Crohn disease is a disorder that causes diarrhoea, belly pain, and other symptoms that affect the digestive tract. When our digestive tract is working normally, the body’s system kills germs and “bad” cells that would be converted into cancer. Sometimes, rather than killing only bad cells, something goes wrong and the immune system starts to attack healthy cells. That’s called an “autoimmune response.” This is often what happens in Crohn disease. If you have Crohn disease, your body is attacking the wall of your GI tract. This causes inflammation, which may result in sores (ulcers) and bleeding.
The most common symptoms are diarrhoea, belly pain, feeling tired, weight loss, and fever. Some people with Crohn disease also get mouth sores, skin rashes, joint pain, and eye redness.
Yes. There are some tests that may help diagnose Crohn disease. Doctors use X-rays or scans to see at the upper intestine and a test called “colonoscopy” to see at the lower intestine. During a colonoscopy, the doctor puts a thin tube into your anus and up into the rectum and colon. The tube includes a camera attached to it, so the doctor can look inside your colon and also the last a part of your small intestine.
Depending on your symptoms, you might get other tests, too. This will help your doctor determine if something apart from Crohn disease is causing your symptoms.
There are many medicines that help reduce the symptoms of Crohn disease. The majority of those medicines work by reducing inflammation and the body’s immune response. You might need to try some different medicines before you discover the one that works best for you. Names of some of the medicines are prednisolone, azathioprine, mesalamine etc.
It can. Your risk depends on how long you’ve had it and whether your colon is affected. Experts suggest that people with long-term Crohn disease that affects the colon get screened with colonoscopy regularly.
People with Crohn disease often need lifelong treatment. But with treatment, many people with the condition are able to live fairly normal lives.