Parent's Resource Center

Crohn's disease is of special interest to me because I developed the symptoms in my early 20's.  Since then, I have learned to live with this debilitating disease.  But first, a little about Crohn's disease and new technology to fight it.

Crohn's disease is marked by chronic inflammation of the colon. Crohn's disease will wax and wane in severity. Many patients develop diarrhea as well as abdominal pain and weight loss. Bloody diarrhea is less common in Crohn's disease when compared to ulcerative colitis.

The treatment for Crohn's disease is very similar to that of ulcerative colitis. Patients thus may be treated with sulfasalazine, Mesalamine preparations and Glucocorticoids as well as 6-mercaptopurine.

Some antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin and Metronidazole can be effective for specific complications associated with Crohn's disease. Particularly, Metronidazole has been useful in treating patients who have fistulous disease. Ciprofloxacin has also been utilized in some patients who have "micro perforations".

It is of essence that adequate nutrition be maintained in Crohn's disease. Thus patients may require B12 therapy as well as supplementation of calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin D, vitamins and folic acid.

On occasion, total parenteral nutrition (TPN) may be required for patients who have severe disease. (TPN is a method for providing nutrition to patients through the veins. This is especially useful in some patients with inflammatory bowel disease, malabsortive disorders and severe malnutrition.) Usually these patients have been hospitalized and have been refractory to high dose IV steroid therapy. Under these circumstances, total parenteral nutrition may provide improved bowel control and induce remission. In some cases, total parenteral nutrition may be administered at home under the close supervision of a physician.

Complications associated with Crohn's disease include:

Fistula formation
Anal disease
Non-healing ulcer disease, etc.

For information on contact:   Irritable Bowel Syndrome - A nonprofit organization dedicated to helping everyone who suffers from IBS through patient support groups, treatment, accurate information and education.

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Revised: September 01, 2009