Introduction• Crohn’s Disease is an idiopathic, chronic, transmural inflammatory process of the bowel that can affect any part of the gastro intestinal tract from the mouth to the anus.• Most cases involve the small bowel, particularly the terminal ileum.
History• 1806: First reported case of Crohn’s by Combe and Sanders to the Royal College of Physicians in London, England.• 1913: Surgical evidence of the disease reported in the paper ‘Chronic Intestinal Enteritis’ written by Dr. Kennedy.• Described in 1932 by Crohn, Ginsburg, and Oppenheimer of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Prevalence• Higher number of cases of Crohn’s disease found in western industrialized nations.• Males and females are equally affected.• Smokers are three times more likely to develop Crohns disease.• Crohns disease affects between 400,000 and 600,000 people in North America.• Prevalence estimates for Northern Europe have ranged from 27–48 per 100,000.• Crohns disease tends to present initially in the teens and twenties.• Malathi and Shivabalan reported CD cases in Southern India.
Classification of CD On the area of the gastrointestinal tract which it affects:• Ileocolic Crohns disease: Affects both the ileum and the large intestine (50%)• Crohns ileitis: Affects the ileum only (30%)• Crohns colitis: Affects the large intestine, accounts for the remaining twenty percent of cases.
Distribution of gastrointestinal Crohns disease :Data from American Gastroenterological Association
Classification of CDOn the behavior of disease as it progresses:• Stricturing disease causes narrowing of the bowel which may lead to bowel obstruction or changes in the caliber of the feces. Stricturing
Classification of CD• Penetrating disease creates abnormal passage ways between the bowel and other structures such as the skin.• Inflammatory disease causes inflammation without causing strictures or fistulae. Inflammatory Penetrating
Symptoms• Onset of Crohns disease is between 15-30 years of age.• People with Crohns disease will go through periods of flare-ups and remission.
Endoscopy image of colon showingserpiginous ulcer in Crohns disease
Gastrointestinal Symptoms• Abdominal pain,diarrhoea, flatulence, bloating, perianal discomfort .• People who have had surgery often end up with short bowel syndrome of the gastrointestinal tract.• Ileitis results in large volume watery feces & colitis result in a smaller volume of feces of higher frequency.• In severe cases, an individual may have more than 20 bowel movements per day and may need to awaken at night to defecate.• The mouth may be affected by non-healing sores (aphthous ulcers).• Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia).
Systemic Symptoms• Up to 30% of children with Crohns disease have retardation of growth.• Among older individuals, Crohns disease may manifest as weight loss related to decreased food intake• People with extensive small intestine disease also have malabsorption of carbohydrates or lipids, which can further exacerbate weight loss.
Extraintestinal Symptoms• Crohns disease also increases the risk of blood clots; painful swelling of the lower legs can be a sign of deep venous thrombosis.• Difficult breathing may be a result of pulmonary embolism.• Autoimmune hemolytic anemia, a condition in which the immune system attacks the red blood cells.
Causes of Crohn’s Disaese Genetics• The disease runs in families then 30 times more likely to develop CD.• Mutations in the NOD2 /CARD15 gene are associated with Crohns disease.• Over 30 genes that show genetics play a role in the disease, either directly through causation or indirectly as with a mediator variable.• Anomalies in the XBP1 gene have recently been identified as a factor, pointing towards a role for the unfolded protein response pathway of the endoplasmatic reticulum in inflammatory bowel diseases.NOD2 : nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain containing 2CARD15 :Cathapse Activation Recruitment Domain
Environmental Factors• Smoking has been shown to increase the risk of the return of active disease, or "flares".• Hormonal contraception in the US in the 1960s is linked with a dramatic increase in the incidence rate of Crohns disease. Immune System• Crohns disease is thought to be an autoimmune disease, with inflammation stimulated by an over-active Th1 cytokine response.• Recent gene to be implicated in Crohns disease is ATG16L1, which may induce autophagy and hinder the bodys ability to attack invasive bacteria.
