ITT Technical Institute
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
May 1, 2013
We eat food to get nutrients like carbohydrates and protein. These nutrients aide in keeping our body running. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract processes that food, absorbs the necessary nutrients and gets rid of any waste. The gastrointestinal tract begins with the opening of your mouth and ends with your anus. It includes your esophagus, stomach and intestines. With Crohn’s disease the body’s immune system begins attacking the healthy cells in the gastrointestinal tract. This causes inflammation. Inflammatory bowel disease, is a category of bowel disorders that includes both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is often found in a section of the small intestine called the ileum, but it can happen anywhere in the gastrointestinal system from the mouth to the anus. Crohn’s usually causes inflammation patches in the digestive system. It is most commonly found near the end of the small intestine or colon. It can develop both places. With Crohn’s disease, the digestive system work in the normal way to push food along as your system digests it. During this time the intestines become irritated and inflamed. The inflammation usually happens in patches along the digestive tract skipping areas of healthy tissue in between. Unlike other types of inflammation that heal, Crohn’s disease cause chronic inflammation. It can also cause inflammation that lasts for a long time and keep reoccurring. Crohn’s affect the entire thickness of the bowel that causes other problems to develop. These problems include Fistulas. Fistulas are tunnel like sores. Bowel obstructions can also occur. These are narrowed sections of intestine that block the passage of food. Each and every person with Crohn’s experience is different. Some people experience symptoms more often than others. Some may not have any symptoms at all. Some common symptoms with Crohn’s are diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, rectal bleeding, weight loss, abscesses, fistulas and intestinal obstruction. Crohn’s disease may be associated with additional symptom like joint inflammation, eye inflammation and skin inflammation. There are several stages of Crohn’s disease. The first state is Mild to Moderate Crohn’s disease. People with mild to moderate Crohn’s disease are able to digest food normally without fevers, stomach pain, dehydration, blockages in their intestines or losing more than 10% of their body weight. Moderate to Severe Crohn’s Disease is noted when people do not respond to treatment for mild to moderate Crohn’s disease. They also have high fevers, stomach pain or tenderness, significant weight loss, occasional nausea or vomiting or anemia. Severe Crohn’s disease continues to have symptoms in spite taking steroids. These symptoms can include high fever, persistent vomiting, blockages in their intestines, or an abscess. A person with Crohn’s disease need to be prepared for flare-ups. Flare-ups tend to happen when the symptoms of Crohn’s return. Symptoms normally return after a period of remission or low disease activity. Flare-ups can occur under any circumstance or any time. That is the reason the goal Crohn’s treatment is to bring patients to a state of remission. This state is a disease free or limited disease state. Some disease management tips to minimize flare-ups are to always take your medication as directed by your doctor. The risk for a future flare-up is reduced when the patient take their medication consistently. A patient should not treat their Crohn’s flare up with over the counter medications without checking with their doctor. Some over the counter medications are known to cause ulceration, or sores, in the intestinal tract. The patient should not take antibiotics until you check with their doctor. Come antibiotics are...