Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is one of the most severe inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Affecting the lining along the digestive tract, it is also called Regional Enteritis or Regional Ileitis, and may be present anywhere from the mouth to anus along the alimentary canal. The most common site of inflammation from Crohn’s is at the junction of the small intestine to the large intestine (called the Ileum).
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include rectal bleeding, unexplained weight loss, fever, reduced appetite, fatigue, intestinal obstruction, persistent vomiting, significant anemia, and fatigue. The most common clinical manifestations of Crohn’s are pain and cramping in the abdomen, and frequent, recurring diarrhea. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and be progressive. Crohn’s is unique person to person and flare-ups are expressed differently depending on your specific disease profile.
Approximately 700,000 people in the United States have diagnosed Crohn’s disease, and this IBD equally affects men and women. Crohn’s disease can occur at any stage in life, though is most common to start from 15 years old to 35 years old. Studies show that 20% of those with diagnosed Crohn’s disease have a blood relative with a diagnosed IBD, whether it is Crohn’s or not.
Western science still has not proven an exact cause of Crohn’s. There are varying theories from genetics to hyperactivity, or abnormal reaction, of the immune system. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both related IBDs though with some stark differences. Crohn’s may develop anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus, may appear in patches, and may extend through the whole thickness of the bowel wall. Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon and rectum, appears in a continuous pattern, and the inflammation occurs in the innermost lining of the colon.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is not Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The main distinguishing characteristic is inflammation. IBS is an acute disorder that affects bowel muscular contractions and is not characterized by intestinal inflammation. IBD is a chronic, and sometimes life-threatening, disorder that affects the lining of the digestive system and is characterized by mild to severe inflammation.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a holistic healthcare system with ancient roots. We view the body as an integrated whole. All bodily systems touch one another, so a malfunction in one area will ultimately affect each system over time. We see humans as part of the natural ecological system, what humans do affects the natural environment and changes within nature affect us. Though Western medicine may have no known cause for the development of IBD and Crohn’s, the Chinese medical system sees patterns of disharmony that lead to the symptoms associated with IBD. We treat patterns not symptoms. We see you as a person not a disease.
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