Microbes• A.V. Singh et al. have suggested that Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) were identified in 100% of subjects with CD ;75% of attendants of MAP infected animals were positive.• Psychrotrophic bacteria such as Yersinia spp and Listeria spp contribute to Crohn’s disease. Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis colonies from stool sample of Crohn’s disease patient
Pathophysiology• Biopsies of the colon are taken to confirm the diagnosis.• Crohns disease shows a transmural pattern of inflammation, showing entire depth of the intestinal wall.• Ulceration is an outcome seen in highly active disease.• Inflammation is characterized by focal infiltration of neutrophils, a type of inflammatory cell, into the epithelium.• These neutrophils leading to inflammation or abscess .• Granulomas known as giant cells, are found in 50% cases of Crohns disease.
Section of Colectomy Showing Transmural Inflammation
Intestinal Complications of Crohns Disease Sore or Ulcer• The cells in lining of the intestines are shed and replaced on a regular basis in a healthy body.• When the lining of the intestine is irritated, cells may be shed more frequently, causing ulcers.• The sores and ulcers are most common in ileum, colon or rectum.• Ulcers can be serious if they go through the intestines and damage an artery.• This can lead to life-threatening bleeding.
Intestinal Complications of Crohns Disease Fistula• Sores and ulcers can become deep and form tunnel through the tissues of nearby organs: The rectum Other parts of the intestine The bladder The vagina The skin.• These tunnels are called "fistulas," and can become infected.• Fistulas require special treatment, such as medication or even surgery.
Intestinal Complications of Crohns Disease Abscess• An abscess is a collection of pus that has formed as a result of fistula due to an infection.• An abscess must be drained in order to heal or surgery may be recommended to remove the infected portion of bowel. Bowel Obstruction• The most common complication of Crohns disease is blockage of the intestine, known as a bowel obstruction occurs in up to 30 % of people.• A bowel obstruction occurs because the disease tends to thicken the intestinal wall with swelling and scar tissue, narrowing or even blocking the passage.
Intestinal Complications of Crohns Disease Cancer• Crohns disease may increase risk of developing cancer.• If the inflammation is mainly in small intestine, risk of cancer of the small intestine is increased.• The risk of cancer gets higher as great as 32 times the normal rate if the whole colon is involved.
Intestinal Complications of Crohns Disease Perforation• A perforation is a hole in the bowel.• The size, location, and seriousness of the hole can vary.• Small perforations often seal themselves off.• More serious bowel perforations may require a surgery and removal of the damaged area. Toxic Megacolon• More serious complications of Crohns disease is called "toxic megacolon," which occurs when the large intestine stops working and expands suddenly.• This can cause it to bleed excessively, or even rupture which can be very dangerous.
Systemic Complications of Crohns Disease Osteoporosis• Osteoporosis is a threat to people with Crohns disease because of: Low calcium and vitamin D intake Poor absorption of nutrients in the body The use of corticosteroids• In a cohort study of 6207 patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporotic fractures were found in 25% of patients and vertebral fractures in 7%; in addition, the age at fracture occurrence was 10–15 years younger than in healthy controls. A 40% increase in the fracture risk has been reported in patients with Crohn’s disease.• Similarly, Klaus et al. reported that 22% of 293 patients with Crohn’s disease had one or more vertebral fractures and that 35% of patients with vertebral fractures were younger than 30 years of age.
Systemic Complications of Crohns Disease Joint Problems• Up to 25 percent of people with Crohns disease will have joint complications.• This may include intermittent joint tenderness or arthritis include ankylosing spondylitis. Ankylosing spondylitis
Skin Problems• Erythema nodosum presents as red nodules on the shins is due to inflammation of the underlying subcutaneous tissue and is characterized by septal panniculitis.• Skin complications occur in about 15 percent of people with Crohns disease.Erythema nodosum on the back and leg of a person with Crohns Disease
Systemic Complications of Crohns Disease • Pyoderma gangrenosum is a painful ulcerating nodule. • Clubbing, a deformity of the ends of the fingers, also be a result of Crohns disease.Pyoderma gangrenosum on Clubbingthe leg of a person withCrohns Disease
Systemic Complications of Crohns Disease Eye Problems• Eye complications occur in about 5 percent of people with Crohns disease. These include:• Iritis (inflammation of the colored part of the eyes)• Uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye)• Episcleritis (inflammation of the white part of the eyes) Episcleritis Uveitis
Diagnosis• Crohns disease does not diagnose with complete certainty.• A colonoscopy is 70% effective in diagnosing the disease via direct visualization of the colon and the terminal ileum.• Capsule endoscopy help in endoscopic diagnosis.• 30% of Crohns disease involves only the ileum, cannulation of the terminal ileum is required in making the diagnosis.
