Crohn 's disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects any part of the digestive tract and predominantly in young adults, adolescents and children.. Characteristically, the disease produces segmental inflammatory lesions that affect the entire thickness of the intestinal wall, being the most frequent location in the small intestine .
Although the causes of this disease are still not known with precision, the existence of an interaction between genetic and environmental factors is admitted. Among the former, 10% of family aggregation (genetic transmission) stands out, while among the latter, tobacco stands out as a recognized risk factor.
Crohn's disease has a higher incidence in developed countries. In Spain, this incidence is estimated in 6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, while in northern Europe it is higher.
The main symptoms are frequent diarrhea , abdominal pain and weight loss. When the inflammatory process that affects a certain section of the intestine is aggravated in the form of intestinal perforations, abscesses or fistulas, fever is the characteristic symptom that adds to the previous ones. When the disease is located in the large intestine or in the rectum, other symptoms may appear, such as blood in the stool or the painful contraction of the rectum to expel the stool ( tenesmus ). The location of the disease in the perianal area is manifested by fistulas, fissures, abscesses and narrowing, which cause pain , fever and disorders in the defecation. Finally, Crohn's disease can be accompanied by injuries to the joints , eyes and skin .
The evolution of the disease is unpredictable. The outbreaks of this coexist throughout life with sometimes very prolonged periods of remission in which the patient is asymptomatic.
The initial treatment is medical. A wide range of drugs allow the specialist to customize the treatment of each patient according to the type, extent and evolution of the disease. Approximately 50% of patients will require surgery at a certain time of life. They are interventions that in general provide good results in expert hands.
Given the diagnosis of Crohn's disease, it is advisable to place yourself in the hands of good specialists who guarantee the application of the best treatment and schedule a constant monitoring of the patient in order to achieve long periods of remission and guarantee a good quality of life .