What is it?
Crohn's disease is a rare, long-term inflammation of the digestive tract, especially the small intestine.
Diarrhoea, pain, fever and weight loss are all common symptoms.
Crohn's disease usually manifests itself in sufferers between the ages of 15 and 30 and it can sometimes run in families, suggesting there may be a genetic component to its development. Smoking is a known risk factor.
What are the symptoms?
General feeling of malaise
About 10% develop other conditions linked with Crohn's, including a form of arthritis known as ankylosing spondylitis, kidney stones, gallstones and a rash called erythema nodosum.
What's the treatment?
Mild attacks of Crohn's disease may be treated with antidiarrhoeal drugs and painkillers.
For an acute attack, your doctor may prescribe oral steroids. As soon as symptoms subside, the dosage will be reduced to avoid the risk of triggering any side effects.
If your symptoms are very severe, you may need hospital treatment with intravenous corticosteroids.
In all cases, once the dosage of corticosteroids has been reduced, your doctor may recommend oral sulphasalazine or mesalamine to prevent recurrences.
An immunosuppressant drug, such as azathioprine, is sometimes considered.
You may also require dietary supplements, such as vitamins, to counteract malabsorption.
During severe attacks, you may need to be fed nutrients directly into a vein.
Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/advice/miriam/2011/10/31/two-minutes-on-crohn-s-disease-115875-23526522/#ixzz1dmRq0xnX
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