Profile of Crohn's disease


Also known as: Regional ileitis, granulomatous ileitis, ileocolotis, and regional enteritis.

Body parts involved: Ileum, colon, regional lymph nodes, mysentery (outside covering of the intestines).

Signs and Symptoms: Cramps and abdominal pain, usually after meals. Can mimic appendicitis. Nausea, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, and bloody stools.

Populations most affected: Sometimes children; mostly adults from the age of 20 to 40.

Causes: Unknown.

Prevention: Unknown.

Probability of cure: May continue for many years. Intervals of attacks vary from every few months to every few years.

Possible complications: Intestinal obstruction, bleeding and anemia, perforation of the inflamed bowel, vitamin B12 deficiency, increased susceptibility to cancer of the ileum.

Medications prescribed: For temporary relief, doctors prescribe antidiarrheal drugs, vitamin supplements, anti-inflammatory drugs (such as cortisone), antibiotics.

Forbidden foods: Alcohol, dairy products, especially for patients who also suffer from lactose deficiency.

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