Crohn’s disease of the bowel

I see many patients with GI complaints.  Some have Crohn’s disease which is inflammation of the digestive tract—it can affect anywhere between the mouth and the anus.

Symptoms are stomach pain, weight loss, bleeding from the rectum, stomach pain and diarrhea.  With these symptoms, a colonoscopy should be performed.  I have done over 2000 colonoscopies in 16 years.  (I love that I can give my patients this service!)   During the colonoscopy biopsies (little pinches of tissue) will be obtained of the walls in the large bowel.  The pathologists (the doctors who look at cells all day under a microscope) tell me if colitis, or inflammation, is present in the cells.  Other tests may be needed to evaluate the symptoms:  CT scan, MRI, dye studies, or ultrasound.

There are medicines that can help the symptoms, but Crohn’s cannot be cured.  Aminosalicylates can be taken by mouth or by enema (in the rectum) to help control inflammation.  Steroids can be used for short times to help with flares.  Antibiotics may be needed also.  Immune system modulators (changers) decrease the activity of the immune system and are used if symptoms are not controlled by other medications.  Newer medications like biologic therapies reduce inflammation.  A tuberculosis test is needed before starting on this medication.

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation has a good website

normal colonic mucosa


crohn's colitis. See the ulcerations?


About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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