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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Crohn's Disease: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System

Crohn's Disease

Alternate Names : Regional Enteritis

Crohn's Disease | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the disease?

Medications used to treat Crohn's disease include the following:

  • aminosalicylates, such as sulfasalazine and mesalamine
  • corticosteroids, such as prednisone and methylprednisolone
  • medications that alter the body's immune response, such as azathioprine, 6MP, and methotrexate
  • antibiotics, such as metronidazole, ampicillin, and ciprofloxacin, for infections
  • Some persons need extra vitamins, minerals, and salts. A healthy diet is essential for maintaining body weight. A soft, bland diet may be better tolerated than a diet with spicy foods. Milk products may be restricted if the person has lactose intolerance. In severe cases, a person may need to be fed through an intravenous tube to improve his or her nutritional status.

    Seventy percent of the people with Crohn's disease will have surgery at least once. A recent study showed that the surgery significantly improves the quality of life in individuals with Crohn's disease. Surgery may be done for one or more of the following effects of the disorder:

  • A section of the intestines that is severely damaged or obstructed may be removed with a procedure called a resection and anastamosis. The damaged portion is cut out, and the bowel is sewn back together.
  • If the rectum is diseased, an ileostomy may be done. This procedure involves taking a portion of the bowel to the outside through a hole in the abdomen and attaching a drainage bag.
  • An incision and drainage may be done to drain abscesses, or pus pockets, near the rectum.
  • A fistula repair may be done to close abnormal openings caused by the disease.
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Many of the medications used to treat Crohn's disease can cause stomach upset, allergic reactions, and an increased susceptibility to infection. Persons taking metronidazole may have severe vomiting and abdominal pain if they drink alcohol. Surgery may cause bleeding, infection, or allergic reaction to anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the disease?

    Crohn's disease is a long-term disease with occasional flare-ups. There can be periods without any symptoms. However, the symptoms usually reappear.

    How is the disease monitored?

    There is no specific test for monitoring Crohn's disease. Affected persons need to monitor their symptoms carefully. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Crohn's Disease: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Minot Cleveland, MD
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 08/22/01

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