CT scan showing Crohns disease in the fundus of the stomach Endoscopic image of Crohns colitis showing deep ulceration
Radiologic Tests• A barium X-ray where barium sulfate suspension is ingested and fluoroscopic images of the bowel are taken to check inflammation and narrowing of the small bowel.• Identifying anatomical abnormalities when strictures of the colon are too small for a colonoscope to pass through, or in the detection of colonic fistulae.
Blood Tests• A complete blood count may reveal anemia caused either by blood loss or vitamin B12 deficiency.• Erythrocyte sedimentation rate(ESR) and C-reactive protein measurements can also be useful to check the degree of inflammation.• Testing for anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA) and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) has been evaluated to identify inflammation of the intestine.
Crohns Disease & Ulcerative Colitis• Ulcerative colitis mimics the symptoms of Crohns disease, as both are inflammatory bowel diseases that can affect the colon.• Sometimes its not possible to tell the difference, in those case the disease is classified as indeterminate colitis.
Comparisons of Various Factors in Crohns Disease & Ulcerative Colitis Crohns disease Ulcerative colitisTerminal ileum involvement Commonly SeldomColon involvement Usually AlwaysRectum involvement Seldom UsuallyInvolvement around the anus Common Seldom No increase in rate of primaryBile duct involvement Higher rate sclerosing cholangitis Patchy areas of inflammation (SkipDistribution of Disease Continuous area of inflammation lesions) Deep geographic and serpiginousEndoscopy Continuous ulcer (snake-like) ulcers May be transmural, deep intoDepth of inflammation Shallow, mucosal tissuesFistulae Common Seldom Widely regarded as an autoimmuneAutoimmuue disease No consensus diseaseCytokine response Associated with Th17 Vaguely associated with Th2 May have non-necrotizing non-peri- Non-peri-intestinal cryptGranulomas on biopsy intestinal crypt granulomas granulomas not seen Often returns following removal ofSurgical cure Usually cured by removal of colon affected partSmoking Higher risk for smokers Lower risk for smokers
Treatment• Remission may be prolonged Crohn’s disease. in• Symptoms controlled with medication, lifestyle changes and surgery.• Adequately controlled Crohns disease may not significantly restrict daily living.• Treatment for Crohns disease is only when symptoms are active and involve first treating the acute problem, then maintaining remission.
Medication• Antibiotics use to reduce inflammation .• Prolonged use of corticosteroids has significant side.• Alternatives include aminosalicylates alone, though only a minority are able to maintain the treatment, and many require immunosuppressive drugs.
Medicine Used in Treatment of Crohns Disease• 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA)• Prednisone and methylprednisolone• Immunomodulators such as azathioprine, mercaptopurine, methotrexate, infliximab, adalimumab.• Hydrocortisone should be used in severe attacks of Crohns disease.
Management of Crohns Disease: Diagnosed by Clinical Evaluation,Radiographic Studies, Endoscopy, Laboratory Tests and Stool Studies
Lifestyle Changes• Dietary adjustments, proper hydration and smoking cessation reduce symptoms.• Consume balanced diet with proper portion control & eat small meals frequently instead of big meals.• Do regular exercise and take enough sleep.• Identifying foods that trigger symptoms.
Surgery• Crohns cannot be cured by surgery.• Surgery required in case of obstructions, fistulas and/or abscesses, or if the disease does not respond to drugs.• After the first surgery, Crohns usually shows up at the site of the resection though it can appear in other locations.• After a resection, scar tissue builds up which can cause strictures.• A stricture is when the intestines become too small to allow excrement to pass through easily which can lead to a blockage.• For patients with an obstruction due to a stricture, two options for treatment are strictureplasty and resection of that portion of bowel.
Diet for Crohns Disease• Drink lots of fluid to keep body hydrated and prevent constipation.• Take multivitamin-mineral supplement to replace lost nutrients .• Eat a high fiber diet when CD is under control.• During a flare up, limit high fiber foods and follow a low fiber diet.• Avoid lactose-containing foods if one has lactose intolerance or use lactase enzymes and lactase pretreated foods.• Try small frequent meals.• Eating a high protein diet with lean meats, fish and eggs, may help relieve symptoms of Crohn’s.
