Crohn's disease, together with Ulcerative Colitis, are types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Both are thought to be autoimmune diseases, meaning that the body’s own immune system is attacking it’s own healthy cells.
In the case of Crohn's disease, the inflammation and damage is most commonly found in the lower portion of the small bowel, but can be found anywhere along the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bleeding, anemia, and weight loss. You may also experience night sweats and fever. Crohn’s disease is a chronic disease that has no cure, but treatments can help the Crohn’s to go into remission, meaning that there may be periods of being symptom free.
A gastroenterologist is the best provider of care for Crohn’s patients. Most Crohn’s patients are diagnosed before age 30, but the disease can develop at any age. Once diagnosed, you need to be monitored regularly by your doctor. There can be serious complications with Crohn’s disease, including infections, bleeding, and perforations in the wall of the intestine. Patients are also at an increased risk for developing colon cancer and should be screened earlier than the general population. When you make an appointment with Dr. Islam, he will discuss the best schedule for exams and screenings based on your personal history.