A Brief Guide To Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a bowel disease that affects many people, and has a huge impact on their lives – but many people know little about it. This brief guide explains the condition in more detail, from the symptoms to the potential treatments.

What Is Crohn's Disease?

Crohn's Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that is characterised by the inflammation of any part of the digestive system or gut. As Crohn's & Colitis UK explains, the part usually affected is the colon or the last part of the small intestine. The illness varies from person to person, with some experiencing constant symptoms and some experiencing long periods of remission with only intermittent flare-ups. As explained below, the condition has many different symptoms. 

What Are the Symptoms of Crohn's Disease?

There are many symptoms of Crohn's disease, which not everyone will experience in the same way. As the NHS explains, the main symptoms are diarrhoea, which can sometimes contain blood and abdominal pain. You might also feel tired and run-down and experience unexplained weight loss. There are other signs that sometimes appear alongside the above, such as nausea and mouth ulcers, that you may not experience. If you are worried about any of the above symptoms, speak to your GP as soon as possible.

How Is Crohn's Disease Diagnosed?

When you go to your GP with the symptoms mentioned above, they will ask you some questions about your symptoms and lifestyle, and perhaps blood tests, to rule out other conditions. They will then send you to a gastroenterologist for further tests. One common test, as explained by the Mayo Clinic, is a colonoscopy, which is a procedure where a small camera is used to look at your colon, and to extract a small amount of tissue for analysis, which can confirm the presence of the condition. You may also be given a standard CT or MRI scan to look at your colon in more detail. 

How Is Crohn's Disease Treated?

There is no cure for Crohn's disease, but there are many ways that your gastroenterologist may try to relieve the symptoms. There are many medications that can be prescribed, as explained by Health 24, everything from steroids to salt binders to painkillers depending on your symptoms and condition. There are also surgeries available, to remove parts of the colon, to widen the damaged parts of your intestines, or to simply remove the colon and rectum if necessary. You and your gastroenterologist will be able to discuss all the options and decide what is best for you.

Living with Crohn's disease can be difficult and painful, but there is a lot of support out there, and lots of potential treatments to try. If you have any concerns, speak contact a medical office like Diagnostic Endoscopy Centre today.