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Crohn's Disease

Introduction

Crohn's Disease is an inflammatory condition that can affect any section of the gastrointestinal tract, however it most commonly impacts the small bowel and the colon. In the small bowel it is generally the last section, known as the terminal ileum, that is affected.

The condition generally affects people at a young age, but it can develop in older people as well.

Symptoms

The main symptoms of Crohn's Disease are...

  • Pain in the abdominal area.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Weight loss.

Several other symptoms may present, and these depend on which section/s of the bowel have been impacted. These symptoms include...

  • Pain / swelling to the area around the anus.
  • Discharge from the anus.
  • Bleeding from the rectum.
  • Mouth ulcers.
  • Nausea / vomiting.

Tests / Diagnosis

Two tests are routinely used to diagnose Crohn's Disease - colonoscopy and/or an abdominal CT scan.

Crohn's Disease cannot be fully cured, but it can be managed and treated. A gastroenterologist will be able to recommend suitable medications. In some instances, major bowel surgery is the recommended option to treat some of the complications of Crohn's Disease.