Dr. Burril B. Crohn (1884- 1983) Dr. Crohn was the main person to discover thedisease now known as Crohns Disease. He was bornand raised in New York where he attended City Collegeand Columbia Universitys College of Physicians andSurgeons. Later he was named Chief of Mount SinaisGastroenterology Clinic. He was best remembered forhis discovery of regional ileitis (Crohns Disease) in 1932along with two other surgeons, Leon Ginzburg andGordon Oppenheimer.
What in the World is CrohnsDisease? Crohns Disease is an IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). It is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohns Disease is similar to another IBD called Ulcerative Colitis. The main difference is that Crohns Disease can be inflammation of almost any part of the Gastrointestinal Tract but Ulcerative Colitis only affects the colon. Diagram of a colon
The Gastrointestinal Tract Also known as the GI Tract, Digestive Tract,alimentary canal, or the gut. It is a system of organs thattake in food, digest it to extract energy and nutrients andthen release excess waste. The inflammation of CrohnsDisease can affect anywhere in the GI Tract from theEsophagus to the rectum. This is a diagram of the GI Tract including each part from the mouth to the anus.
SYMPTOMS:Symptoms vary with Crohns Disease because they mainly depend on what part of the GI Tract is being affected.• Crampy abdominal (belly area) pain• Fever• Fatigue• Loss of Appetite• Weight Loss• Eye Inflammation• Joint pain• Mouth Ulcers• Skin Lumps or sores• Swollen Gums
Testing For CrohnsThere are many tests for Crohns Disease. Some of the are:• Barium Enema (special x-ray of the large intestine)• Upper GI series ( x-ray of the small intestine, stomach, and esophagus)• Colonoscopy (internal examination of the colon)• Computed Tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen• Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan Imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the inside of the belly area.
Treatment: There is no cure for Crohns Disease, unfortunately. Itis made up of periods of time when you feel fine andthen there are other times where the symptoms flare up.Even though there isnt a cure yet, there are manymedications that can suppress symptoms and flare upsto help cope with the disease. Along with medicationdiet, nutrition, and stress management can help indealing with Crohns. With Crohns Disease you are alsoat more of a risk of colon cancer than the averageperson.
Diet & Nutrition A well balanced and healthy diet is good for anyone but can also help to reduce digestive symptoms in Crohns Disease. Some tips are:• Eat small amounts of food periodically during the day• Drink lots of water• Avoid greasy and fatty foods (ex: butter, margarine, heavy cream)• Limit foods that you know cause flare ups (ex: some people have a low tolerance to any dairy products so they will try having foods such as low-lactose cheese)
Medications There are a few kinds of medications that can be taken with Crohns disease to suppress symptoms. They fall into the categories of:• Cortisone or Steroids - reduce inflammation• Immune system suppressors - blocks immune reaction which causes inflammation• Antibiotics - reduce bacteria overgrowth in the small intestine
STRESSUnhealthy amounts of stress in the daily life can causeflare ups to become more persistent and potent. Thingssuch as school, work, moving, loss of a loved one etc.can play big parts in whether you will worsen thedigestive problem. Doctors offer programs for Crohnspatients that can help them manage their disease andlife without harming themselves.
Current Research Today there are a few organizations that work to draw attention to the disease and hope to raise money to find a cure. Some of these organizations are:• Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America• NIDDK• Crohns Disease Foundation All of these organizations work with current patients and run many tests that may one day lead to a cure, for now they mainly focus on creating more effective and specialized medication to fight Crohns Disease.
Why Did I ResearchThis?As you know, I researched Crohns Disease. The reasonwhy I chose this is because to me Crohns Disease canreally affect people. My mom has had Crohns Diseasefor over 6 years. When she was diagnosed it was prettyintense with all the doctors and medications we had toget. A lot of things had to change in our lives, even thefood we ate! I read up on it awhile back and learned thatthere was a 75% chance that the first female child in thefamily would have Crohns as well. That would be me soI figured it cant hurt to know as much about it as I can incase I do get it.
SOURCES:• Gustave L. Janet W., L. (2010). Biography of burril b. crohn. Retrieved from http://library.mssm.edu/services/archives/archives_collections/crohn.shtml• George F., L. (2012, 10 29). Crohns disease. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001295/• NIDDK. (n.d.). Crohns disease. Retrieved from http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/crohns/