Spanish Flag      Italian Flag     Flag UK US      French Flag     zhongwen
International Health Cover > Resources > Health and Safety Articles >  Crohn's disease

A review of Crohn�s disease


What is Crohn's disease ?

Crohn's disease is a digestive disorder caused by a chronic inflammation of the linings of the gastrointestinal tract, characterized by symptoms of severe, even bloody diarrhea, with abdominal pain, cramps and malnutrition. Although Crohn's disease can affect every area of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus, it most often involves the lower portion of the small intestine (the ileum) and/or the upper part of the large intestine (the colon).

Along with ulcerative colitis (a similar gastrointestinal disorder that affects only the colon), Crohn's disease is one of the main disorders belonging to a larger group of diseases called "inflammatory bowel disease".

The exact cause of Crohn's disease has not been established definitely, although it has been hypothesized that heredity, environment and the immune system play a role in the development of the disease. It is possible that a virus, a bacterium or a foreign harmful substance cause the initial inflammatory protective response which is mediated by the immune system.

 But unlike in normal individuals, in patients with Crohn's disease the immune system response doesn't turn off once the inciting stimulus (a virus, a bacterium or a harmful substance) has been removed. Rather, the immune system response remains turned on and perpetuates the inflammatory process in the intestine leading to the chronic inflammatory condition known as Crohn's disease.

 It is not known why this happens, although it might be related to a hereditary disorder of the immune system itself, which is unable to turn off its own response against harmful stimuli that affect the gastrointestinal tract.

Crohn's disease  symptoms and treatment*

 Crohn's disease symptoms vary from mild to severe. Gastrointestinal symptoms and signs such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, reduced appetite and weight loss are the hallmark of Crohn's disease, but patients with severe Crohn's disease may also experience fatigue, fever, arthritis, eye inflammation and liver disorders.

 It is also important to remember that Crohn's disease occurs in episodes. In other words it is characterized by periods of relapsing, when symptoms are presents, followed by periods of remission, when symptoms disappear or decrease.

 Treatment is important not only for reducing the severity of symptoms, but also for preventing possible complications such as gastrointestinal obstruction, malnutrition and digestive ulcers (chronic digestive wounds), as well as for lowering the risk of developing colon cancer.

For patients with Crohn's disease there is a variety of medications available to help control and reduce the chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, which is the cause of the observed symptoms.

These include anti-inflammatory medicines, immune system suppressors and antibiotics. In addition other medicines, including anti-diarrheals, pain relievers and various nutritional supplements, can be helpful in relieving symptoms (without stopping inflammation, however) and helping patients live normal, productive lives.

In fact, when properly treated, Crohn's disease is not a disabling condition and doesn't prevent patients from leading a good quality of life.

 However it is important to remember that Crohn's disease is chronic condition and has no known medical cure, so patients affected with it have to take medications for the rest of their life to keep symptoms under control. 

If you would like to be covered from medical condition such as Crohn's disease you may request a comprehensive Medical Insurance quote.


 International Health Cover is a international Medical care plans advisor. We have developped excellent relationship with International medical isurance providers. We  can guide you and your family in the choice of your Health insurance providing you with a completely  free quote to determine the best  International Health Insurance for yourself or your relatives.

If you wish to receive a free quote, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our advice  is free.

*Always seek professional medical advise from a qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.