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Diseases & Conditions

Crohn's Disease

Crohn‘s disease, or ileitis, is an incurable chronic disorder that affects the gastrointestinal tract, usually the large or small intestines. It causes inflammation in the system and difficulty in digestion, ranging in intensity from annoying to potentially life-threatening. Patients with Crohn‘s disease often have to make changes in their diet and lifestyle to accommodate the disease.

Causes of Crohn‘s Disease

The exact cause of Crohn‘s disease is unknown, but may include diet, emotional stress, and hereditary. People who have a family member with the disease, and/or are of white or Ashkenazi Jewish (eastern European) descent, are more likely to develop it. Some physicians believe it may also be an immune reaction to an invading bacteria or virus. Age and cigarette smoking also increase the risk of developing Crohn‘s disease.

Symptoms of Crohn‘s Disease

Crohn‘s disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD) that damages the tissues of the gastrointestinal tract. The first effects are usually mild, but it can also strike severely without warning. Symptoms include:

  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps, possibly including nausea and vomiting
  • fever and tiredness
  • bloody stools
  • sores in the mouth
  • reduced appetite, as well as vitamin and nutrient deficiency
  • a constant feeling of fullness in the bowels

In severe cases, Crohn‘s disease can also cause:

  • sores and drainage around the anus
  • inflammation of the liver, skin, eyes, or joints
  • ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract

Treatment Available

While Crohn‘s disease is incurable, its effects can be lessened with proper treatment. With luck, it can go into remission for months or even years at a time. The primary treatment is with anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids, and sometimes immune-system-suppressing drugs. The doctor may also prescribe a low-fiber diet if diarrhea or swelling in the gastrointestinal tract are an issue. Injections of vitamins and other nutrients, or even a liquid feeding tube, may also be necessary if the patient is unable to eat or digest properly.

If all else fails, many Crohn‘s patients require surgery to remove parts of the gastrointestinal tract that have been damaged by inflammation. This may bring relief but is not a permanent fix.

Medications to Treat Crohn‘s Disease

Over-the-Counter Medications:

  • Asacol
  • Flagyl
  • Humira
  • Medrol
  • Imuran

Compounded Medications:
We can make capsules or oral suspensions of the following:

  • Prednisolone
  • Metronidazole
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Azathioprine
  • Mercaptopurine
  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA