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Crohn’s Disease; Symptoms & Treatment Abroad

Crohn’s Disease; Symptoms & Treatment

Crohn’s disease was first described in 1932 by Dr. Crohn and his colleagues.

It is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects mostly the small intestine and the colon. The cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, scientists believe that it has to do with the individual’s genetics and the immune system in which the latter defends the body from positive microbes by mistake.

The disease causes inflammation in the lining of the digestive tract, which causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.

Inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can involve different areas of the digestive tract in different people.  The treatment of Crohn’s disease is based on medical therapy. The Gastroenterology Department at major hospitals use non-steroidal and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and immune-system suppressors, antibiotics. If drug treatment does not lead to the desired result, ​​operation is conducted; a resection of a segment of the intestine.

Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory process that spreads over the entire thickness of the intestinal wall. Inflammation and ulceration may develop in any part of the digestive tract – from the mouth to the rectum, but often the pathological process is localized in the lower section of the fine and the upper segment of the colon.

Crohn’s disease is of a chronically intermittent nature: its recurrence alternates with remissions – completely asymptomatic periods. Treatment of Crohn’s disease aims to achieve prolonged remission as radical means capable of permanently relieving the patient from the threat of relapse does not exist.

Clinical signs of Crohn’s disease:

  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Ulcers on the oral mucosa
  • Loss of weight
  • Weakness
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Sweats


Clinical manifestations range from mild to very severe, requiring hospitalization. Crohn’s disease may affect the development of children.

 Complications of Crohn’s disease

Recurrent inflammation accompanied by ulceration and scarring of the intestinal wall, resulting in formation of a fistula (hole) or formed stricture – narrowing of the lumen of the intestine. 
Other developments may occur:

  • Anal fissures
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Osteoporosis
  • Colon cancer

 Diagnosis of Crohn’s disease

Patients who suffer from the above symptoms should undergo a thorough investigation, which includes:

  • Laboratory tests of blood and stool
  • CT and MRI to evaluate the state of the intestinal wall and the surrounding tissues
  • Capsule endoscopy – rendering the intestinal lumen using a video camera
  • Endoscopy of the small intestine
  • Colonoscopy; endoscopic examination of the intestine
  • Radiography

 Treatment of Crohn’s disease

The main treatment for the disease is medication in order to stop the inflammation in the intestine and medication to prevent flare-ups.  If no medicine can control the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and there are severe side effects from the medication, then surgery is the solution. Surgical treatment of Crohn’s disease is a partial bowel resection: the diseased segment is removed and the healthy parts are sewn together. Surgery can also be performed at the strictures of the intestine to restore its patency. It must be emphasized that the resection of a segment of the intestine is not an ultimate mean of preventing relapse. 

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