Common diseases & risk factors

Avi Medical helps you with Crohn's disease

This incurable, chronic inflammatory bowel disease manifests itself in episodic symptoms that massively reduce the quality of life of those affected. However, early diagnosis and targeted therapy can effectively alleviate the symptoms. Our experienced doctors are at your side in the fight against Crohn's disease at all our locations .

What is Crohn's disease?

Crohn's disease, like ulcerative colitis, is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease . However, while ulcerative colitis sufferers are usually between twenty and thirty-five years old at the onset of the disease, Crohn's disease appears earlier .

As with ulcerative colitis, the trigger for Crohn's disease is still unknown .

The disease is characterised by changes in the mucous membrane and intestinal wall . These enable bacteria and other pathogens to penetrate the organ. Benign intestinal bacteria are thus displaced or pressed into layers of the wall that are foreign to them. The result is an inflammatory reaction of the intestine. This can vary in severity and duration and can occur both in episodes and continuously. 

Crohn's disease usually affects the end of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine. In rare cases, the oesophagus or stomach are also affected. 

In contrast to ulcerative colitis, the persistent inflammation of the organ follows a discontinuous pattern. This means: healthy bowel sections alternate with healthy ones.

At what point is it Crohn's disease?

As with ulcerative colitis, several medical steps are necessary for a reliable diagnosis of Crohn's disease. 

At the beginning of the diagnostic process, other potential diseases that trigger symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhoea must first be ruled out. These include infections, cancer or irritable bowel syndrome. This is followed by a medical history and physical examinations such as an endoscopy, which should show typical signs of intestinal inflammation (such as swelling of the mucous membrane and bleeding). A biopsy serves to confirm the final diagnosis. In rare cases, an MRI scan complements the diagnosis.

What are the triggers of Crohn's disease?

Proven triggers for Crohn's disease are not yet known. However, the most common risk factors for the development of Crohn's disease include:

  • Genetic predisposition (several genes are now associated with Crohn's disease)
  • Smoking 

What are the possible symptoms of Crohn's disease?

The typical symptoms of Crohn's disease, which often occur in episodes, include: 

  • Severe diarrhoea, sometimes followed by periods of constipation (due to intestinal obstruction or blockage). 
  • Protrusions in the lower abdomen (due to intestinal adhesions)
  • Redness, swelling and pain in the anal area (due to fistulas) 
  • Problems with the absorption of important nutrients and vitamins
  • Weight loss and growth disorders (in children)
  • Anaemia
  • "Fatty stools" (recognisable by yellow colouring)
  • Dry skin and hair loss
  • Joint, eye and bile complaints
  • Aphtae and pustules in the oral mucosa with swelling of the lips
  • Very painful skin lesions, sometimes visible as blisters, with sores and deep open sores.

The treatment of Crohn's disease at Avi Medical

At Avi Medical, comprehensive treatment of Morbus begins with early diagnosis. Medical measures that underlie this are: 

  • Preparation of anamnesis
  • Abdominal sonography
  • Exclusion of other diseases
  • Blood and stool examination to assess the inflammatory reaction
  • Laboratory check for possible impaired absorption of nutrients from the diet

The diagnosis is followed by targeted therapy. This includes: 

  • abstaining from nicotine or foods that are difficult to digest
  • Medicinal substitution of important vitamins and minerals
  • Preparations such as cortisone (as an enema, suppository or tablet for acute episodes) or other immunosuppressants, antibiotics for additional bacterial infections, and other medicines as prophylaxis between episodes of illness

In very rare, severe cases and if medication fails, the therapy is extended in hospital to include surgical measures.