October 1, 2009

Symptoms, Causes & Treatment for Crohn’s Disease

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Crohn’s disease is a debilitating type of colitis – meaning that it is an inflammation of the colon. However, the disease is not restricted to occurring only in the colon and medical science says that the disease can affect any part of the digestive system from the mouth to the anus. What makes the condition especially fierce is the fact that though the problem starts out in the colon it can have an effect on nearly every part of the body from the eyes to the nervous system, causing even seemingly unrelated ailments like arthritis and clubbed fingers. If you were wondering what kind of a pathogenic parasite could be causing this disease, you would be disappointed to know that the disease is not caused by any foreign object but is a result of the body attacking itself. This is a class of diseases called autoimmune disorders. An autoimmune disorder is one in which there is a glitch in the immune system of the body and instead of only focusing on foreign bodies the immune system suddenly turns on the body itself and destroys healthy tissues. There are no cures for this or any other type of autoimmune disorder and the only way to treat the condition is to manage the symptoms.

Crohn’s disease typically affects the small intestine, the portion between the small and large intestine, and the large intestine. It is branded as granulomatus colitis. Granulomatus indicates that the inflammation causes a wall of cells to be created that is an attempt to block away foreign bodies from the site of inflammation. This is of course an incorrect response of the immune system. The inflammation of the intestines goes on to cause malabsorption, bleeding, diarrhea, blood filled feces. The condition can also cause the development of fistulae in the intestines that are features that connect one organ to another. Crohn’s disease usually ends up causing an eye inflammation that if left untreated can cause blindness. Other ancillary problems include the development of arthritis, another autoimmune disorder.

There is no cure for Crohn’s disease yet as the causes for the disease has been found to be a problem with the body’s immune system – one of the most complex systems in the body. This is also one of the few autoimmune diseases in which even surgery cannot be of any help. The only treatment that can be attempted is the use of immuno suppressant drugs and corticosteroids for immediate symptoms and aminosalicylate in the long term.