Metro Bariatrics - Amir Moazzez MD, FACS

Crohn’s Disease

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any part of the digestive system, from the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus. It mostly affects the last part of the small bowel and the large intestine. It is a life-long disease with no cure.

Crohn’s disease is also associated with arthritis, skin diseases, liver diseases, eye diseases, seizures, spine problems, and other diseases.

What causes Crohn’s Disease?

No one knows what causes it. There are several thoughts, such as a bacterial infection, genetics (runs in families), body’s immune system attacking the bowels, or environmental causes. It mostly attacks young adults (age 20-30’s) and older adults (50-60’s). It is more common in Europe and North America.

What the symptoms?

Symptoms are non-specific, and can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, weight loss, infections, perirectal abscesses, etc.

How is Crohn’s disease diagnosed and treated?

Crohn’s disease is diagnosed by the history and endoscopy (EGD and Colonoscopy). Also, there are blood tests for Crohn’s. However, the diagnosis is not 100%, and the disease may be confused with Ulcerative Colitis.

A Gastroenterologist is a medical doctor that specializes in the intestines. He/she is the first line in treating Crohn’s.

Medical therapy with steroids and other drugs is the mainstay of therapy, and is dictated by the gastroenterologist.

What is the role of surgery in Crohn’s Disease?

Surgery can not cure Crohn’s. Surgery should be avoided unless it is indicated. Such situations include:

  1. if medications are not working,
  2. if there is a hole or perforation of the bowels,
  3. if the bowels are blocked,
  4. if the bowels are bleeding profusely.

Also, surgery is indicated if there is pus in the abdomen or on your anus.

How are Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis different?

Both are inflammatory bowel disease, and on opposite ends of the same spectrum.

  Crohn’s Disease Ulcerative Colitis
Where it occurs Anywhere from mouth to anus Only in the colon and rectum
Anal involvement Yes No
Inflammation Goes deep into tissue On the top layers of tissue
Cancer risk Small risk High risk
Cure No Yes
Weight loss Yes Seldom
Bloody bowel movements Seldom Common

Contact Inova Bariatric

If you would like more information on Crohn’s Disease and treatment options for this condition, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of the experienced doctors at Inova Bariatric, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information presented is only for informational purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness, disease, or condition, nor is it intended to self-diagnose and self-treat any illness, disease or condition. Please consult your physician for any medical concern, question, and ailment.