Prognosis The outlook for Crohn's disease varies widely. Crohn's disease can range from being benign (such as when limited Crohn's disease occurs only around the anus in older people) or it can be very severe. At the extreme end, some patients may experience only one episode and others suffer continuously. About 13 - 20% of patients have chronic Crohns disease. Although recurrences tend to be normal, disease-free periods can last for years or decades in some patients. Although Crohn's disease cannot be cured even with surgery, treatments are now available that can offer significant help to most patients. Crohn's disease is rarely a direct cause of death, and most people can live a normal lifespan with this condition.
Causes Doctors do not know the exact causes of inflammatory bowel disease. IBD appears to be due to an interaction of many complex factors including genetics, impaired immune system response, and environmental triggers. The result is an abnormal immune system reaction, which in turn causes an inflammatory response in the bodys intestinal regions. The Inflammatory Response An inflammatory response occurs when the body tries to protect itself from what it perceives as invasion by a foreign substance (antigen). Antigens may be viruses, bacteria, or other harmful substances. In Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, the body mistakenly targets harmless substances (food, beneficial bacteria, or the intestinal tissue itself) as harmful. To fight infection, the body releases various chemicals and white blood cells, which in turn produce byproducts that cause chronic inflammation in the intestinal lining. Over time, the inflammation damages and permanently changes the intestinal lining. Genetic F...
Read more about Tom's comic and his creative process during the 24 Hour Comic Challenge.
You should knowAnswers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Content posted by community members does not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media, which also reserves the right to remove material deemed inappropriate.