Glossary: Crohn’s Disease
Here are definitions of medical terms related to Crohn’s disease.
Abscess: A pocket of infection on the bowel wall or outside the bowel wall near a portion of diseased bowel tissue. Abscesses cause high fever and pain.
Barium enema: A procedure in which a special dye called barium is pumped into the colon through a tube inserted into the rectum, and a series of x-rays is taken.
Colonoscopy: An examination of the entire colon, using an electronic imaging scope inserted gently into the anus and moved up through the colon, with the image projected onto a screen.
Fissure: A deep crevice in the skin around the anus, which makes bowel movement painful.
Fistula: An inappropriate opening through the intestinal wall that connects diseased intestinal tissue to another loop of intestine, another internal organ such as the bladder, or the outside skin through the abdominal muscle wall, or near the anus.
Flare-up: An increase in clinical disease symptoms.
Gastroduodenal CD: Crohn’s disease that affects the stomach and duodenum, the top portion of the small intestine.
Granulomatous Colitis (Crohn’s Colitis): Crohn’s disease that affects the colon only.
Ileitis: Crohn’s disease of the ileum, the last portion of the small intestine.
Ileocolitis: Crohn’s disease of the ileum and the first portion of the colon, which usually involves the ileocecal valve as well.
Immunoregulators: A class of drugs that reduces the body’s natural immune system response. Also called immunosuppressives, or immunomodulators.
Inflammatory bowel disease: The classification of disease that includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Jejunoileitis: Crohn’s disease of the jejunum, the largest part of the small intestine, between the duodenum and the ileum.
Obstruction: A large segment of intestine in which the inside is blocked off. Severe acute inflammation, chronic inflammation, or a buildup of scar tissue from many years of relapse and remission can cause obstruction.
Osteoporosis: A loss of bone density. Osteoporosis has long been linked to long-term use of steroid drugs. More recently, osteoporosis has been shown to be a possible side effect of even short-term steroid use, or even a symptom of untreated Crohn’s disease.
Remission: A period of time when disease symptoms are minimal.
Sigmoidoscopy: The insertion of a 60-millimeter flexible fiber-optic scope gently into the anus for the visualization of the rectum and sigmoid colon.
Steroids: A classification of drugs used in treating Crohn’s disease and other chronic inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
Stricture: A small area of narrowed intestine.
Total parenteral nutrition (TPN): Intravenous feeding involving nutritionally balanced solutions that include proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, delivered into a major vein, usually under the collarbone. TPN can be administered in a hospital setting, or through home infusion.