disease causes inflammation in the small intestine. Crohn's
disease usually occurs in the lower part of the small
intestine, called the ileum, but it can affect any part of the
digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus.
inflammation extends deep into the lining of the affected
organ. The inflammation can cause
pain and can make the
intestines empty frequently, resulting in
disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the general
name for diseases that cause inflammation in the
disease can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are
similar to other intestinal disorders such as irritable bowel
syndrome and to another type of IBD called ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and ulcers in the top
layer of the lining of the large intestine.
common symptoms of Crohn's
disease are abdominal pain,
often in the lower right area, and diarrhea. Rectal bleeding,
weight loss, and fever may also occur. Bleeding may be serious
and persistent, leading to anemia. Children with Crohn's
disease may suffer delayed development and stunted
about what causes Crohn's disease abound, but none has been
proven. The most popular theory is that the body's immune
system reacts to a virus or a bacterium by causing ongoing
inflammation in the intestine.
with Crohn's disease tend to have abnormalities of the immune
system, but doctors do not know whether these abnormalities are
a cause or result of the disease. Crohn's disease is not caused
by emotional distress.
for Crohn's disease depends on the location and severity of
disease, complications, and response to previous treatment. The
goals of treatment are to control inflammation, correct
nutritional deficiencies, and relieve symptoms like abdominal
pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding.
may include drugs, nutrition supplements, surgery, or a
combination of these options. At this time, treatment can help
control the disease, but there is no cure.
people are first treated with drugs containing mesalamine, a
substance that helps control inflammation. Sulfasalazine is the
most commonly used of these drugs.
who do not benefit from it or who cannot tolerate it may be put
on other mesalamine-containing drugs, generally known as 5-ASA
agents, such as Asacol, Dipentum, or Pentasa. Possible side
effects of mesalamine preparations include nausea, vomiting,
heartburn, diarrhea, and headache.
patients take corticosteroids to control inflammation. These
drugs are the most effective for active Crohn's disease, but
they can cause serious side effects, including greater
susceptibility to infection.
may recommend nutritional supplements, especially for children
whose growth has been slowed. Special high-calorie liquid
formulas are sometimes used for this purpose.
number of patients may need periods of feeding by vein. This
can help patients who need extra nutrition temporarily, those
whose intestines need to rest, or those whose intestines cannot
absorb enough nutrition from food.
remove part of the intestine can help Crohn's disease but
cannot cure it. The inflammation tends to return next to the
area of intestine that has been removed.
Crohn's disease patients require surgery, either to relieve
symptoms that do not respond to medical therapy or to correct
complications such as blockage, perforation, abscess, or
bleeding in the intestine.
malabsorption is common in Crohn’s and can lead to a deficiency
of the vitamin. Successful treatment with vitamin D for
osteomalacia (bone brittleness caused by vitamin D deficiency)
triggered by Crohn’s disease has been
study found 1,000 IU per day of vitamin D prevented bone loss
in people with Crohn’s, while an unsupplemented group
experienced significant bone loss. A doctor should evaluate
vitamin D status and suggest the right level of vitamin D
Crohns Disease Article
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MD. Intestinal absorption of cholecalciferol and
25-hydrocycholecalciferol in patients with both Crohn’s
disease and intestinal resection.
Am J Clin
- Harris AD, Brown R, Heatley RV, et al.
Vitamin D status in Crohn’s disease: association with
nutrition and disease activity.
- Driscoll RH, Meredith SC, Sitrin M,
Rosenberg IH. Vitamin D deficiency and bone disease in
patients with Crohn’s disease. Gastroenterol 1982;83:1252–8.
- Vogelsang H, Ferenci P, Resch H, et al.
Prevention of bone mineral loss in patients with Crohn’s
disease by long-term oral vitamin D supplementation.
Eur J Gastroenterol
- Mate J, Castanos R, Garcia-Samaniego J,
Pajares JM. Does dietary fish oil maintain the remission of
Crohn’s disease: a case control study.
- National Institutes of