Info sought- Crohn's Disease

Peter D. Krevat pkrevat at emory.edu
Sun Feb 26 01:02:21 EST 1995


	Amy,

	Crohn's Disease is an inflammatory disease of the GI tract, most 
commonly affecting the distal ileum (end of the small bowel) and the 
colon, but may occur anywhere between the mouth and the anus.  Crohn's 
does show a familial tendency, and is commonly diagnosed between ages 14 
and 24.  No one is sure of the etiology of Crohn's, but people feel that 
there may be an autoimmune (one's own immune system attacking the body), 
or an infectious agent (bacteria, viruses, etc).
	Symptoms of Crohn's include abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, 
weight loss, fever and anorexia.  Diagnosis is usually made via barium 
enema x-ray studies.  In cases which are not clear cut, colonoscopy 
(insertion of a fiberoptic scope into the colon to visualize and possibly 
biopsy the colon wall) may be necessary to make the diagnosis.  The 
course of Crohn's is variable, ranging from one isolated attack to lifelong
intermittant exacerbations.  Due to the fact that the etiology of Crohn's is
not known, the medications used for treatment can vary from physician to 
physician.
	If you have any more questions, I would be happy to try to answer 
them for you.

					Peter Krevat, M. D.
					Emory University
					Atlanta, GA, USA
					pkrevat at emory.edu



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