Crohn's Disease

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  • Topic: Immune system, Inflammation, Digestion
  • Pages : 12 (4227 words )
  • Download(s) : 89
  • Published : September 17, 2008
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The human body has the ability to endure multiple complications; however, with disease the bodies’ ability to defend itself becomes impaired. As such, it is integral for nursing professionals to explore the diseases and systems that impede or hinder the body’s resilience. That said, delving into the complications that affect the body should begin with conditions that are both rare and commonly experienced such as the gastrointestinal system as it is affected by Crohn’s disease and the inflammatory response in relation to the patient’s septic medical condition (septic shock). While the exact cause of crohn’s disease is unknown, it is believed to result from an imbalance of the immune system resulting in the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to anus (Thoreson & Cullen, 2007). Incidences of Crohn’s disease are increasing as there is no cure for the disease and it can only be controlled by medications and surgery. Accepting the reality of management without cure, many patients suffer from depression as Crohn’s disease affects their personal outlook on body image, self-concept, self-esteem and changes to lifestyle (Thoreson & Cullen, 2007). One of the complications of Crohn’s disease is the development of abscesses that form from an infection. Since the patient is experiencing immune system dysfunctions, the body may not be able to fight off the infection; in turn, sepsis often sets in, resulting in the inflammation of the whole body system. Sepsis and infection combined result in a serious medical condition called septic shock. This stimulates the inflammatory response (McCance & Huether, 2006). With this in mind, the exploration of both Crohn’s disease and inflammatory response will allow for a more intensive understanding of how the body is affected by Crohn’s and ultimately how Crohn’s patients are susceptible to septic complication.

Clinical case
The patient was brought into the emergency department with signs and symptoms of dehydration, bloody stools and was suffering from severe hypotensive septic shock. Past medical history includes: crohn’s disease, jejunostomy, multiple thrombotic conditions (mesenteric vein thrombosis, portal vein thrombosis) and has also received treatment for thrombocytopenia and neutropenia. The patient was admitted to the intensive care unit were she received treatment including: rehydartion, blood transfusions, hyperkatemic therapy and a consultation for thromb clinic. CT of the abdomen and pelvis with contrast was performed and results indication an intra-abdominal abscess. As the patient’s immune system was already suppressed from the crohn’s disease, the body was not able to fight off the infection and in turn the patient went septic. It is now the responsible for the immune system to return the body to homeostasis.

Physiology of Immune system
In regards to homeostasis, the human body is built with its own immunity system, providing the body with defenses against foreign substances and prevents disease. The immune system is made up of tissues, organs, proteins and multiple cells in the body that has the ability to help defend against foreign substances called antigens from entering the body. With this being said, an antigen is a molecule that can come in the form of a microorganism, bacteria, virus and fungi (Cunneen, 2004). On that note, the human body has the ability to fight and protect itself from injury and infection against foreign substances and has in place three lines of defense to help eliminate foreign substances in the body. Firstly, the innate immune system controls the first line of defense as it consists of the physical, mechanical and biochemical barriers. These barriers included the skin, mucous and cilia that line the respiratory, genitourinary and gastrointestinal tracts. Their job is to protect the body from invasion by trapping and destroying any antigens that attempt to seek entity into the human body (McCance & Huether,...
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