Diet for Crohns Disease• Take pre-digested nutritional drinks to give bowel a rest and replenish lost nutrients.• Limit caffeine, alcohol and sorbitol .• Limit gas-producing foods such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, dried peas ,lentils, onions, and carbonated drinks.• Reduce fat intake if part of the intestines has been surgically removed.• If the ileum has been resected, a Vitamin B12 injection may be required.• Studies found that fish oil and flax seed oil may be helpful in managing .• The role of prebiotics such as psyllium & probiotics helpful in the healing process.
Management in Crohn’s Disease Complex Carbohydrates• Patients should select complex carbohydrates, which are also a good source of fiber.• Fresh fruit such as apples, grapefruit, oranges, plums, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries might be protective for Crohn’s disease.• Simple sugars can increase inflammation.• High-fiber foods can cause gas, bloating, and pain in Crohn’s disease patients.• Commercial products Beano are available that can reduce gas.
Proteins in Crohn’s Disease• Proteins are very important for growth in children and for repair of cells.• Diarrhoea can cause protein deficiency so Crohn’s patients may need more protein.• One study reported that a soy protein diet was useful for patients who were intolerant to milk products.• Oily fish, such as salmon and tuna, poultry & lean meats may be particularly beneficial in Crohn’s disease.
Oils in Crohn’s Disease• Omega-3 fatty acids are important compounds for Crohn’s disease.• A study showed that the palmitic acid absorption-oxidation observed for the Crohn’s patients increased from 4.4±1.1% before the treatment period to 7.6±1.1% after treatment.• Watkins et al. who found that 2.1±1.5% of the administered dose of palmitic acid was excreted in breath over 6 h for patients with mucosal disorders compared to 6.6 ±2.4% for normal subjects.
Oils in Crohn’s Disease• Andersson et al. investigated patients with Crohn’s disease, that condition of the patients improved when consuming the low fat diet (40gm/d), including diarrhoea, steatorrhea and electrolyte balance.• Weight gain was observed even though the fat intake was significantly reduced from the mean 150 g reported in home use.
Nutrient Importance in a Crohn’s Disease Diet• Crohns disease patients are in danger of becoming malnourished. The following are several reasons to consider these findings:• Poor digestion and malabsorption of dietary fats, carbohydrates, water, protein, minerals and vitamins.• During disease flare-ups chronic disease patients usually will increase levels of energy and caloric needs for the body.• Symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, or lacking taste sensations will have an ill affect on food intake resulting in loss of appetite.
Food Absorption• Food absorption is a huge issue when it comes to patients with Crohn’s Disease.• People that have inflammation only in the large intestine most often absorb food normally.• Over 40 percent of individuals diagnosed with Crohn’s showed that they can eat enough food but can’t absorb food adequately, especially carbohydrates.
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies• Individuals that have Crohn’s disease where the ileum is affected may have a vitamin B12 deficiency due to that they are unable to absorb enough of the B12 vitamin from oral supplements or food intake.• One of the most common deficiency associated with the common Crohn’s Disease Diet and which affects about sixty-eight percent, is the lack of vitamin D, which supports bone formation and calcium metabolism.• Sahli et al. observed that 35.7% osteoporosis and 23.2% osteopenia occurred in CD patients.
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies• Deficiency of the iron in patients with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease is also common due to the loss of blood,inflammation and ulceration of the colon.• Potassium and magnesium deficiency occur due to diarrhoea or vomiting.• Trace element deficiencies are normally present in those with poor nutritional intake and have and extensive small intestine disease.
Foods to Avoid• Dairy products• Spicy foods• Chocolate• Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, teas, and some soft drinks• Alcoholic beverages• Certain raw fruits and vegetables• Popcorn• Fruit juices• Beans• Onions• Artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol or mannitol• High-fat foods such as butter, red meat, avocados, nuts, and fried foods.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine• Crohns disease sufferers have tried complementary or alternative therapy.These include diets, probiotics, fish oil and other herbal and nutritional supplements.• Acupuncture is used to treat inflammatory bowel disease in China, and is being used more frequently in Western society.• Methotrexate is a folate anti-metabolite drug which is also used for chemotherapy.• Metronidazole and ciprofloxacin are antibiotics which are used to treat Crohns disease.• Thalidomide has shown response in reversing endoscopic evidence of disease.• Canabis derived drugs may be used to treat Crohns disease with its anti-inflammatory properties.• Probiotics include Sacchromyces boulardii and E. c oli.