Archive for health

Crohn’s Diagnosis & Testing

Posted in Health with tags , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by m3diawolf

Crohn’s disease is characterized by a range of signs and symptoms, so there is no single test that can determine the diagnosis of Crohn’s with certainty.

The symptoms of Crohn’s disease are often similar to other conditions, including bacterial infection. To diagnose you with Crohn’s,doctors need to evaluate a combination of information and begin to exclude other potential causes of your symptoms. This process can take some time. Should you or a loved one experience symptoms, be sure to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Early Tests and Exams

First, your doctor will conduct a standard physical exam of your body and interview you to learn more about your general health, diet, family history, and environment. Bring a record of your symptoms.

Early steps in the diagnostic process can include laboratory tests of blood and stool matter, as well as X-rays of the upper and lower GI tract including the use of Barium, a chemical that helps doctors see more details of your GI tract by increasing contrast of the X-Ray image.

Endoscopy and Biopsy

Your doctor may recommend an endoscopy, which is the use of medical instruments to visually examine the interior of your colon with a small camera mounted to the end of a lighted tube. There are two types of endoscopic examinations: a colonoscopy and an upper endoscopy.

  • Colonoscopy involves insertion of a flexible tube through the opening of the anus and allows for the examination of the colon, the lowest part of the large intestine.
  • Upper Endoscopy involves the insertion of a flexible tube through the opening of the mouth, down the esophagus, into the stomach, and as far as the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.

In addition to a visual examination, doctors will often wish to obtain a biopsy of the colon or other affected areas by removing a small piece of tissue. Biopsied tissues are then analyzed in pathology to determine the presence of disease.

While endoscopy and biopsy may sound invasive, modern medical technology and techniques have made these procedures virtually painless and easily accomplished during an outpatient visit.

Source: http://www.ccfa.org/

Advertisements

Crohn’s Disease

Posted in Health with tags , on June 9, 2012 by m3diawolf

Crohn’s Disease (C.D.)

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease (CD) is named after the doctor who first described it in 1932. (Since he did not have the disease itself, it is sometimes more accurately called Crohn disease).

The inflammation from CD can strike anywhere in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from mouth to anus, but is usually located in the lower part of the small bowel and the upper end of the colon. Patches of inflammation are interspersed between healthy portions of the gut, and can penetrate the intestinal layers from inner to outer lining.

CD can also affect the mesentery, which is the network of tissue that holds the small bowel to the abdomen and contains the main intestinal blood vessels and lymph glands.

What are the Symptoms?

Since CD can be located anywhere in the GI tract, symptoms can vary. On the whole however, they often include abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and not surprisingly, weight loss and lack of energy.

Crohn’s disease is a chronic (lifelong) illness. People who have CD will experience periods of acute flare-ups, when their symptoms are active and other times when their symptoms go into remission. The average risk of a flare-up in any one year is approximately 30%.

In 25% of those with CD, perianal disease may also develop. “Peri” means “around” – therefore perianal disease is located “around the anus”.

Specifically this means that a person could develop:

  • painful, swollen skin tags (that appear to be haemhorrhoids but are not)
  • abscesses (bags of pus created inside the body as a result of infection)
  • fistulas (infections that have tunneled from the abscess to a hollow organ such as the rectum or vagina)

Can CD be cured?

There is no cure for Crohn’s disease – yet.

*sources: ccfc.ca
%d bloggers like this: