Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract, explains Mayo Clinic. It spreads deep into affected bowel tissue and can cause severe diarrhea, malnutrition and fatigue. Crohn’s disease can lead to life-threatening complications, and there is no known cure as of 2015.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include diarrhea, fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, cramping, blood in the stool, mouth sores, decreased appetite, weight loss and perianal disease, states Mayo Clinic. Severe Crohn’s disease symptoms include liver inflammation, skin inflammation and delayed sexual and growth development in children. Medical care is required if abdominal pain, prolonged fever, diarrhea that is unresponsive to over-the-counter medication, blood in the stool or weight loss occurs. The cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, but a malfunctioning immune system and heredity likely play a role in its development.
Treatment for Crohn’s disease includes anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics and nutrition therapy, according to Mayo Clinic. Anti-inflammatory drugs include oral 5-aminosalicylates and corticosteroids. Immune system suppressors include azathioprine, mercaptopurine, infliximab, adalimumab andcertolizumab pegol; in addition to methotrexate and cyclosporine. Metronidazole and ciprofloxacin are two antibiotics prescribed to treat Crohn’s disease. Intravenous nutrition therapy may be used in combination with these treatments to improve nutrition and reduce inflammation.