidnow.com), in process of becoming a 501 (3) non-profit dedicated to educate, awareness diverse genetic testing, genomics and...
21-year-old college student, having a flare up at the moment :(. Googled support groups for the first time and hoping to meet someone around my age who can relate.
I have been married for 10 years and have a 7 year old daughter. I love to read quilt and go camping. I was just diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I also have Crohns Disease and Intersistial Cystitis,...
I'm a Private Caregiver with a Social Work Degree in Healthcare and Gerontology.

 

 

My personal interests are our natural ability to increase the release of adult stem cells to heal...
I am caring for a sick family member.
I am 36 years old and was diagnosed with SCLS in January of 2007. The first episode I had of this was quite severe and landed me in the ICU on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma. I was 11...
I have three family members with rare disorders.

 

 

One son with Crohn's disease.

 

One son with Sydenham's chorea.

 

And my husband who has a cavernous angioma in the right...

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Update on Community Details

Created by RareshareTeam | Last updated 4 Feb 2020, 08:00 PM

Interested in sharing

Created by stopcaidnow | Last updated 12 Feb 2011, 05:48 AM

Ourcrohns.com needs you!

Created by Tomstewart | Last updated 15 Jun 2009, 02:40 PM

Low Dose Naltrexone

Created by andymedia | Last updated 3 Jun 2009, 11:32 PM

What has worked for you?

Created by llewis | Last updated 3 Jun 2009, 11:30 PM

Success with Adult Stem Cells

Created by skinny13 | Last updated 16 Mar 2009, 04:46 AM

New Service Available

Created by air5631271 | Last updated 16 Mar 2009, 01:19 AM


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