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What Is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s Disease is a condition that involves the gastrointestinal tract, inflaming it to the point that the patient suffers various symptoms. The disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract - which can be anywhere from the mouth to the anus. In many cases, though, sufferers of Crohn’s Disease have problems in the small intestine, particularly the lower part. It is a chronic disease, meaning that it recurs every now and then.

Crohn’s Disease has symptoms that are quite similar to many other inflammatory digestive disorders, so oftentimes, it is not easily diagnosed. Some common symptoms include pain in the abdomen and diarrhea. The pain is usually located in the lower right part of the patient’s abdomen. Other symptoms include weight loss (quite an obvious result as individuals with the disease feel better when they do not eat), rectal bleeding, skin problems, and fever. If it is a child that suffers from the disease, growth tends to be stunted.

Other complications can arise from the existence of Crohn’s Disease. One potentially serious complication is the blockage of the intestine due to the scarring that occurs inside. Kidney stones, gall stones, and nutritional deficiencies are also common complications arising from the disease.

What causes this disorder? There is no conclusive evidence as to what exactly causes Crohn’s Disease but the general consensus is that the sufferer’s immune system thinks that food and bacteria are foreign objects that need to be “attacked”. As a result, people who have Crohn’s Disease have a constant accumulation of white blood cells in the digestive tract, resulting in chronic inflammation.

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