Crohn’s disease is a life-long condition effecting victims of any age. It is considered a form of an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the digestive system. The cause of the disease is unknown. The inflammation is due to the immune system attacking the healthy cells throughout the body’s gastrointestinal tract.
Crohn’s Disease along with Ulcerative Colitis are two of the major forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Crohn's disease also known as regional enteritis is a chronic disease. The disease affects different parts of the digestive system where ulcers develop, usually towards the end of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine. However it can develop from the mouth to the anus as they are a part of the digestive tract.
Crohn’s Disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. It is one of two disease under the category “IBD”, or Irritable Bowel Disease, the other being Ulcerative Colitis. Crohn’s is named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, who, along with Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer, described the disease back in 1932. Crohn’s commonly affects the ileum and the beginning of the colon, but it can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus. Crohn’s can affect the entire bowel wall, while it can also “skip” over patches of the diseased intestine, leaving some unaffected parts of the area. In a healthy gastrointestinal tract, there are many harmless bacteria, which aid in digestion. The immune system will attack and kill any foreign invaders. In Crohn’s patients, the normal bacteria are mistaken for invaders, and the immune system responds. Cells will travel out of the blood and to the intestines, in turn producing inflammation, the normal response. The inflammation does not go down, which leads to chronic inflammation, ulceration, and a thickening of the intestinal wall. These lead to the patient’s symptoms.
Many people have suffered some form of gastrointestinal discomfort in their life. For patients with Crohn’s Disease this can be a daily occurrence that greatly affects their everyday lives. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease that targets the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s most commonly will occur in the lower GI tract involving the small and large intestine and colon but can be found anywhere throughout the GI tract from mouth to anus. Crohn’s is lumped together in a larger group of illnesses more commonly referred to as inflammatory bowel disease. ("About crohn's disease," 2009)
Crohn’s is an incurable inflammatory bowel disease that can damage the intestine over time; Crohn’s disease can cause painful gas, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and the inability to eat normally.
Crohn’s Disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, IBD, which affects the lining of the digestive tract. (MayoClinic, 2009). Inflammation is caused from the T-cells being activated which results in damage to the digestive tract. According Rangasamy, P. MD and Katz, J. M.D. (2011), “Once the T-cells are activated by antigen presentation, unrestraint of the helper lymphocytes type 1 (Th1) predominate in Crohn’s Disease because of defective regulation. Th1 cytokines such as interleukin (IL)–12 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)–alpha stimulate the inflammatory response. Inflammatory cells recruited by these cytokines release nonspecific inflammatory substances, including arachidonic acid metabolites, proteases, platelet activating factor, and free radicals, which result in direct injury to the intestine.” (paragraph 1- pathophysiology).
Inflammatory bowel diseases affect millions of Americans every year. While their causation has been connected to the nervous system for quite some time, recent research has also suggested that these diseases may be caused by abnormalities in the enteric nervous system. The enteric nervous system is found in the intestines. It has more neurons than the entire spinal cord, and it provides neurological signaling between the central nervous system and the intestines. (Furness, 2011). Inflammatory bowel diseases include ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. While their cause is generally disputed, they lead to painful sores in the intestines and last for a patient's lifetime. (Dugdale, & Longstreth, 2011). Inflammatory bowel diseases have no known cure. While many studies have taken place, the first step in finding a cure for inflammatory bowel diseases is deciding what their cause is. The study of the enteric nervous system may lead to the discovery of what this cause maybe.
Everyone should know that a lower GI is a very common and important exam used to diagnose many colon conditions. A lower GI examination, also know as a barium enema, is an x-ray examination of the large intestine. The large intestine, or large bowel, consists of the entire colon, including the appendix, rectum, and sigmoid colon. This commonly performed test is essentially the predecessor to the more familiar colonoscopy. A lower GI is used worldwide to help diagnose fatal diseases and many other problems that affect the large intestine.
Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a serve inflammation of the large intestine. Some symptoms include diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, and abdominal pain. Though it is not yet known what causes UC, some scientists believe it could be a combined factor of genetics, environment and the immune system.
The colon and rectum are part of the large intestine (bowel). Colon and rectum cancers, which are sometimes referred to together as"colorectal cancer,"usually grow in the lining of the large intestine. Cancer of the Colon and Rectum is the third most common cancer in adults and accounts for 11% of all cancer deaths. Other types of cancer that can grow in the large intestine include lymphomas, melanomas or sarcomas. Alternative names for Cancer is; Colorectal cancer; Intestinal cancer; Bowel cancer; Cancer – colon. .