Crohn’s Disease
Friday, March 13, 2009

Crohn’s (“Krones”) disease is a serious problem affecting the intestines.  Dr. Edward Hill discusses this problem in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation or ulceration of the intestine. It may affect any part of the digestive tract, but most commonly the last part of the small intestine and the first part of the large intestine.

Crohn’s disease affects the deepest layers of the digestive tract lining. It can cause deep ulcers and sores called granulomas.

The main symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:

· Abdominal pain.  This pain is described as cramping, and may occur anywhere in the abdomen.

· Diarrhea, or frequent loose stools.

· Loss of appetite.

· Fever. In severe cases, fever, malaise, weakness or other symptoms may develop.

· Weight loss.  From decreased appetite and poor food absorption,

· Anemia.  From bloody stools or lack of production of blood.

Treatment for Crohn’s disease involves medications to treat the inflammatory process.  People with severe symptoms not improved with medication may require surgery to remove the affected portion of intestine.  People with Crohn’s disease require diligent care by their physician and strict adherence to the treatment regimen.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.