Written by Andrew Sarski on February 8, 2011
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease
The most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are abdominal pain, frequent diarrhea and malnutrition. Other individuals with Crohn’s may suffer from weight loss, rectal bleeding, skin rashes, fever and arthritis. If bleeding is persistent, the individual may also develop anemia. Many people with Crohn’s disease experience periods of extreme symptoms, called flare-ups, followed by periods that are symptom-free. Because the symptoms of Crohn’s disease are similar to those of other inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis, diagnosis of the condition can be difficult. However, while ulcerative colitis is typically restricted to the colon, Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract. Also, while the area affected by ulcerative colitis is usually continuous, Crohn’s disease is often characterized by areas of inflamed tissue separated by areas of normal tissue.
Complications of Crohn’s Disease
The most common complication associated with Crohn’s disease is blockage of the intestines, which occurs due to a passageway narrowed by swelling and scar tissue. Victim’s of Crohn’s may develop ulcers or sores that tunnel through the affected area and appear in surrounding tissues, including the skin, bladder and vagina. These tunnels are called fistulas and can also become infected. Small tears, called fissures, may also develop in the lining of the mucus membrane surrounding the anus. Many people who suffer from Crohn’s disease will also experience nutritional complications, including protein, calorie and vitamin deficiencies. Other difficulties include inflammation of the eye, gallstones, kidney stones and liver disease. In severe cases of Crohn’s disease, the victim may experience anal or intestinal abscesses and bowel movement occurring as often as twenty times a day or more.
Treatment of Crohn’s Disease
There is currently no cure for Crohn’s disease and any treatment methods are geared towards decreasing the frequency of flare-ups, relieving inflammation and pain, and correcting nutritional deficiencies. A large percentage of Crohn’s disease victims will require surgery at some point, when medications no longer successfully control the symptoms, despite the dangers involved in the procedure. Most people with Crohn’s disease are advised against surgery as it can cause further complications because of the disease’s recurring nature. Surgery can also result in short bowel syndrome, which involves growth failure and failure to absorb nutrients.
Legal Help for Crohn’s Disease
It is estimated that Crohn’s disease affects 2-7 out of every 100,000 people and that number seems to be on the rise. Crohn’s disease is a painful and debilitating condition and can lead to life-threatening complications in affected individuals. Victims of Crohn’s disease typically require long-term medical care with frequent check-ups to monitor the condition. Many pharmaceutical drug-related cases of Crohn’s disease have led to successful multi-million dollar lawsuits and there are hundreds of similar cases pending in the United States. If you or a loved one has suffered from Crohn’s disease and you believe pharmaceuticals are the cause, contact a defective drug attorney immediately. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and a defective drug lawyer can represent your case.