Crohn's Disease

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that follows a relapsing and remitting course. It causes thickening and ulceration of the walls of the small intestines, the colon, or both, leading to a cobblestone-like appearance of the inflamed bowel. The most common symptom of Crohn’s disease is abdominal pain with watery diarrhea. People suffering from Crohn’s disease also tend to lose weight as they avoid food fearing that it will cause abdominal cramps. Almost half of the patients also develop skin tags and fissures in the perineal region.

Untreated Crohn’s disease can cause life-threatening inflammation of the bowel, hemorrhage, and increased risk of certain types of cancer. Since this is a lifelong condition, it necessitates a multidisciplinary management approach. When the disease is exacerbated, corticosteroid treatment is given to reduce inflammation, with budesonide being the drug of choice. Immunosuppressive medication is given for maintenance. When the disease becomes unresponsive to conventional medical therapy and impairs the quality of life, surgery to remove the colon may become necessary.

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