Frequently Asked Questions: Crohn's DiseaseWednesday, March 21, 2012 - 13:29
Here are some frequently asked questions related to Crohn's Disease.
Q: Is Crohn's disease an autoimmune disease?
A: A malfunction in the immune system is certainly a part of Crohn's disease. This may be an inability to "turn off" the immune system after it "turns on" for an appropriate reason. Or, the immune system may "turn on" for the wrong reason. Immunosuppressive medications used to keep individuals from rejecting transplanted organs have been shown to be effective in treating Crohn's disease. These factors have led many researchers to characterize Crohn's disease as autoimmune.
Q: Is Crohn's disease life-threatening?
A: Crohn's disease is very rarely life threatening. Normally, Crohn's disease is a chronic, lifelong illness characterized by sporadic flare-ups separated by periods of
Q: If both parents have Crohn's disease, what are the chances that their children will have Crohn's disease?
Q: If I need surgery, will I have to wear an ostomy bag?
A: The only surgery for Crohn's disease that may necessitate a temporary ostomy is a resection in which there is no totally healthy tissue to reconnect. Usually, within six to eight weeks after surgery, the tissue heals enough to close the ostomy and reconnect the two ends of the intestine. It is not the general practice to remove the entire colon in those with CD, because the disease often recurs "above" the most recent resection. This could create a situation in which the ostomy site or part of the gastrointestinal tract above the ostomy site becomes diseased.
Q: Should I be worried about steroid treatment?
Q: Are the diagnostic tests used to find out if I have Crohn's disease painful?
A: The level of discomfort varies with the activity of the disease. For most people, both
Q: Should I be worried about colon cancer if I have Crohn's disease?
A: Statistical evidence does show that people with Crohn's disease have a slightly higher incidence of colon cancer than the general population does. For this reason, doctors begin regularly screening those with Crohn's disease about 12 years after diagnosis if the disease is confined to the small intestine, and eight years after diagnosis if there is disease in the colon.