Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Crohn’s Disease
● Endoscopy and biopsies of the upper and lower intestine
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)? How is Crohn’s disease treated? IBD refers to a chronic inflam-
The aim of treatment is to decrease the inflammation causing
the damage to the intestines. Even though a cure is not yet
possible, control of symptoms can be very effective in most
patients. The number of medications available continues to
Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis affects only the lining of the
increase, and new treatments can be expected in the future.
large intestine (the colon), while Crohn’s disease can involve
The medications most commonly used to treat Crohn’s disease
any part of the intestine, small or large, and irritate not only the
● Antibiotics, such as metronidazole, ciprofloxacin and
● ASA anti-inflammatories, such as Azulfidine ®, Colazal ®,
How common is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
● Steroids,such as prednisone, prednisolone or budesonide
Immuno-modulators, such as Purinethol®, Imuran® or
It is estimated that about 1,000,000 Americans suffer from IBD.
Males and females are affected equally. Crohn’s disease may
occur at any age, including young children but occurs most
● Nutritional treatments with supplemental liquid formulas. This
often in young adults. Most cases of Crohn’s disease are
can be particularly applicable to children who eat poorly and
diagnosed before age 30. Crohn’s disease tends to occur in
families and in certain ethnic groups, such as EasternEuropean Jews. About 5-8% of patients may have a familymember with IBD and about 20-25% of patients may have a
Is there a role for surgery?
close relative with the condition. However, it can occur in anyethnic group and in members of families where no one else is
Because there is high risk of recurrence after surgery, this
option is reserved for complications such as an obstructionfrom a narrowed area of the intestine, chronic pain, bleeding, or
What causes Crohn’s disease?
when using all other medicine does not work.
It is currently believed that Crohn’s disease occurs in
For more information or to locate a pediatric gastroenterologist
individuals as a result of genetic and environmental factors.
in your area please visit our website at: www.naspghan.org
For unknown reasons, the immune system becomes abnormally active against the individual’s own system. It
IMPORTANT REMINDER: This information from the North American Society for
targets not only the intestine, but sometimes other organs like
Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) is intendedonly to provide general information and not as a definitive basis for diagnosis ortreatment in any particular case. It is very important that you consult your doctorabout your specific condition.What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease? SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS:
● Diarrhea, sometimes with blood and mucus
How is Crohn’s disease diagnosed?
The diagnosis of Crohn’s disease may be suspected on the
NORTH AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR PEDIATRIC GASTROENTEROLOGY,
basis of the medical history, but the final determination
HEPATOLOGY AND NUTRITION
depends on the results from the required diagnostic tests. The work-up usually includes:
NASPGHAN • PO Box 6 • Flourtown, PA 19031 215-233-0808 • Fax: 215-233-3939
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