This is an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract and named after the doctor who first described it in 1932. It can affect the entire GI tract from mouth to anus but most commonly end of small intestine and beginning of large colon are affected. Inflammation of the GI tract can skip while it does not do so with Ulcerative Colitis, another inflammatory disease that affects the large intestine primarily. The peak age of onset is 20-30 but can happen at any age. There is a possible role of heredity with higher incidence in first degree relatives but an infectious cause has also been proposed. Smoking can cause or worsen this disease. Symptoms can include any reported symptom of GI tract such as mouth sores, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and malnutrition.
Complications can include fistulas, cancer, bowel obstruction, ulcers, anal fissure and malnutrition.
Work up for this condition involves blood and stool tests and assessment of upper and lower GI tract by a scope. Capsule endoscopy where a patient swallows a capsule that can take pictures is invaluable for a detailed assessment. Colonoscopy provides for evaluation of the lower GI tract. CT scan and MRI scans may be needed.
Treatment consists of focus on general wellbeing, nutrition and specific anti-inflammatory medicines and immune system suppressors. Anti-inflammatory medicines include Steroids and Sulfa drugs. An example of the latter is Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine).
Immune system suppressors fall into two classes, older medicines like Azathioprine (Imuran) and Methotrexate and newer biologics like monoclonal antibodies such as Natalizumab (Tysabri) and Infliximab (Remicade) and Adalimumab (Humira). Supportive care with antibiotics for infections or fistulas and anti-diarrheal medicines for diarrhea are needed.
Many patients also turn toward medical marijuana. No clear proven benefit exists but many patients report better appetite, suppression of nausea and vomiting and less abdominal pain. B-caryophyllene is a terpene in marijuana that is being investigated for its beneficial effect on the GI tract.
Research is demonstrating the significant benefit that cannabis can have on your health and wellbeing. Medical Cannabis Clinics of Florida is the leader when it comes to helping patients find the right cannabis treatment method for their conditions. With cannabis clinics serving the areas of Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Kissimmee, Saint Cloud, Davenport, Lake Nona, Orlando, Deerfield Beach, Lantana, Harmony, Poinciana and Celebration, you now have outstanding access to a medical marijuana doctor that truly understands your needs.