Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causing inflammation of the digestive tract, also known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The disease can affect the tract anywhere from the mouth to the anus, but it is commonly found in the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum. Crohn’s disease is also called regional enteritis.
The causes of Crohn’s disease are unknown, but the condition is recognized as an autoimmune disorder. Typically, the immune system is the body’s natural defense system from bacteria, viruses, and other illnesses. However, with Crohn’s disease, the immune system does not register a difference between normal body tissue and foreign substances, resulting in an overactive response. This leads to chronic inflammation in the body.
Common signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease are: pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, bleeding from the rectum, weight loss, joint pain or arthritis, skin problems and fever. Crohn’s disease symptoms are similar to other intestinal disorders, so it can be difficult to diagnose. A physical exam and a series of tests, such as xrays and a colonoscopy are usually necessary to diagnose the disease. The disorder affects both men and women equally, and it appears to run in some families. People of Jewish heritage have an increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease. It is typically diagnosed in young adults, although it can affect people of all ages.
Treatment plans for Crohn’s disease include anti-inflammatory drugs such as sulfasalazine, mesalamine and coristicosteroids. These medications may be specifically prescribed to target discomfort associated with the disease, but these medications are not a cure for Crohn’s and cannot relieve all symptoms. Alternative treatments for some patients include rectal steroids, immune system suppressors, and anti-diarrheal medications. The practice of a healthy diet low in fatty foods and dairy products, and the reduction of stress can greatly improve the daily comfort levels of people with Crohn’s disease.
At Stat RX Pharmacy, we understand the needs of our patients afflicted by Crohn’s disease. Our expert pharmacists and staff can assist providers and patients in creating treatment regimens that integrate into their life’s schedule so that patients can manage their health comfortably and efficiently. Contact us today to learn more about our Crohn’s disease services.