Saturday, July 13, 2013

Crohn's and Colitis

Crohn?s disease is a disorder that causes an inflammation of the digestive tract of the gastrointestinal system. It can affect an area anywhere between the mouth to the anus, but the affected area is usually the lower part of the small intestine. A swelling takes place deep in the lining of the affected organ, resulting in diarrhea.

Crohn's disease can affect anyone - man or woman, young and old. It is believed to be hereditary. However, studies show that this disease is more common in people ages 20 to 30. People of Jewish heritage also seem to have a higher risk of developing this disease, while African Americans appear to have lower chances of getting it.

It is unknown what actually causes Crohn's disease, but it is believed that the body's immune system confuses bacteria, food, and other non-foreign substances in the body with foreign elements. This confusion makes the body respond by releasing white blood cells. The white blood cells gather in the lining of the intestine, causing the inflammation.

Colitis is also an inflammatory digestive disease, but it occurs in the colon. It is more commonly known as an ulcer. This disease can also occur at any age, but usually starts between the ages of 15 to 30 and slows down at ages 50 to 70. It is also believed to be hereditary. Study shows that there are more Caucasian and Jewish people suffering from colitis.

Similar to Crohn's disease, colitis is also caused by abnormality of the immune system in the digestive tract. However, doctors are unsure if the abnormalities are actually caused by the disease or are a result of the disease. Colitis is not actually caused by emotional distress or sensitivity reactions to certain food, although these appear to be triggering factors for some people.

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