Crohn’s Disease, Regional Enteritis
Crohn’s (Regional Enteritis) is a disease named after Dr. Burrell Crohn who first described it. Crohn’s disease is one of a group of disorders called inflammatory bowel disease and can affect any part of the intestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. It most commonly affects the last few inches of the small intestine (the terminal ileum).
Symptoms may include:
- abdominal pain
- weight loss
It may affect this area alone or in combination with other segments of the small intestine or colon and may cause depression, frustration and be an inconvenience. Crohn’s disease can be a debilitating condition. The disease process results in ulceration of the lining of the intestine. The ulcers may become deep and actually erode through the bowel wall into an adjacent structure. This communication is called a fistula. Fistulas can occur between loops of bowel, from the bowel into the urinary bladder or vagina or out the abdominal wall. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include abdominal pain, cramps, distention, and diarrhea often associated with weight loss. Medical treatment is usually sufficient to control the disease and will heal the ulceration present in the bowel. If medical treatment is unsuccessful or if a fistula has developed surgery may be necessary to remove a segment of the diseased bowel.
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