Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is defined as an inflammatory disease of the bowel of unknown cause.

 

It occurs in 1 of 1000 people, most commonly in people of Caucasian or Jewish origin.  The incidence peaks during 20-29 and 40-49 years of age.

 

Unfortunately, the cause is idiopathic (unknown).  However, experts highly suspect that there is the involvement of an dysfunctional immune system.

 

The most commonly experienced signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease may be intermittent with varying periods of remission, and are:

  • Fever, weight loss
  • Erythema nodosum, night sweats
  • Abdominal tenderness, mass or distension, hyperactive bowel sounds, chronic or nocturnal diarrhea, bloody diarrhea
  • Enlarged liver, enlarged spleen
  • Joint swelling and tenderness, hip joint tenderness
  • In children: delayed growth and failure of normal development

 

Be aware of the following complications that may arise:

  • Obstruction
  • Development of fistulas
  • Abscess formation
  • Rarely intestinal bleeding, perforation and small bowel cancer.

 

The following diagnostic tools or results are used or found to diagnose Crohn's disease:

  • Anemia, increased WBCs (white blood cells)
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency, folic acid deficiency
  • Low calcium, low magnesium, low potassium
  • Low albumin
  • High CRP, high ESR
  • Upper GI endscopy
  • X-ray imaging study with barium enema
  • Colonscopy with biopsy
  • Abdominal CT

 

From a Naturopathic standpoint, Dr. Moira Kwok ND will obtain a very thorough medical history in order to put all of your "puzzle pieces" together to form a whole picture of everything that is going on from a health perspective.  From this holistic approach to treatment, she will put together an individualized treatment plan based on a combination of dietary and lifestyle recommendations, supplements, botanicals, acupuncture and/or IV therapy that is based on your specific case. 

 

References

  • Beers MH & Berkow R (Editors).  1999.  The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy (17th Ed.).  Merck Research Laboratories: Whitehouse Station, NJ. 
  • Ferri FF.  2007.  Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment.  Mosby Elsevier: Philadelphia, PA.
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