Chron's disease, chronic inflammation of the digestive system: symptoms, severity, diagnosis and treatment
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammation that can affect the entire digestive system but usually occurs in the last tract of the small intestine (ileum), in the colon or in both. Together with ulcerative colitis, it is part of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, often referred to as IBD.
Symptoms vary from person to person and according to the various stages of the disease. Generally the main symptoms are: pain in the abdomen, mild fever and diarrhea. The pain is usually localized at the navel and in the right belly, so much so that it can often be confused with an attack of acute appendicitis.
The onset or exacerbation of pain after meals is typical. A decrease in appetite, weight loss and anal fistulas, connections created by the disease between the intestine and the skin, may also appear.
The diagnosis must always be made by the specialist. It is necessary to carry out a radiological examination to understand if there are lesions and where they are located and a control colonoscopy must also be performed to assess the state of the intestinal mucosa and possibly do a biopsy to assess the degree of inflammation.
Regarding the treatments, which must always be defined by the doctor and studied case by case, we must keep in mind that it is a chronic disease: there may be long periods of well-being alternating with phases in which symptoms appear. It is important to pay particular attention to the complications of the disease, such as stenosis, that is, the narrowing of the intestine that makes it impossible for the normal transit of stools to occur. In this case, surgery may become necessary to remove the intestinal tract altered by the disease.
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