ChronÂ’s Disease is an inflammatory disease co-involving the digestive tract right from the mouth of the anus, even if it most commonly affects the ileum (small intestine) and the colon and rectum (large intestine).
It is a chronic condition characterized by a mix of demission and pathological periods and it is similar to ulcerative colitis, which are grouped together as inflammatory bowel diseases.
These disease can reoccur many times in a patientÂ’s lifetime as it is impossible to predict when a remission could take place and so too, when there is a return of the symptoms.
What are the symptoms? Because of the variable locations of this disease, the symptoms can generally be:
These symptoms can vary widely depending on each individual patient. You can even have ChronÂ’s Disease and not experience any of these symptoms.
Patients suffering from this disease are in the majority within an age group between 16 and 40, but it can affect any one at any age.
The disease can also run in the family. Up to around 15 to 20 percent of sufferers comes from families with this hereditary complaint. Figures show an estimated million people in Europe suffer from chronic inflammatory bowel disease.
We can know askÂ… Â“But why do we get this and what causes it???Â”
Although the exact cause is not known, it is thought to be bacterial or immunological.
The disease is not contagious however, as I said before, it does have a genetically inheritable tendency. Recent studies underline the familiarity of the disease with the immune system which plays an important role.
If you have any symptoms that may lead you to suspect you are a sufferer, once you have visited your doctor, a study by x-ray or scans can easily help with the diagnosis.
Initial treatment is always with medication and the specific objective is to relieve the symptoms.
With the new immunological therapy available, the old phrase Â“there is no cure for ChronÂ’s diseaseÂ” is drastically changing for the better.
The percentage of cases in Â“free-of- disease periodsÂ” are on the increase, therefore the need for surgical procedure diminishes and is no longer the only solution.
Having said this, surgery may be recommended after due consideration in respect of complications that could be overcome with this procedure.
What is important to underline is that medical treatment is preferred as the initial form of treatment and therapy and that not all patients require surgery.
The decision is at best reached with your doctor during the course of the consultation period and his referral to a specialist in gastroenterology.