Crohn's disease

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Crohn's disease

Post  Hummingbird on Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:25 pm

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea and even malnutrition.

The inflammation caused by Crohn's disease often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissue. Like ulcerative colitis, another common IBD, Crohn's disease can be both painful and debilitating and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications.

While there's no known medical cure for Crohn's disease, therapies can greatly reduce the signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease and even bring about long-term remission. With these therapies, many people with Crohn's disease are able to function well.

Signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease can range from mild to severe and may develop gradually or come on suddenly, without warning. You may also have periods of time when you have no signs or symptoms (remission). When the disease is active, signs and symptoms may include:

* Diarrhea. The inflammation that occurs in Crohn's disease causes cells in the affected areas of your intestine to secrete large amounts of water and salt. Because the colon can't completely absorb this excess fluid, you develop diarrhea. Intensified intestinal cramping also can contribute to loose stools. Diarrhea is the most common problem for people with Crohn's.
* Abdominal pain and cramping. Inflammation and ulceration may cause the walls of portions of your bowel to swell and eventually thicken with scar tissue. This affects the normal movement of contents through your digestive tract and may lead to pain and cramping. Mild Crohn's disease usually causes slight to moderate intestinal discomfort, but in more-serious cases, the pain may be severe and include nausea and vomiting.
* Blood in your stool. Food moving through your digestive tract may cause inflamed tissue to bleed, or your bowel may also bleed on its own. You might notice bright red blood in the toilet bowl or darker blood mixed with your stool. You can also have bleeding you don't see (occult blood).
* Ulcers. Crohn's disease can cause small sores on the surface of the intestine that eventually become large ulcers that penetrate deep into — and sometimes through — the intestinal walls. You may also have ulcers in your mouth similar to canker sores.
* Reduced appetite and weight loss. Abdominal pain and cramping and the inflammatory reaction in the wall of your bowel can affect both your appetite and your ability to digest and absorb food.

Other signs and symptoms
People with severe Crohn's disease may also experience:

* Fever
* Fatigue
* Arthritis
* Eye inflammation
* Skin disorders
* Inflammation of the liver or bile ducts
* Delayed growth or sexual development, in children

When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you have persistent changes in your bowel habits or if you have any of the signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease, such as:

* Abdominal pain
* Blood in your stool
* Ongoing bouts of diarrhea that don't respond to over-the-counter (OTC) medications
* Unexplained fever lasting more than a day or two
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Re: Crohn's disease

Post  mamabear on Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:57 pm

Your info. on Crohn's is very accurate, although lots of people have different symptoms. As for me, I do not have diarrea normally, I have chronic constipation which is really painful. The disease causes lots of stuff to go on with in the body, but then the meds can and usually are just as bad with the side effects. Not a nice disease to have, but then, are there any nice diseases????



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