An idiopathic inflammatory disease of the small intestine and colon involving all layers of the bowel. It is a slowly progressive and recurrent disease with a tendency to obstruct the bowel, fistulize, and involve adjacent structures in the inflammation. Occasionally occurs at all other sites in the GI tract.
Genetics: 15% of patients have first-degree relatives with inflammatory bowel disease; All monozygotic twins develop the disease in similar fashion.
CrohnÕs disease is often idiopathic (of unkown cause). It is aggravated by bacterial infection; the inflammatory cascade, and by smoking cessation. Risk factors for CrohnÕs disease include cigarette smoking. Specific nutrient deficiencies are also common: B12, fat soluble vitamins, and folate.
Standard lab tests inclde erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), CBC (anemia is common), Albumin (decreased in severe cases), Serum electrolytes, B12 and folate levels.
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